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With an extensive program of discussions, workshops, lectures, and film presentations, Elevate Festival 2009 wishes to foster a better understanding of serious world crises (in the areas of climate and energy, natural resources, nutrition, economy, politics and media) that are currently posing significant challenges to humanity. At this juncture, the focus lies on examinations of alternative perspectives and analyses diverging from inadequate explanatory models, which are frequently distorted by political interests and dominated by mainstream media and public discourse.

Climate change is irreversible!

All serious climate scientists have warned us by now of the drastic results of climate change. According to current data, we have merely 10-15 years or less to prevent the worst from happening. It now lays on each and every one of us to become aware of the severity of the situation, and to be responsible for taking on the urgent, necessary, and comprehensive reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. To guarantee this happens, we must promptly change our habits of consumption, and hold politicians responsible by putting pressure on them to establish the required frameworks and regulation mechanisms necessary to our goal.

Politics and economics threaten the social peace

As a result of some of the largest redistribution actions we?ve seen over the last decade (gigantic bank and industry subsidies at the cost of tax payers, plus sweeping economic stimulus packages), politicians have increasingly lost their credibility. The majority of governmental bodies seem only to want a return to neo-liberal agendas: even the moderate actions discussed by them turned out to be nothing more than lip service.

A recovery of economic activity is not a sure thing; much more likely is a further intensification of crises. Budget deficits and national debts are clearly on the rise, the gap between rich and poor is growing daily, and social tension and violence are accumulating on all levels. Right and radical right wing parties understand best how to profit from such a situation. We can deduce where all this will lead by taking a good look back to the development of the 1930`s. 

A paradigm shift is necessary

A paradigm shift becomes ever more of an imperative necessity in the midst of this historic situation. We must return to sustainable substinence strategies as well as to a democratic society, to politics that function in the interest of the people, media that use essential information, education, and control functions, as well as to an efficient social system that affords all people an existence worthy of living.

Before this backdrop stands, above all, a focus on discussions and film programs that engage groundbreaking alternatives, innovative projects, and various intiatives in the realm of civil society, social movements, and dedicated activism - choosing not to lose courage in the face our situation`s difficulty but rather to fight for the implementation of a society worth living in.