The Tällberg Workshop on Lesvos. Clash of Civilizations?
As at all Tällberg Foundation meetings, the goal of this workshop was to question and explore, without prejudice, the dynamics of an issue which has enormous consequences not only for the refugees fleeing political and economic instability but for the people of Europe who are welcoming or fearing them. Above all, this is about people—and that is the reason we are convening in Lesvos, rather than in Geneva or London or New York: context matters.
The framing paper is provided only as a point of departure and to give a sense of the issues to consider. The focus was on fundamentals and consequences, not necessarily on immediate developments.
Each of the plenary sessions began with a short issue introduction, panel discussion or other provocation, but Tällberg is above all about conversations among participants, not about listening to speeches. Indeed, the challenge is to engage in and contribute to an open-ended learning exercise. In that spirit, there was no fixed objective for the workshop; no manifesto or any other kind of “product.” Of course, if knowledge imparts responsibility, then action should follow.