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null Nurturing Spaces of Ethical Conversation: The Academy Blue Table Webinar Series 2022


What It Means To Be Human – This year’s generic topic for the Academy Blue Table webinar series represents a complex field in the humanities. However, Academy understands this webinar series as a fascinating journey bringing people from all walks of life – students, experts and a wider interested audience from different regions of the world – together to reflect on a theme of general interest and of ethical relevance over an extended period of time.

The Academy team conceptualised the series last year and started with the first Blue Table webinar in March 2021. Since then the Blue Table webinars have become the Academy’s signature event. The idea is not to arrive at definite conclusions nor to provide ready-made answers to contemporary challenges, but more so to nurture ethical conversations and to provide a conducive space for conducting them.

The Blue Table webinars follow a framework of open dialogue with habitually two conversation partners engaging on one of the selected sub-themes. This year the series focuses on six guiding verbs, which contour the main topic of What It Means to Be Human: Remembering, thinking, working, eating, inventing and loving. The conversations are often thought-provoking and invite the audience to engage in a reflection process ‘against the grain.’ Dr Franklyne E. Ogbunwezeh of Christian Solidarity International, for example, who focuses in his work on the prevention of genocides in Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted how remembering plays a central role in humans’ ethical reasoning. Memory, as per his poignant intervention, not only captures past events, but shapes the way present situations are analysed and responsibility is developed vis-à-vis nation-building, the strengthening of democratic societies and the protection of human rights, to cite a few examples.

The Academy team is keen on perpetuating the positive experience of the Blue Table Webinar series in the second semester, as of 28 September 2022, as a space for a continuous intercultural exchange on ethics. Conversations all humans need to escape the danger of inward-orientation and self-referential behaviour. We are human because we see ourselves mirrored in the difference of the other and find meaning beyond our personal interest, in caring for the common good of all and the earth. Join us in the Blue Table webinars and be part of these enriching conversations.

Amélé Adamavi-Aho Ekué
Academic Dean