Studying in Serbia

“The educational system in my country is deficient on a tragically high level.”

Isidora Civric
23 October 2016

I come from Serbia. It is interesting how I can connect to the theme: the problem of this year's forum. I'll point out that these could be the community and country that I am coming from, Balkan Serbia. I also tie problem directly to myself. I am a woman from the Balkans. I am a woman who is studying philosophy. I am a woman who lives alone with two male friends. I am a woman who travels the world alone. I am also a person who openly supported the Pride parade and is not ashamed to state their political or any other views.

Flickr/Christel Øverland Preteni. Some rights reserved.

Flickr/Christel Øverland Preteni. Some rights reserved.I'll tell you, the educational system in my country is deficient on a tragically high level. I can say that my formal education did not have any touch-points to democratic policies which are not only appreciated but also lived every single day.

Would I be at all applying for this forum now?

And the question is, if there was not for my family, which treats equality and liberties as imperative, if there was no flow of formal education which was available to me, whether I would be at all applying for this forum now. 

openDemocracy will be at this year's World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between education and democracy with a citizens’ newsroom. Register here.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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