7 November 2023 - 16.45-18.30  / Room 9 Palais de l'Europe

Interpretation FR/EN

In co-operation with the Council of Europe Education Department

In ancient Republics, statespeople were expected to lead, and in doing so, educate citizens by example.  Democracy and peace are “habits of the heart”, and do not come as natural to humans as we might wish.

No one is born knowing what human rights and democracy are – they need to be learned and above all experienced. Democracies are nurtured through discussions/debates, deliberations, and the ability to assess critically an opponent’s position, engage with underlying concerns and initiate a constructive dialogue open to diverse cultural perspectives. Yet we see that democratic values and principles are under threat and in some cases, democracy is even backsliding.  Results include the inability to find common ground, partisanship, extremism and in the most extreme case, war.  Democracy and peace need to be cultivated to address issues faced today and in the future. What are the best ways to teach and learn competences for building peaceful and competent societies?  This Forum Talk will explore the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary to create a democratic culture.  It will identify the competences needed – such as critical thinking and empathy – to promote dialogue, respect, tolerance, and inclusivity, the role of educators and perspectives from around the globe. Lastly, what will competences for peace and democracy look like in the future, given the impact of new technologies and artificial intelligence, social media and online subversion campaigns by non-democratic actors.

Forum Talk 8: Learning to Wage Peace and Democracy

Full screen: ENFR / ORIGINAL

Palais de l'Europe, room 9 7 November 2023 (16.45-18.30)
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Member of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Education


Natia Natsvlishvili is an educational specialist with 20 years of experience in education practice, policy, academic and strategic planning work, especially in pre-service and in-service teacher professional development; she is the Council of Europe’s Education Committee Bureau and Education Policy Advisors Network Bureau member for Georgia; Natia Natsvlishvili is xperienced in several international projects on Education for Democratic Citizenship, Human Rights Education, Competences for Democratic Culture. She is Editor, author, co-author of various resources for teachers professional development and represents the National Center for Teacher Professional Development and several universities of Georgia as well as an Associated Professor of Caucasus University.


Alessandra CARDACI

Project Manager at Debating Europe


Alessandra is Lead Partnership Manager at Debating Europe, the citizens’ engagement and democracy unit of Friends of Europe, a Brussels-based think tank. She has an international multidisciplinary background, holding a joint Master’s degree in European studies. She has solid and successful experience in people-centred projects and communications in the public and private sectors, having previously worked at the European Commission, as well as European and American not-for-profit organisations in Brussels and Berlin. She believes in the power of network, community and cooperation – and most of all, in finding common ground for the common good. Alessandra speaks Italian, English and French fluently.



Director, Institute of the Francophone World for Education and Training

Mona Laroussi is Director of the Institut de la Francophonie pour l'éducation et la formation (IFEF) in Dakar (Senegal), a structure belonging to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) whose mission is to help improve the quality of education in the member countries and governments of the Francophonie.  She is an academic with a doctorate and a post-graduate qualification in computer science, specialising in educational technology.  Mona Laroussi's research focuses on Computer Environments for Human Learning. She is the co-author of several chapters and publications in international journals and conferences.

O’LYNN 2023

Dr Patricia O’LYNN

CEO of The Institute for Disruption, Northern Ireland

United Kingdom

With over 10 years’ experience in the school exclusion sector, Dr Patricia O’Lynn has a demonstrated history of leading change in the field of education where she champions collective impact approaches to reducing the use school exclusion. Patricia completed doctoral research at Queen’s University Belfast, which focused on understanding the lived experiences of school exclusion from marginalised youth. She has served as a Local Government Councillor, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Northern Ireland and Special Political Advisor to the Justice Minister. In 2023 Patricia founded the Institute for Disruption, a community interest company which works to challenge the status quo, end the use of school exclusion and to reframe disruptive behaviour as a force for social good.



School Advisor and Teacher Trainer, Ministry of Education


Angelos Vallianatos (PhD in Theology -University of Athens) has worked as a teacher and school advisor in public secondary education in Greece. He has been trained and works on religious and intercultural education, human rights education and democratic citizenship in Greece and abroad. Since 2005, he organizes and trains adults and school stakeholders also within the educational programs of the Council of Europe and the European Wergeland Center. He has authored, translated and participated in writing groups, but also presented in Greece and abroad, topics of his specialization and the fields of his educational experience.



Youth delegate

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Omar Memišević is a Research Fellow at Strategic Analysis, a think-tank focusing on dynamics in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood, where he is spearheading research efforts into hybrid threats and foreign malign influence. Before joining the SA team, he worked as a Tom Lantos Congressional Fellow in Washington D.C, and as a political affairs trainee at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, focusing on reconciliation efforts in BIH, and broader challenges within the WB context. Over the years he worked with regional CSOs on policy development related to the EU integration process, election reform. He holds a BA from the University of Sarajevo and is currently pursuing his MA thesis focusing on foreign malign influence in BIH.