M100 Sanssouci Colloquium, 2011


“Global Democracy – A Triumph for Social Networks?”
8 September 2011, Potsdam

On 8 September 2011 the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium international media conference will host leading international editors-in-chief and media professionals for the seventh time in the historical palaces and gardens of the city of Potsdam.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Global Democracy – A Triumph for Social Networks?” Discussions will focus on the meaning of blogs and social networks in connection with the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Talks will also explore the potential effects of these movements on China, Iran and Eastern European countries with autocratic governmental systems as well as their consequences for traditional media.

Other key questions include the following: Will blogs and social networks continue to play a political role after the Arab Spring? How do autocratic governments use the new technology for their own purposes and against activists? What role do the American and European tech companies who sell their products to autocratic governments play?

This year’s participants come from North Africa, the Middle East, Dubai and Western and Eastern Europe.The Tunisian human rights activist and journalist Sihem Bensedrine will be giving the opening speech at this year's M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. Senior media representatives from North Africa, the Middle East, Dubai as well as from Western and Eastern Europe will be discussing the topic "Global Democracy - A Triumph for Social Networks?" at the international conference on 8th September. Sihem Bensedrine is one of the most famous Tunisian opposition figures, spokeswoman of the National Council for Freedom in Tunisia (CNLT) and editor-in-chief of the online newspaper "Kalima". For over ten years she has been campaigning for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. After enduring persecution and imprisonment, she went into exile in 2009. Following the resignation of Ben Ali, she returned to her home.

Among those joining the 2011 discussions in the Orangerie at Sanssouci Palace are the Tunisian journalist and human rights activists Sihem Bensedrine (Tunis), Stephan-Andreas Casdorff (Der Tagesspiegel), CANVAS co-founder Slobodan Djinovic (Belgrade), Asiem El Difraoui (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin), Nakhle El-Hage (Al Arabiya, Dubai), Said Essoulami (CMF Mena, Paris), Regina von Flemming (Axel Springer Russia, Moscow), Peter Frey (ZDF, Mainz), Grzegorz Jankowski (Fakt, Warsaw) Hans-Ulrich Jörges (Stern, Berlin), Christoph Lanz (Deutsche Welle TV, Berlin), Georg Mascolo (Der Spiegel, Hamburg), Michael Naumann (Cicero, Berlin), Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan (Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo), Frank Thomsen (Stern.de, Hamburg), Jillian C. York (Electric Frontier Foundation, San Francisco) and Christopher Walker (Freedom House, New York).

The M100 is an initiative of the capital city of Potsdam and the association known as Potsdam Media International. It takes place in association with the medienwoche@IFA. This year’s colloquium is made possible by the support of the City of Potsdam, the Medienboard Berlin- Brandenburg, the German Foreign Office, the ZEIT Foundation and Bertelsmann AG. Cooperation partners include Freedom House, Radio Free Europe and Reporter Without Borders. With the friendly support of Google, Audi, Air Berlin and Plista.

For more information, please visit www.m100potsdam.org