The POINT 9.0 conference, organized under the name “Coming home” was conducted from 11 – 13 November in Sarajevo’s Dom mladih (Youth Center), where it gathered up to 200 participants from the Southeast Europe region, but also from all over the world. During numerous panel discussions and presentations, participants looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many areas of our everyday lives – from work habits to mental health.
A series of sessions were held during the first day of the conference. The speakers, along with the participants, discussed various topics related to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on different areas of life.
During the “Work Reimagined” panel discussion, the tendency to focus on individuals and their needs was highlighted, with the aim of building a healthy and happy work environment. Human rights were the focus of “The Value of Human Rights in a Pandemic” session, where the discussion was centered around the potential risks posed by the pandemic. The “Big Tech Getting Bigger” session highlighted the importance that the fact-checking community holds in modern society, although some technology companies are reluctant to include it in their work. The “Science communication at the time of the Pandemic” panel discussion highlighted the importance of using science-based information, especially in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. At the “Renaissance of Theories of Conspiracy and Conspiracy Influencers” panel, speakers discussed the harm that conspiracy theories could have on society. They talked about the motivation of those who spread and the reasoning of those who believe in such theories.
The second day of the conference began with a session called “Stories from the Region” (1, 2), in which individuals from the region shared their inspirational stories about various successfully implemented projects. The session “How do Wellbeing and Mental Strength Fit in the Equation” focused on the importance of mental health in times of crisis. During the “Pandemic and the Future of Tech”, speakers and participants discussed how the pandemic affected technology. “Pre-lunch duels”, a new format included in this year’s POINT conference, brought together individuals from the region leading similar projects to discuss the challenges they face in their work. “The Future of Events – Are They Changed Forever?” session discussed the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the realization of different events, while the speakers at the “Journalism and the Pandemic Challenges” session discussed the challenges that journalism faced during the pandemic. The second day of the conference concluded with a Plantismus workshop, in which participants had the opportunity to learn how to make terrariums and create their own. On the third day of the conference, a series of workshops and meetings of participants were held.
Foto: Vanja Čerimagić
The POINT Conference (Political Accountability and New Technologies) is the largest conference of its kind in the Southeast Europe (SEE) region and seeks to be a platform for civil society, which encourages the use of new technologies. Since its first edition in 2011, the POINT conference has become a unique meeting place for civil society activists and civil society representatives from Southeast Europe, but also from all over the world, as well as a platform for the exchange of ideas and innovative solutions to promote a responsible and open society.
The POINT Conference is organized by CA “Zašto ne” (“Why Not”), in partnership with the ACTION SEE and SEE Check networks, with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Balkan Fund for Democracy (BTD).