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Re-Imagine Europa Forum 2022

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Start date: 23/05/2022
End date: 25/05/2022
Where: Brussels

Emotions, Narratives and the Future of Europe


The effects of the events of the last two years will take time to be fully understood.
Something that is made more complex in Europe where war has become a reality again. With the European elections on the horizon, it is ever more important to understand how this has impacted the lives and minds of people. In a time of increasing uncertainty, Europe needs to show citizens that it is part of the solution.

An increasingly influential stream of research demonstrates the integration of cognition and emotion in political decision-making. Political cognition is emotionally shaped. The role of narratives in shaping people’s minds has become an important area of research and debate, in particular in recent years when entire societies have made choices that seem “rationally” counterintuitive.

As debates around vaccines, war, inequality, and climate change become increasingly emotional, policy-makers and scientists alike have had to accept that in the battle for the hearts and minds of human beings, narratives will consistently outperform data in their ability to influence human thinking and motivate human action.

With a polarising society and highly-charged emotional debates on the table ahead of the upcoming European election, it is ever more important to look at what can we learn from recent research in psychology, neuroscience, economics, sociology and behavioural science about how the minds work and how they are shaped.

We are convening our closest partners and advisors in Brussels from the 23rd to the 25th of May, 2022 to explore these themes and build new solutions that will help develop the programme of Re-Imagine Europa for the coming years, guided by the insights of Professor Antonio Damasio, the world-renowned neuroscientist whose contributions have helped us unravel the mysteries of the brain and emotions, and Professor Manuel Castells, leading scholar on globalization, network society, and internet studies.

You can find details about the different sessions in the attached event agenda.



Manuel Castells Portrait
Manuel Castells
Professor of Sociology and former Spanish Minister of Universities
Antonio Damasio Portrait
Antonio Damasio
Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California
Etienne Davignon Portrait
Etienne Davignon
President of Friends of Europe and former Vice-President of the European Commission
Maria João Rodrigues Portrait
Maria João Rodrigues
President of the European Foundation of Progressive Studies, former Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the S&D Group (2014-19)
Erika Widegren Portrait
Erika Widegren
Chief Executive of Re-Imagine Europa



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