About the Workshop

Fresh insights are discovered and refined through the brainstorming and challenging generally accepted assumptions. The goal of the Atocha Workshop is to bring together diverse opinions and backgrounds to develop viable policy initiatives. The Atocha Workshop is not about consensus, as each participant is asked to shape and strengthen their own policy opinions.

Participants will be asked to shape creative policy ideas in the context of 12 topics that will be posed to everyone in two Creative Debate Sessions (each participant will participate in 2 Creative Debate Sessions, each dealing with a different topic.) A policy is a plan or course of action by a government, political party, institution, organization, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters.

Creative Debates
120 participants will engage in two Creative Debate sessions, each in roundtable groups of 10-11 people. Each roundtable group will be presented with a question relating to global terrorism, and the participant’s task will be to create innovative policy initiatives that deal with the issue.

The objective during each Creative Debate session is to devise creative and innovative policy proposals. Towards the end of each session, the moderator will compile a list of the members seeking to present their idea to the public in the Policy Forum. This list will be collected at the end of each Creative Debate session by a Safe Democracy representative.

Structure of the Creative Debates
At each table there will be 9-10 participants (including a moderator) and one blogger. Once seated, the session will begin with a simple 1 minute introduction. After introductions, members will select a moderator from within the group. The structure and components within each group will include the following:

  • One Moderator, who will share insights but also moderate the discussion flow by seeking to identify different viewpoints and perspectives.

    Role during Creative Debate: Ensure that each conversation is structured, dynamic and outcome driven; Encourage and facilitate brainstorming so that creative, achievable polices are developed; Help foster diversity of opinion and not just consensus; Offer their own ideas and conclusions.

    Role after each Creative Debate Session: At the end of each session, identify individuals that want to present their policy idea in the Policy Forum to follow, and give their name and a brief summary of their idea to a Safe Democracy Foundation representative.

  • Creative Debate Participants, who will share their insights and engage their peers in discussion and debate. (Participants will change tables/topics at the conclusion of the first session.)

    Role during Creative Debate: Communicate original ideas and views into actionable policy proposals; Seek to avoid ‘group think’ by defining and expanding on individual perspectives.

  • One Blogger, who will aggregate and document creative insights and post them on the Atocha Workshop Blog (Blogger stays at one table and DOES NOT move after the 1st session.)

  • The Workshop

    On March 11th 2005 the Atocha Workshop on Global Terrorism, hosted by the Safe Democracy Foundation, will create a repository of original thinking on Global Terrorism that will continue to be fed weekly in the form of a weblog by creative thinkers on the subject from around the world.

    The launching event will take place at the Atocha Train Station on March 11th, 2005 at the restaurant Samarkanda. Here, in in an atmosphere that will encourage creative thinking, around 200 people will participate as policy proponents, webloggers or as public; all will be engaged in the discussion of the proposed policies.
    Workshop Program and Agenda >>

    The People

    The Workshop will bring together journalists, politicians, activists and scholars in the fields of democratic advocacy and terrorism analysis (see full list). We are introducing them by means of One Question Interviews. Anyone can register to the Workshop and participate by asking them further questions, challenging their assumptions or proposing their own alternative ideas.

    The Proposals

    The general criteria for published ideas in the Atocha Workshop Weblog are that they be original, creative, potentially executable and most important that their implementation would likely lead to a more democratic world. The basic concept of the Worshop is that in politics, as in biology, diversity is needed to fight a threat. Political leaders, when confronted with the problem of global terrorism need a menu of possible responses. From the proceeds of the discussion on the weblog plus the physical event we will offer a series of Policy Proposals.
    Read more >>>

    The Topics

    During the Creative Debates we will be working towards making Policy Proposals from the 12 topics that we have selected. These topics are only starting points.

    The Atocha Workshop is sponsored by the Safe Democracy Foundation. (Formerly the Varsavsky Foundation)

    With the support of

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