5500 participants and attendees (4000 stationary and 1500 online), more than 300 speakers and presenters, 160 volunteers, 96 sessions and 7 stages. These are the numbers summarizing this year's eighth International Congress of the Economics of Values — Open Eyes Economy Summit 2023. Behind them is what is most important about the event — the social energy buzzing in the spaces of the ICE Congress Center in Krakow ready for action.
Inauguration of the OEES 2023 congress
joining forces, we can do more
The abundant program of the congress focused on the slogan of this year's edition — social energy — and prompted discussions between representatives of various age groups and backgrounds — the world of economics, politics, culture, business, science — proving, as explained by Professor Jerzy Hausner, chairman of the OEES Program Council, and Mateusz Zmyślony, OEES Creative Director, that by joining forces, we can achieve more.
This message was also followed by concrete actions. On the eve of the OEES Summit, during the Prologue, the Pact for Krakow's Space was signed, a declaration to consolidate forces in caring for urban space.
Read more: Pact for Krakow's Space signed!
Signatories of the Pact for the Space of Krakow
Photo: Piotr Malec | © OEES
The thematic tracks of the congress also revolved around issues such as the energy transition, the labor market and competencies of tomorrow, artificial intelligence, the situation of local governments and security, both health and that in the virtual world.
in search of a new framework
As part of the CITY-IDEA block, Małgorzata Tomczak, editor-in-chief of A&B, moderated the inspirational session "Metropolises in search of a new systemic framework", which featured Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, mayor of Gdańsk, Kazimierz Karolczak, chairman of the board of the Metropolis GZM, and Professor Jakub H. Szlachetko of the University of Gdansk.
Inspirational session "Metropolises in search of a new political framework"; from left: Malgorzata Tomczak, editor-in-chief of A&B, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, president of Gdansk, Kazimierz Karolczak, chairman of the board of the Metropolis GZM and Professor Jakub H. Szlachetko of the University of Gdansk
photo: Lubomir Nikolov
After outlining the fate of the law on metropolitan unions introduced in 2015 (a "dead" law, because although it has been in effect for two years, no implementing act has been issued during that time) Jakub H. Szlachetko talked about the various visions of the law in recent years. In his opinion, we are ready for metropolitan reform, so it is necessary to take advantage of the current "metropolitan moment", a time of favorable conditions for making legislative decisions.
Malgorzata Tomczak, editor-in-chief of A&B and Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, mayor of Gdansk — inspirational session "Metropolises in search of a new political framework"
Aleksandra Dulkiewicz stressed the need to create tools to stimulate the wise development of metropolitan areas, without it, in her opinion, Poland will lose the competitive struggle with other European countries. Kazimierz Karolczak, on the other hand, based on the experience of the Metropolis GZM, pointed out that metropolises and thinking about cooperation are a chance to overcome divisions and remove barriers to development.
The discussion revolved around examples of what works and what doesn't in the Metropolis GZM, as a kind of testing ground for possible solutions, the dichotomy between larger and smaller cities and the effective division of tasks between them, as well as problems related to uncontrolled suburbanization. It was also noted that the law on metropolitan unions should emphasize tasks, competencies and financing mechanisms, rather than top-down, over-regulated structures, as it is crucial for the legislator to have confidence in local government and give it the ability to freely shape modes of operation.
We encourage you to watch the full broadcast of the inspirational session.
for others and with them
Although, as Professor Jerzy Hausner admitted, there are many examples of event-driven civic activity in Poland, we should focus on daily, systematic activities in which social energy will not be wasted by engaging citizens in sham dialogue, bogus participation.
Social energy is not an inexhaustible resource — said Prof. Jerzy Hausner. — Good social energy [...] results from the attention and time given by some to others. Coercion kills such energy, while voluntarism and goodwill fuel it. [...] Good social energy is a mechanism of social appreciation when it results from thinking through the existential, essential needs of others, when it results from acting for and with them — he added.
Professor Jerzy Hausner, chairman of the OEES Program Council
The chairman of the OEES Program Council also outlined four layers of the organization of collective life — the activity of citizens, in which social energy is revealed and released; social organizations, that is, the level between citizen activity and public authority; local self-government and the state.
If we want to build on social energy, this energy must flow from the bottom up, and downwards — according to the principle of subsidiarity, support is to flow, but one that does not make us dependent in any way, but especially not dependent for political reasons.
Professor Hausner also pointed out five principles of governance that can serve social energy, through which the state can treat citizens as a power base, a reinforcing force defending the democratic order. They are: credibility, truthfulness, restoration of social dialogue, self-governance and ethics, which will be one of the themes of the next edition of the congress.
The 9th edition of the Open Eyes Economy Summit is scheduled for November 19 and 20, 2024. See you there!