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Debate: “Green modernisation – between utopia and urban planning”

2023-05-12, 7:00 p.m.
Graphics in green with the name and date of the event.

12 May, at 7 pm


We invited you to join us for the third in the series of debates with authors of books shortlisted for the Marcin Król Award for 2022. The point of reference for our discussion were two shortlisted books: Joanna Erbel’s “Wychylone w przyszłość. Jak zmienić świat na lepsze” (Wysoki Zamek) and Grzegorz Piątek’s “Gdynia obiecana. Miasto, modernizm, modernizacja 1920-1939” (Wydawnictwo W.A.B.).


Anthropogenic climate change confronts us with a crisis that heralds the end of modernity. In response, we can observe a proliferation of greening projects for urban areas where, according to UN forecasts, 68% of people on Earth are to live by the year 2050. Contemporary culture offers a multitude of apocalyptic dystopias, and since our cities cannot be built from scratch, holistic visions of the perfect green city seem to be of little use. But is a better future possible without utopianism and ambitious projects? Could Gdynia or Nowa Huta be built in today's Poland? To what extent are the cities we already live in today places where we can try to make visions of green modernisation come true? And above all, where can such visions be found?


Established and awarded for the first time last year by the Stefan Batory Foundation, the aim of the Marcin Król Award is to support the development of public debate by encouraging in-depth reflection on the phenomena and trends of the present and the challenges of the future. Early in March, the Award Committee shortlisted five books for the second edition of the competition. The winning title will be announced on May 25.


More information about the award and this year's shortlisted books can be found at: https://www.batory.org.pl/forumidei/nagroda-im-marcina-krola/#tabs_tab-0


The debate was live streamed and interpreted into Polish sign language. The stream was available on the FB profile and YouTube channel of the Batory Foundation.


The event was organised by the Batory Foundation and the International Cultural Centre in Krakow



Joanna Erbel

Łukasz Galusek

Rafał Matyja

Grzegorz Piątek



Edwin Bendyk



International Cultural Centre, Rynek Główny 25, “The Ravens” Hall


Biographical notes:


Edwin Bendyk – President of the Stefan Batory Foundation. Journalist, writer, and columnist working for the "Polityka" weekly. He lectures at the Graduate School for Social Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Collegium Civitas, where he co-founded the Centre for Future Studies. Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Author of books such as: „W Polsce, czyli wszędzie. Rzecz o upadku i przyszłości świata” (2020) and „Bunt sieci” (2012).


Joanna Erbel – author of the shortlisted book “Wychylone w przyszłość. Jak zmienić świat na lepsze”, Wysoki Zamek


Łukasz Galusek – deputy director for programme policy at the ICC, author and editor of many books, curator of the exhibition “Soc. Modernisms Behind the Iron Curtain”, which will be on show at the ICC in 2023.


Rafał Matyja – lecturer at the Krakow University of Economics, laureate of the Marcin Król Award 2022


Grzegorz Piątek – author of the book “Gdynia obiecana. Miasto, modernizm, modernizacja 1920-1939”, Wydawnictwo W.A.B.


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