From 12 to 21 July 2021, the College of Europe in Natolin, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), and the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF) organized the 9th edition of the Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy (WEASA).
This year's theme was:
"Whose technology? Whose interests? Power and influence in the digital age"
The academy was geared towards mid-career professionals from the Eastern Partnership, the Western Balkans, and Poland. It hosted 42 representatives from 12 countries in an online format.
This year's edition was opened by the Vice-Rector of College of Europe in Natolin, Mrs Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA, who encouraged the participants to use WEASA as the “perfect ground for building networks and new connections.” The academic program started with an introduction to the modern technological world and a critical but very constructive analysis of Western liberalism. The session was led by Brian WHITMORE, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. During the second day of WEASA, the participants were trained by two experts on investigative journalism from Bellingcat, Pieter VAN HUIS and Aiganysh AIDARBEKOVA. The following days brought even more opportunities to engage with top practitioners and specialists, such as Nad’a KOVALČÍKOVÁ, Program Manager and Fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy in The German Marshall Fund of the United States; Daniel BAGGE, Cyber Strategist and Cyber Attaché to the United States and Canada; Ruurd OOSTERWOUD, the founder and developer of Bad News game; Anna BABINETS, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of the independent investigative agency Slidstvo.Info.
The profiles of the participants themselves also encompassed a wide range of professions and backgrounds: public administration, civil society, journalism, academia, private sector, political advisors, representatives of local or international organizations, volunteers, and civic activists.