Making Democracies Resilient to Modern Threats

Metropolia Bulevardi Campus, Helsinki
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Seminar organized by the Fulbright Finland Foundation in cooperation with the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the United States Department of State, and hosted by the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

Democratic societies, institutions, and individual citizens are facing entirely new challenges in the modern era. Today’s threats can include network-based intrusions, misinformation and ‘fake news,’ influence campaigns, and many more.

These threats have the potential to disrupt economic activity and development, threaten the national security of like-minded nations, jeopardize individual privacy, and sow mistrust among citizens towards their national and collective democratic institutions.
The seminar will seek to highlight a wide range of threats that democracies face today and may face tomorrow as well as provide strategies for institutions and individuals to understand and deal with these threats. General themes presented will touch upon how to recognize disinformation and influence campaigns, media literacy and the role of media organizations and individual journalists, security in digital spaces, and positive examples of how democracies are currently countering these threats. Seminar speakers include high-level experts in the field. 

Photos from the seminar (Facebook album)


13:00 Opening Remarks

Terhi Mölsä, Chief Executive Officer, Fulbright Finland Foundation
Jouni Mölsä, Director General, Communications, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Donna Welton, Chargé d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy Helsinki

13:10 Introduction to Seminar Theme: "Interfering with Other Countries: How and Why"
Seminar Moderator Jed Willard, Director of Global Engagement, FDR Foundation, Adams House, Harvard University

13:15 Keynote: “Vulnerable-Resilient Democracy: The Duality of Cybersecurity”
(Please note that permission to use the slides in publications or presentations must be granted by the author through email request.)
Richard Harknett, Professor of Political Science, University of Cincinnati, 2017 Fulbright Professor in Cyber Studies at Oxford University

"It's Not Supposed to be Easy": Exercising Agonistic Dialogue
Respondent: Oskari Eronen, Head for Policy & Learning Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)

14:00 Panel I
Moderator: Jed Willard, Director of Global Engagement, FDR Foundation, Adams House, Harvard University

"Structural Weaknesses in Modern Democracies"
Matthew A. Baum, Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Department of Government

"How Social Media Platforms Are Used to Interfere with Democratic Processes"
Jonathan Albright, Director of Research, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

15:10 Coffee Break

15:30 Panel II
Moderator: Jed Willard, Director of Global Engagement, FDR Foundation, Adams House, Harvard University

"Rumors, Truths, and Reality: Political Misinformation in the Modern Day"
Adam Berinsky, Mitsui Professor of Political Science and Director, MIT Political Experiments Research Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Cognitive Approaches to the Correction of Misinformation"
Briony Swire-Thompson, Postdoctoral Researcher at Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute and Fellow, Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences, 2015 Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

16:45 Concluding Remarks 
Päivi Anttikoski, Director General of Government Communications, Finnish Prime Minister's Office

16:55 Seminar Ends


In addition to the public seminar, there are two special events:

10:30-12:45 Pre-seminar Fulbright meeting and lunch (by invitation only) - see photos (Facebook album)

17:00-19:00 Reception (by invitation only)

The on-site logistics at the Grand Festive Hall for this seminar are provided by students of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The organizers wish to extend their sincere thanks to the conference assistants of the Managerial Communication course. Read article about the conference assistants.