This past weekend, between June 25 and 26, the 2022 edition of the Brazil Forum UK was held in Oxford, England. This event brings together Brazilian students, specialists, politicians, and opinion makers who seek, together, to think about possible paths to a fairer and more inclusive Brazil.
There were two days of panels focused on the following themes: the economic crisis in Brazil, health and the fight against the pandemic, the end of the militias, development and innovation in Brazilian cities, climate transition, the Amazon, and the international community's view of the country. The panels were held at the Blavatnik School of Government, one of the newest buildings at Oxford University, which offers courses in public policy.
The guests for the event brought, besides their professional experiences, visions of how Brazil can face today's main challenges, especially in the socioeconomic and environmental sectors.
1st Panel: Will tomorrow be another day? This panel included Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International in Brazil, and the Minister of STF and former president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Luis Barroso. The main theme of the first meeting was about institutional advances to ensure that democracy is preserved and improved in Brazil.
2nd Panel: Economic crisis or lack of planning? Policies to get the country out of the crisis. The panelists for this theme were André Perfeito, Chief Economist at Necton Investimentos; Ciro Gomes, politician and former governor of Ceará; Luciano Coutinho, former president of BNDES; and Vilma da Conceição Pinto, Economist and Director of the Independent Fiscal Institution of the Federal Senate. The panelists addressed the topic of fiscal policies in Brazil and their importance in reducing social inequality.
3rd Panel: End of the militias: is demilitarizing the police the way? Maurício Moura, CEO of IDEIA Institute, was one of the panelists on the theme about militias. This panel also included Martha Rocha, State Representative for PDT-RJ; Jurema Werneck, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Brazil; and Bruno Paes Manso, Journalist, Researcher at the Center for the Study of Violence at the University of São Paulo and author of the book República das Milícias. The debate was about the existence of paramilitary groups within the police forces and how this relationship manifests itself in issues such as police violence, corruption, abuse of power, and lack of state control.
4th Panel: Health, quality of life and fighting the pandemic: how should Brazil prepare? This panel included João Doria, former mayor of the city of São Paulo and governor of the state of São Paulo; José Gomes Temporão, physician, professor, and researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation; and Romina Genovesi, project leader at Delivery Associates. The discussion was about government strategies and plans for containing public health crises and fighting the pandemic.
5th Panel: Where life happens: cities as inducers of development and innovation. With the presence of Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, and Andreza Aruska, director of the Latin American Center of Oxford University, the main theme was about decision-making at the municipal level that directly impacts the lives of the population. Ideas were presented on how to capture resources and promote effective governance capable of accelerating change at the local level.
6th Panel: Tomorrow will be bigger? The new challenges of Brazilian politics in 2023. As guests, the panel included Rodrigo Maia, former president of the Chamber of Deputies; Renata Souza, state deputy PSOL-RJ; Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, professor in the Department of Political and Social Science at the University of Bath; and Eliziane Gama, senator for Citizenship-MA. The speakers brought the discourse on political renewal in Brazil and the different issues to be prioritized given the new demands of Brazilian society. They also brought important reflections about the country's electoral scenario in 2022.
7th Panel: The Northeast in the construction of Brazil's climate transition. The speakers were Jean Paul Prates, senator, lawyer, economist, environmental entrepreneur and union leader; Everaldo Feitosa, president of Eólica Tecnologia Ltda.; and Camila Ramos, general director and founder of CELA - Clean Energy Latin America. The main objective of the panel was to understand the chance of regional development presented to the Northeast as a source of renewable energy for Brazil and its difficulties in implementation and sustainable growth.
8th Panel: Amazonia: building an economy for the forest and for the people. The panel focused on environmental issues invited Francisco Piyãko, a leader of the Ashaninka people (Acre), pre-candidate for Federal Deputy (PSD) and former advisor to the Presidency of Funai; Maria Farias, Amazonian, works with traditional communities and sustainable economy; Miguel Moraes, director of Conservation International in Brazil; and Txai Suruí, activist of the Paiter Suruí people and coordinator of the Indigenous Youth Movement of Rondonia. In this panel, the guests talked about the preservation of the Amazon forest and the use of natural resources for national socioeconomic development.
9th Panel: Brazil seen from the outside: what is Brazil's place in the world? The event's closing panel included Ngaire Woods, dean and founder of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, and Miguel Angel Santos, guest professor at LSE and adjunct professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Both spoke about the vision of Brazil and national politics in the international scenario and the possible threats to the Brazilian democratic process.
Overall, the event contributed significantly to the continuity of debates relevant to Brazil's political and social context. With students coming from several internationally recognized universities, the exchange of conversations, debates and knowledge adds even more to the professional and personal curriculum of those who were present or attended the event.
This kind of project is important for the debate about Brazilian politics to be present not only in the national but also in the international context. At this particular moment, a few months away from the presidential elections in Brazil, it is becoming increasingly important to debate issues related to democracy building, environmental policies, and public policies in the national scenario.
The contact with politicians, specialists, and opinion makers is also extremely relevant. Firstly, because there is an exchange of knowledge that is indispensable for those who are still in the academic environment. Secondly, because it will be the young people of today who will build new policies and a new vision of the political, economic and social scenario in the future.
This is why the exchange of knowledge, ideas and speeches between people who already hold professional positions and young people who have just entered this environment is so important. It is with this type of project that political themes can be covered in a more consistent and accessible way to everyone.
All lectures were broadcast live on Brazil Forum UK's Youtube platform, to watch the debates, click here.
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