The Spirit of Democracy Weekend

1-3 October 2021

The Spirit of Democracy Weekend

1-3 October 2021

The Spirit of Democracy Weekend

In ancient times, the Chinese philosopher Confucius clearly implied that spirituality was intrinsic to effective governance: “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

Today, many thinkers around the world have asserted the need for more philosophy and reflection in democracy. Exploring the Eastern and Western approaches to achieving a nobility of spirit — and embracing the differences and commonalities of various cultures — has the capacity to inform, refresh and even help heal democracy.

In Costa Navarino from October 1-3, we will be joined -in person or virtually- by inspiring and innovative thinkers -including artist Ai Weiwei, historian Bettany Hughes, authors Elif Shafak and Maria Ressa, and Irina Bokova (Former Director-General, UNESCO) who will lead us through a series of debates and discussions on the intersection of these two powerful forces. By revisiting the ancients, we can build resilience from within to create more resilient democracies.

Participants can also take advantage of the unparalleled setting and Costa Navarino’s offerings for yoga, philosophy walks and cultural events.


The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort

Set amid lush olive groves overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Ionian Sea, The Romanos, Luxury Collection Resort offers luxury rooms, suites and villas and it has been Voted among the Best Resorts in Europe in Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.

Book readings and discussions

Book reading with the author Elif Shafak, “How to Stay Sane in An Age of Division” and virtual discussion with artist Ai Weiwei, based on his book “Human Flow: Stories from the Refugee Crisis”.

Socrates-Confucius dialogue and conversation with Irina Bokova

Socrates-Confucius dialogue of Bettany Hughes & Maria Ressa moderated by Serge Schmemann, Member of New York Times Editorial Board, and conversation with Irina Bokova (Former Director-General, UNESCO) on how ancient ideas and values are relevant in today's world.

Philosophy Walk

Discuss about ancient Greek philosophers and their views on Democracy and Spirituality. Led by Dr. Eleni Volonaki, Professor of Philosophy, the discussion takes place during a leisurely walk in the idyllic Messinian countryside, amidst centuries-old olive trees.

Complimentary Experience
Maximum number of participants: 20

Yoga Sessions

Relax and stretch with yoga, focusing on physical health and mental wellbeing next to the soothing sounds and magical aura of Costa Navarino.

Complimentary Experience
Minimum number of participants: 3
Maximum number of participants: 15