Preliminary Program

The Atocha Workshop will take place at the Atocha Train Station on March 11th, 2005. It will begin at 12:30pm at the Samarkanda Restaurant, and continue until 8:00pm.

The workshop will consist of seven events. Six will be open to the public while the creative debate is for invited participants only. Altogether around 120 participants and 230 members of the public are expected to attend the Workshop.

Opening Plenary (Creative Debate Participants & Public):
A diverse group of seven participants will engage in a discussion open to the public.


Creative Debate Creative Debate Participants Only):
In 10 groups of 12, including a moderator and a rapporteur, members will have a timed debate on a specific topic under discussion. The rapporteur will be equipped with a laptop and will contribute the groups original thinking live to a blog set up specifically for the workshop. Feedback received on the blog from participants around the world will be shared with the group. At the end of this debate, the group must develop a minimum of one creative proposal that they will present in the Policy Forum that takes places 45 minutes after the end of the Creative Debate.

Plenary Session I (Selected Creative Debate Participants and Public).
The two plenary sessions and rapid fire panel will run parallel to the Creative Debate.
Topic: To Be Announced. This plenary session will consist of 5 speakers and 1 moderator.

Plenary Session II: (Selected Creative Debate Participants and Public)
Topic: To Be Announced. This plenary session will consist of 5 speakers and 1 moderator.

Rapid Fire Panel: (Selected Creative Debate Participants and Public)
In this format, 6 panellists will have 5 minutes each, to make a presentation of their creative and innovative idea. After each presentation there will be a 5 minute Q & A session.


Policy Forum (Creative Debate Participants and Public):
The innovative ideas and proposals developed in the Creative Debates will be presented to the public in a unique format. Each creative debate group will be assigned to a designated area of the conference hall. As the public walks among these groups, the Creative Debate teams will stand with flip charts and try to gain support for their ideas in brief presentations to the public. Members of the public will then endorse the policies they believe to be constructive with their signature. This exercise will serve two purposes. It will give feedback to policy sponsors as to the general acceptance of their ideas, and will give the public a way to transform concern into action.

Remembrance of March 11th victims: (Creative Debate Participants and Public):
Directly following the Policy Forum there will be a remembrance of the victims of March 11, 2004. This will consist of a presentation by Dr. Yael Danieli, a leading psychologist, and former Senior Representative to the United Nations of the World Federation for Mental Health and of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She will present her new book entitled The Trauma of Terrorism, focusing on an aspect of the War on Terror that all too often is overlooked.

In addition, Samarkanda Restaurant will be the host to a surrounding photo exhibit from Madrid in Memoriam ( This organization has complied a presentation of amateur and professional photos that capture the impact of March 11, 2004.


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. It will begin directly after the commemoration ceremonies at the restaurant Samarkanda, and continue until 9pm. Here, in in an atmosphere that will encourage creative thinking, around 400 people will participate as policy proponents, webloggers or as public; all will be engaged in the discussion of the proposed policies.
Preliminary Program >>

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 Issues

During the discussion stage we will be working from a series of topics that we will be refining down to ten main issues to be discussed at the physical conference. As you read this, participants in the workshop are already working together to boil them down to 10 from an original working set of 37.


The Atocha Workshop is sponsored by the Safe Democracy Foundation.