Critical Thinking and Democracy in Troubled Times Panel Discussion

– The “blossoming” of the Web/Internet at the turn of the century did not usher along a “blossoming” of democracy with better educated and informed citizens engaging in a digital-powered public sphere as was hoped. Practically all studies, though using different indices and weights, show a “backsliding” of democracy over the last two decades with an increasing number of young people living on “islands of disjoint truths”. The advent of generative AI has the potential to further exacerbate this situation unless vigorous and innovative action is taken. This action, in addition to regulation and public investment, should include innovative approaches to education starting at the earliest possible level.

– This brings up the second issue which is how to equip today’s youth with not only the required “digital literacy” but also the critical thought skills that are needed if they are to navigate successfully in the evolving digital ecosystem and harness the positive potential of digital technology while limiting its harms.

Today’s classrooms are tomorrow’s societies (democratic or not).

Moderated by George Metakides, the panel includes Dr Lollie Mancey, Päivi Leppänen and Tiina Härkönen.

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