The First Economic Congress was held in Izmir about a hundred years ago, laying out the economic structure of modern Turkey before the Republic of Turkey was founded. The Congress also inspired the economic outlook and policies of different countries that were trying to find a way ahead amidst the ruins of the First World War.
Turkey has once again reached a turning point, a new economic policy, strategy, and action plan should be refashioned. Moreover, the global climate emergency, democracy crisis, and pandemic require the redefinition of several economic paradigms. Perhaps humanity has come to a point, we need to be brave enough to fundamentally change the definition of economics.
In light of the changing circumstances, renewing our understanding of economics is crucial. This is why Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, in collaboration with Izmir Planning Agency, is organizing the Congress for Future’s Economy.
The First Economic Congress gathered the main actors of the Turkish economy. Representatives of four sectoral groups were invited to the congress: Farmers, workers, industrialists, and traders.
A hundred years later, Congress for Future’s Economy will be held in a manner that is compatible with the essence of the first congress and also includes a series of methodological innovations.
Congress for Future’s Economy consists of three phases.
1.1. Phase One – Sectoral Meetings (August-December 2022)
The Congress preparations commenced with the meetings of three sectoral groups -farmers, workers and industrialists, traders, artisans. The representatives of these three groups pursued the method of the first congress.
Between August and December 2022, representatives of three sectoral groups -workers, farmers and industrialists, traders, artisans- gathered separately and carried out extensive discussions on how they perceive the economy and formulated their proposals on specific issues. At the end of sectoral meetings, each group prepared its declaration and shared it with the public.
1.2. Phase Two – Expert Meetings (January- February 2023)
During the second phase, these three sectoral declarations will be presented to four expert groups. Expert groups will address the principles and decisions that three declarations include with respect to four tenets of “circular culture” framework: Harmony with each Other, Harmony with Nature, Harmony with the Past, and Harmony with Change.
The first meeting, “Embracing Each Other,” covers the issues of harmony with each other, namely democracy and human rights. In this meeting, the experts are going to delineate the role of these declarations in building a social life based on tolerance and consensus rather than divisive identity politics and culture wars.
The relationship between economy and ecology will be discussed in the second expert meeting, “Rejoining Nature.” The experts invited are expected to discuss three declarations with respect to the far-reaching impact of climate crisis and ecological destruction.
“Perceiving History” is going to be the third expert meeting. Here, the experts are going to dwell on how past experiences might enable the prospects offered in these three declarations.
In the final meeting, "Shaping Future,” the experts will consider the impact of technology and innovation on the economy. In this meeting, the experts are going to examine three declarations with respect to various issues such as digitalization, artificial intelligence and big data that are going to shape the world economy in the near future.
These meetings will bring together experts, academics, thinkers, artists, civil society leaders, politicians, and representatives from the private sector working on these issues in Turkey and worldwide.
1.3. Phase Three – Congress for Future’s Economy (2023)
Congress for Future’s Economy will take place with the participation of the sectoral representatives of three groups along with the experts invited in the second phase. At the end, they are going to outline the economic policies of the second century of the Republic of Turkey.
Preparations for the Congress for Future's Economy are supervised by the High Advisory Board, which consists of renowned academics, experts, politicians and private sector representatives of Turkey. High Advisory Board will also draft the program and final manifesto of the Congress. We hope that the final manifesto of the Congress plays a historical role in determining the economic policies of Turkey’s second century.
Based on the outcomes of the sectoral and expert group meetings, the High Advisory Board will draft the program and final manifesto of the Congress. We hope that the final manifesto of the Congress plays a historical role in determining the economic policies of Turkey’s second century.
Alongside the delegate meetings and keynote speeches, nine public forums will happen before and during the main congress. Aimed at increasing public participation, these forums are going to gather experts, artists, civil society leaders, politicians, and representatives of the private sector on specific themes.
The themes of public forums will be as follows: Women, Art Economics, Informal Economy, Education, International Investments, Employment Policies, Youth, Circular Culture and Migration. Each forum is going to have a specific partner other than İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.