San José, Costa Rica, 10 – 11 November 2017: “Empowering the people: Our agenda for a democratic, inclusive and sustainable society”

Event Date   10. – 11.11.2017

Dear comrades, dear friends,

We would cordially like to invite you to the Progressive Alliance Conference “Empowering the people: Our agenda for a democratic, inclusive and sustainable society” on 10 – 11 November 2017 in San José, Costa Rica, which we will be conducting in collaboration with the Citizens’ Action Party of Costa Rica.

This conference takes place at a critical point in time for us progressives: In many areas of the world we are confronted with unleashed forms of capitalism which are threatening our vision of an open and inclusive society. Against this backdrop, we are challenged to develop our own agenda to empower the people and create democratic, inclusive and sustainable societies. Therefore, we are particularly happy that we are able to hold our conference in Costa Rica – a country that demonstrates in an exemplary manner how inclusive growth and sustainability can go hand in hand. We are very much looking forward to getting many new insights and exchanging new ideas.

In this spirit, we will be discussing the topic of our conference from a variety of angles and receive inputs from different regions of the world. In the first debate we will put an emphasis on the impact of innovations on social justice. In our rapidly evolving times innovations play a key role in driving economic growth. However, for us as social democrats, progressives and socialists, economic growth always has to go hand in hand with enhanced mechanisms of social justice and the inclusion of marginalised societal groups. All too often do innovations and economic growth only benefit the few, not the many.

The second main focus of the conference will be on how to empower the people in order to achieve a democratic, inclusive and sustainable society. Transforming capitalism has been the socialist and social democratic strategy for a long time. Redistribution, market regulation, the creation of public goods, the democratisation of economic life and the cushioning of risks in welfare states undisputedly improved the living and working conditions of many people. However, in times of neo-liberalism we need to think about new measures to transform capitalism in a sustainable way. This transformation toward sustainability will not succeed unless we stand together and come up with new initiatives to create inclusive, democratic and sustainable societies, which put people at the centre.

Another highlight of the conference will be the first award ceremony of the Progressive Alliance Award. As progressive, social democratic and socialist parties, we see ourselves as part of a social and cultural movement. And it is from this interaction, in particular, that we receive a lot of significant impulses for our political agenda. We therefore decided at the Progressive Alliance Convention in March to offer an annual award to projects and initiatives of progressive parties and organisations, as well as individuals who are working for a more peaceful and fair world in an innovative and exemplary manner. Therefore, we are very much looking forward to awarding this prize for the first time.

In our breakout sessions we will learn about recent developments in American Countries. Furthermore, we will conduct a field visit to get a hands-on insight into projects and initiatives for sustainability in Costa Rica. Another important part of the conference will be the meeting of Progressive Alliance Working Group on Gender, which will be hold for the second time. And, as it has become good practice, we will start our conference with a meeting of the Steering Committee to discuss all important political and organisational aspects of our party network.

Dear comrades, dear friends, The conference Empowering the people: Our agenda for a democratic, inclusive and sustainable society will not only be an excellent occasion to continue our political debates. It will also be a splendid opportunity to exchange experiences, to learn about best-practices and to deepen our progressive network.

For more information about the conference, please find enclosed the draft program, the technical details and the registration form.

Please register by 23 October 2017 at the latest

Kind regards and looking forward to seeing you all in Costa Rica,

Konstantin Woinoff



Draft Program
Input Paper
Draft List of Participants