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DIALOGUE OF UNIVERSITIES: OBJECTIVES – MISSION – PRACTICES

Conceptual and organizational platform

The long-term goals and urgent tasks of the International Center for Baltic-Black Sea Studies and Consensus Practices (hereinafter referred to as the Center) are cooperation with the institutions of civil society of the countries of the region, cultural workers, artists, educators, social thinkers, professionals in the human science, leading scientists and representatives of the media.

It should be noted that the activities of the Center are based on fundamentally new foundations that have developed today in the geopolitical, socio-cultural and moral-spiritual space, characterized by increased uncertainty, diversity and complexity. A qualitatively new understanding of accumulated challenges and threats is needed on an advanced scientific basis. That is why the Center should become a generator of new discourses and social practices, new values and vital meanings, formed on the basis of a memory culture as a dialogue of history and modernity, truth, reason and conscience as the primary trust between people, our peoples and states and their constructive interaction in the name of a worthy future.

We proceed from the fact that the era of global transformations at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries is characterized, first of all, by a systemic and profound deformation of basic life values, both on a human scale and in the dimensions of a personal, ethnic, and sociocultural being.

This deformation is related to the fundamental human rights to life, freedom, dignity, happiness, love, prosperity.

Therefore, overcoming the global crisis is primarily determined by the vital need for the development of new values, their production and cultivation in societies of different mentality, with different traditions, ways of world perception and worldview.

Several types of marginal spiritual situations are known in history, when special social institutions were formed that took on a responsible and long-term role in the development of new basic life values and their cultivation in intergenerational space. One of such historical and cultural European neoplasms is the UNIVERSITY.

The most important thing in the university life style is the formation of a person who is able to live freely and dignified – alone with himself, among people, in his native country and in the modern global world. Obviously, the Dialogue of Universities will not arise by itself, without organizational structure and special efforts. An important step in its launch, the first stage, first on the basis of several universities in the countries of the Baltic-Black Sea region, can become such a fundamental form of interaction as the Dialogue of Generations. The project may include a system of meetings of participants and witnesses of the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s with university youth from different countries and cities. The purpose of these meetings is to understand the events that took place in the country at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries from the perspective of a culture of memory, in the context of world history and through the prism of the fundamental changes that the European community is undergoing. The dialogue of generations allows to restore the “connection of times”, to understand losses and acquisitions, to realize losses and achievements, to recognize myths and falsifications and, most importantly, to define the basic life values of the present and to outline the basic methods and their practical achievement.

Meetings of members of the Council of Elders of the Center with youth will help to solve not only the tasks of the Dialogue of Generations, but also to involve the higher educational institutions of the region in the Dialogue of Universities.

Dialogue of universities is a community of highly educated, thinking people which in cooperation and co-creation with the Center is capable of:

  • on an ongoing basis, to study and diagnose social processes at the level of modern scientific knowledge;
  • generate new ideas and ideals, cultivate values and meanings;
  • to introduce new discourses into scientific and social practice;
  • develop a culture of dialogue between ideas and people, worldviews and generations, institutions of civil society and power, romantics and pragmatists, nations, confessions, cultures and civilizations;
  • to form tolerant values and relations between ethnic groups, diasporas, nations;
  • to develop and spread consensus practices as ways to solve problems.

The mission of the University Dialogue is following: development and self-development, search for and achievement of consensus and mutual understanding, peacemaking and mutual assistance on the basis of advanced modern scientific knowledge and understanding.

The organizational structure of the University Dialogue can be formed in the process of practical interuniversity activities.

In process of organizational registration as structural divisions of the Dialogue of universities should be created:

  • a permanent student forum
  • problem-thematic professorial club
  • coordinated programs of scientific research, development and introduction into the educational process of special purpose courses on the theme of memory culture; on methodology and theory of meditative practices; on forecasting and conflictology.

All this presumes systematic, content-oriented interaction in the form of preparing annual public thematic reports, problem round tables, symposiums and conferences held in different regions of Europe. And they should not be narrowly behind the scenes, intended for the scientific community, but focused on broad public resonance, heard and discussed in different professional, age and social strata and groups.

Therefore, the most important thing in the idea of the Dialogue of Universities is the entrance of the university intellectual, professional community into the “people” with an active life position of cultivating values and meanings that will help a person gain faith in a worthy future, strengthen civic responsibility, and for each individual hope for happiness and prosperity .

An effective tool for the University Dialogue should be an annual International Competition

“Europe is our common home: through dialogue and consensus to trust and peace. “

The competition should motivate the research interests of students, masters, graduate students and university professors to study and analyze dialogue relations and consensus practices in the context of the European community and the Baltic-Black Sea living space, as well as in the national-domestic context at the state and civil society level, in corporate and professional spheres.

Tasks of the competition:

  • development of a methodology for dialogue relations and consensus practices;
  • the study of conflict situations and the design of the use for their resolution of various forms of dialogue and consensus practices;
  • recognition of the conditions for the emergence of conflicts and scenario forecasting of possible options for their development and resolution;
  • study of the history and realities of the European Union: analysis of gaps between the implemented common standards and the mentality of the population, cultural peculiarities of countries that have become members or acceding to the European Union;
  • studying the history of the collapse of the Soviet empire from the standpoint of a culture of memory, avoiding ideological interpretations, exposing prejudices and debunking the myths of the immediate history;
  • a comprehensive analysis of decisions taken by different authorities in extreme situations: the methodology of taking account of interests in order to prevent conflicts.