Live Blog: CAF2016 The Rise of Global Fear


Common Action Forum gathers experts to discuss ‘The Rise of Global Fear’ in an international congress in Madrid

Politicians, academics, activists, members of civil society and journalists from all over the world will meet on November 5th and 6th at Hotel Wellington, Madrid, to formulate a response to the spread of worldwide radicalism and decrease in tolerance in a two-day conference with corresponding workshops.

The Foundation Common Action Forum, presided over by former Director of Al Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, will celebrate the second annual forum, The Rise of Global Fear: Why Is The World Becoming Less Tolerant and More Radical? gathering specialists from a range of disciplines for a two-day conference with corresponding workshops from November 5th to 6th in Madrid.

The event, which seeks to establish long-term networks of collaboration, will focus on the refugee crisis and migration and its corresponding media coverage, as well as will examine the increase in populism in the European Union and the need to redefine the concept of citizenship in an increasingly mobile world. With an aim to promote dialogue, the conference will offer a round table of 50 participants from all over the world.

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The inaugural session of the conference, taking place Saturday, November 5th in the morning, will address the Implications of the Refugee Crisis beyond the UN Convention of 1951. The discussion will include contributions by Amin Awad, Regional Coordinator of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Syria and Iraq; Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Nairobi-based Africa Program Director; Sandro Mezzadra, political philosopher and DiEM25’s Advisory Panel member; Ömer Önhon, Turkish ambassador to Spain; and Professor of International Law Félix Vacas.

The next topic addressed in the conference, Media coverage: narrating terrorism and migration, will include participants Katja Iversen, Director of Women Deliver; Arelene Clemensha, Professor of Arabic History at the University of São Paulo, Brazil; Gonzalo Fajul, researcher and Co-founder of porCausa; Journalist and director of Ruptly/RT Xenia Fedorova; and Mariana Santos, Founder of Chicas Poderosas.

Sunday, the debate will turn to EXITs and selective integration: last sighs of nationalism? with participants including South African politician Cheryl Carolus; Brazilian politician and diplomat Celso Amorim; Argentinian legal expert and professor Eduardo Barcesat; Lorenzo Marsilli, Co-Founder of European Alternatives and DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective member; and renowned journalist David Hearst.

Finally, the last session will reflect on Rethinking the concept of citizenship for a mobile world, with contributions from Ayo Obe, lawyer and Co-Vice President of the International Crisis group; Paula Barrachina, lawyer specialized in international human rights; Khalid Hajji, Professor in the Department of Anglo-American Studies at Mohamed Premier University in Morocco; Mario Domínguez, Professor of Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid; and John Ralston Saul, philosopher and novelist.

The meeting, which will be accompanied by working groups designed to pursue research in areas identified in these practical initiatives, will also feature an art exhibit and audiovisual displays of the current migration reality.




CAFSEI, promoting critical thinking in schools

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Since the foundation of the United Nations in 1945, the world has experienced unprecedented growth in nearly every aspect of life, from civil and human rights to economic and cultural globalization. Hundreds of nations have gathered under a single banner in order to face today’s increasing problems. They seek to cooperate despite differences, differences that can be ameliorated through discussion, negotiation and consensus, ultimately achieving an ideal prototype of global leadership.

The Common Action Forum of Spanish Education Institutes (CAFSEI) initiative intends to form leaders and active members of a global society for this future leadership. It guides students in their final years in high school as they study Political Science, International Relations, Geopolitics, Economics and Sociology, as well as learn disciplines such as public speaking, diplomacy, negotiation, conflict resolution and group management.

We will select several students from a group of schools in Madrid in the academic year 2016-2017 in order to create and shape Spanish leaders the world needs. At the same time, rather than expose students to the political arena without previous experience, we will provide them with formation via Model United Nations (MUNs). They will have the opportunity to attend some of the most important Model UNs at the national level in order to bring CAF’s vision to these discussion forums. Ultimately, our group will travel to one of the oldest and most prestigious Model UNs in the world, organized by Harvard University, Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) in 2018. This trip will facilitate the diffusion of CAF’s proposals and an understanding of the world we live in to other students from different parts of the world. At the same time, it will promote the exchange of information and experiences above and beyond the individual level in order to effect change at the national and international level.


Media activism: a tool of youth empowerment

Favelado 2.0 From the last 1st to 12th of March, the media collective GatoMÍDIA, sponsored by Common Action Forum, hosted a media and technology residency in Complexo do Alemão (Brazil) to empower favela youth to create their own culture by making use of technology. The project, entitled Favelado 2.0 – Building Hacks for the Future, welcomed 20 selected participants of favelas across Brazil to take part in different workshops on such varied topics as photography 2.0, script for programs on YouTube, creative text construction, activism on the web, collaborative coverage, social media, creativity 2.0, fanzine 2.0, hacking Facebook, and so on.

The site , a program to bring visibility to favela community voices in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympics, has published a report on the initiative focused on the participants’ experiences throughout the residence. If you also believe that media is a tool of youth empowerment and everyone has the right to gain visibility through technology, keep reading here.


Reality as a social construction

Written by Andrés Lomeña, Psicopolis is a short film that shows how individual behaviour is a direct result of social constructions. The story takes place in a Faculty of Psychology where the professor transforms his class into a captivating theatre performance that shows how his theories might work in “real life”.
(CAF gladly supported the international version of the movie)