LUMS Student Discusses Democracy and Fake News at International Conference

Monday, November 18, 2019

LUMS students continue to make their mark internationally. The latest addition is Muhammad Sarim Raza, a senior at the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) at LUMS, who was selected as a youth leader to participate in the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, France from November 4-8, 2019. Organised by the Council of Europe, the conference provided a unique platform for political decision makers and activists to debate solutions to key challenges for democracies worldwide. This year’s topic was fake news, and how data is affecting democratic processes.

In order to strengthen the foundations of democratic societies, the Forum highlighted and encouraged democracy innovation at the grassroots and their transfer on a systemic level. The thrust was on the evolution of democracy towards more participatory and inclusive structures and institutions. Delegates underwent two days of intense training at the European Youth Centre prior to the forum, where they were taught emotional intelligence, critical thinking and how to articulate their thoughts in a more organised way.

Mr. Raza was selected as one of 60 delegates, out of a pool of 900 applicants. He had the additional distinction of being the only individual selected from Pakistan to join this prestigious Forum. Talking about the importance of participating in such events, he said, “I believe in the human capacity for communication in order to sort out our differences. For that reason, I believe that democracy is the only pillar that can support communication between a diverse group of people. I too want to play a role in safeguarding the principles on which a good democracy is run.”

As president of the LUMS Entrepreneurial Society, Mr. Raza felt his experience at the University prepared him to significantly contribute at the conference. “The holistic educational experience at LUMS enables you to learn so much about the world. Also, LUMS is one of the few universities which allows you to discuss political matters in a non-political way, which I feel has made all the difference.”