17th-18th February. Hostile Words: for a Network made of Responsible People

Communication connects people and creates communities. However, at the same time, communication can also become an instrument capable to separate and bring people apart. This distinction is substantial and it depends on the use that each one of us chooses for the instrument: words. Hatred does not dwell in words themselves, but in the way we combine them. It dwells in our most intimate intentions.

Every time we can choose, we are confronted with responsibility. This is a concept strictly connected to freedom. Evaluating the relationship between responsibility and freedom is an essential matter for civilization. In fact, whenever we recall the concept of evolution, we are actually considering only the technological progress, as in the case of social media, whereas we should rather think about the human progress. Therefore, our question should be: is our civilization complete, fulfilled and mature as much as our degree of technological development?

Habermas’s theory of an ethics of the speech conceived an ideal situation where all the speakers involved were democratically equal and where the universally shared rules and values controlled the risks of a limitless and chaotic freedom. Unfortunately, Bauman verified the failure of social interaction, due to this unlimited individual freedom.

The presence of an audience on this occasion is the allegory of a dinner invitation, where the table has been laid with your email requests. The subject matter hostile words will be debated here in Trieste: the ideal city for this purpose, because it welcomes us with its silence, which is capable of words.

Many voices will speak and introduce the theme, expressing a point of view, which is both a shared contribution and a perspective excluding other perspectives. Communication is strongly influenced by its context: it is first of all a reality decoded by all the people in a precise context, here and now. Therefore, each context needs its form and style of communication, which belongs to the speakers. Alberto Fedel tells us his experience of a managerial context. We can learn how communication follows strict hierarchies with an order, a priority and a direction. Hierarchies are in opposition to the working principles of the network, where all junctions are equivalent and interconnected in a stream.

We will also be taught how non-hostile communication is a matter of common sense and education which accompanies the process of civilization, allowing both a personal and a shared growth. Serena Tonel, Councillor for Communication, representing the Mayor of Trieste, and Debora Serracchiani, President of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, will explain this viewpoint.

The Activities

Finally, the Manifesto of non-hostile communication will be presented as a result of our reflections and votes on social-networks. Fedel will inform us of the risk that the principles of value may be like words without a music. Gianni Morandi will tell us his social experience. This and much more will be said to affirm the responsibility in network communication.

Ten rules and principles why, according to Laura Boldrini, President of the Italian Congress, we should not surrender ourselves to a hostile communication. As opposite, we should practise a cultural operation that does not react to hate with yet more hate. A hatred expressed against public personalities, against women and also in the political contest. A hatred also expressed by the fake news. The moment has come for the social network to be responsible, because the network is made up of people: the offline world is not different from the one online. This is today’s new consciousness.

The Manifesto declares the aims of the event and is the initial step for the agenda activities of the next day: the audience will be involved into and will participate actively in nine workshops. The themes to be debated during the open forum will concern the social media and the various expressions of writing; journalism and mass media; travel, sports and entertainment; politics and law; business and advertising; in the name of God; young people and digital media; hoax and algorithms; children and social media.

How to be Responsible: Our Contribution to Civilization

Responsibility, respect and harmony among people: we believe in this. Sustainable thinking perfectly and harmoniously combines with the values that this event – Hostile Words – expresses and supports. These unique values allow mankind to be made of persons and to create communities: in other words, these principles contribute to the evolution of civilization. Because under no circumstances, online or offline, people should cease to be persons and consider all the others as persons. We truly believe sustainability involves a humanistic vision of mankind, which is only then completely realized when it assesses the awareness of the equality between persons. Only by this assumption it is possible to contribute to elevate wellbeing to a commonly shared value: which is what we try to put in practice every day.

Our presence at Hostile Words implies our agreement and support to the genuine principles of our ethical and sustainable human vision. The only sustainable one.

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