Akil Awan recently attended the Baku IV International Humanitarian Forum in Azerbaijan, as part of the delegation from the UK. The forum, now in its 4th year, was initiated in 2010 as an alternative to the Davos Economic Forum, but whose focus was primarily on holding dialogues, discussions and exchanges of views on a wide range of global issues in the furtherance of a new humanitarian agenda.
The forum opened with addresses from various current and former world leaders including, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme.
The second day convened a small number of roundtables, focussed on particular areas of concern. Akil was invited to address the roundtable convened on: 'Challenges of Globalization: Between Tradition and Transformation’, in which he tackled the topic of 'Globalization, New Media and Cultural Identity: Between Hegemony and Pastiche', focusing on the contentious issue of globalization’s capacity to change cultural identity, and the role new media can play in these transitions.