The 4 Moderators

Elena Vocale

Nationality: Italian. Present residency: Torino, Italy. Year of birth: 2001.

“The IYC is a unique occasion to meet brilliant young people coming from all backgrounds. It will be a honour to guide them through this process and see their efforts in bringing their best into the discussion. The challenge laying ahead demands a good balance of creativity, adaptability and swift coordination. I am eager to get to work and rally in the process. Democracy to me is about taking an interest in reciprocal concerns. Recognising that the participants have strong voices, I am committed to contribute for the creation of a safe and welcoming environment for the free expression of personal thoughts and experiences. Personally, I look forward to creating the strong sense of mutual trust that will be crucial in reaching the goals of the conference. In an historical period when democracies worldwide seem to be wearily fighting off multi-layered challenges, I wish to help planting seeds of hope. Indeed, the problems faced are complex, but I am confident that they can be solved by relying on the old principles of pluralism, tolerance and transparency… provided that they are adapted and updated to the contemporary context and urgencies. Ranging from climate change, to the digital agenda, to international relations, there is nothing that democracies cannot successfully face with the tools and knowledge of our era.”

Erik Toshach

Nationality: Swedish. Present residency: Istorp, Sweden. Year of birth: 1974.

“Though I look forward to this event immensely, I really have no idea of what to expect of the outcome and that makes it all the more exciting! To my mind, the most valuable knowledge, the most interesting experience is always the unexpected one. I hope that I will be able, as moderator, to handle all the energy, ideas and opinions that the participants are bringing to the table. I believe that I am a good listener but also someone who can ask critical questions and help people to better define their standpoints. I have an academic background, but have worked many years in hospitality, where also I have been active as a workers union representative. This means that I am used to interacting with people from many different walks of life. For me, every standpoint should be examined both in terms of truth and in terms of ethics. The problems faced by society in the 21st century are thus to me intertwined both with the development of science and with the eternal question: What does the good life mean for me personally and what does it mean for humanity as a species?”

Lisa Lundgren

Nationality: Swedish. Present residency: Gothenburg, Sweden. Year of birth: 1999.

The opportunity to participate in the conference as a moderator is extremely exciting and humbling. As I was a conference participant in 2020, I know that the role as a moderator can be very challenging and difficult, but also rewarding. I truly believe that I will develop immensely as a person, as a leader and as a team-player by moderating the conference this year. Since my own conference was held digitally via zoom, ever since 2020 I have been dreaming about chatting with participants during coffee-breaks, solving global problems over endless dinners and having less formal discussions with all the interesting and inspiring participants. Thus, I have a lot of social energy saved up and I look forward to creating new friendships. I want the focus to stay on the participants, but as a moderator I hope I will be able to guide and structure discussions in the best possible way. After having worked with IYTT for 3 years I have an idea of what “works” and what does not. For example, I will try and emphasize the trade-off between radical structural change and smaller but more tangible ideas.

Urban Strandberg

Nationality: Swedish. Present residency: Gothenburg, Sweden. Year of birth: 1966.

“Born in 1966 and quite young when starting to take an interest in societal issues and politics, some of my formative milestones include the fall of dictatorships in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Chile, and Argentina, to mention a few notable examples. The fall of the autocratic regimes of Eastern Europe in 1989 was the most powerful change-maker in my mind. That sister and brother Europeans in Eastern Europe were eventually offered a chance to live and dwell in an open society was of tremendous importance for me. Now cultural life, media, academia, business enterprising, bureaucracies and legal systems, as well as representative government, could be organized on the grounds of legality and rule of law. Now social institutions could be developed to fairly support humans individually and in groups in their life projects. The political battles could now be about ideological valuations and interest-based standpoints, not a fight between an open society and an autocratic one. People would still have disagreements but would agree on the richness and potential of an open society. Now, more than 30 years later, I am scared and worried that regimes, political parties, and individual citizens in Europe and overseas are attracted to old autocratic values. My hope for the conference is that all the lovely participants will contribute fresh arguments and ideas on how to sustain the resilience of open society values and its social institutions. I will bring my enthusiastic personality, my curiosity of other people and their ideas, and my ability to bring the very best out of other people.”

Want to know more about the conference participants?

Read here