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Participants of the Leadership Academy invited Calum T. M. Nicolson, visiting fellow of Mathias Corvinus Collegium and Danube Institute for an interactive seminar in the topic of societal changes through social media.

There was a need for understanding better, going beyond the mainstream discussion and listen to a great mind in terms of how the algorithms influence our behaviour, how society as a whole copes with turbulent changes and how we as individuals can be more conscious about our media consumption.

To engage with the provided problem taking into consideration personal interests, previously to the seminar, participants discussed together what aspects of the problem they would prefer to elaborate on.

The most popular questions were about whose responsibility is the regulation and policy making for social media, the polarisation effect and radicalisation, the impact on art and culture and vice versa, politics and social media and fake news. The preferences were communicated towards Calum and he prepared for the seminar accordingly. This way the discussion was fully interactive and everyone could find his or her own learning point.

The key takeaways of the problem according to Calum, was that by constantly being stuck to our social media feed and letting ourselves being influenced by the algorithms we do not connect with each other anymore. Our relationships are weakening, the society gets thinner and in times of changes, when a society is weak, people get more susceptible to ideas. As the Tsunami only destroys on te shallow waters and the coast, so do dangerous ideas in weak societies. To maintain stability and keep our society strong, we have to put relations before narrations, connect with each other and be good listeners. Go deeper than some unnecessary comment wars on our Facebook feed and understand, that we are no longer the customers of social media companies, we – and our data - are the products for them.