General Topics Friendship, Solidarity, Cooperation: friendship between people, organizations and nations. Large supranational bodies. Friendship and coexistence in a pluralistic society: culture, identity and tolerance. The relationship between truth and opinion. Strength of opinions; value of personal, moral or psychological judgments vs. scientific judgments. The relationship between friendship and justice, friendship and charity. Covenant or clash of civilizations? Cultural, ethical and geopolitical challenges between the West and Muslim countries, Asian countries and Russia. The Eurasian pivot. Assessing the Arab Spring. The role of Empire in politics and history. Fostering concord and peace as social goods versus clash of civilization, war on terror, or a new cold war. Solidarity as a social dimension of friendship: the personal social responsibility for solving problems that affect coexistence. Voluntary associations as an exercise of solidarity and personal social responsibility. Reflection on the friendship in Greek and Roman authors: From Plato and Aristotle to Cicero and Seneca. "The happy man needs friends" (Aristotle): friendship as a condition for a successful life. The friend as another self in the biblical tradition and the classical tradition. Philosophical foundation of friendship. "It is for the friend doing good" (Aristotle): ethics, friendship and human relationships. Friendship and cultural exchange: conversation and friendship as a field of collaboration and cultural exchange. Thomas More, "born for friendship" (Erasmus): examples of lasting friendships over time and space. Artistic movements that grow out of friendship and teamwork. Friendships and enmities in literary history and contemporary thought: Lewis and Tolkien, Eliot and Pound, Melville and Hawthorne, Hemingway and Dos Passos, Bernanos and Weil. Great literary and artistic generations. Friendship as part of the original idea of the university: is a "universitas magistrorum et scholarium" possible in the current university model? Great university traditions: the medieval university, Salamanca and Alcala, the Anglo-Saxon campus, the liberal arts campus. This world dominated by technology or "conquest of nature" (CS Lewis). The dominion over nature as the Enlightenment project and the modern critique of technology. Self-knowledge and knowledge of others. The limits of self-knowledge in the world of images. Can we judge others better than ourselves and their actions better than our actions? (Aristotle). The human being as a self-conscious. The origin of consciousness in humans. Self-consciousness, the meaning of developments in genetics or in our collective knowledge of the human spirit? Christianity as a meeting place in the global village: caritas, friendship, solidarity. "I have called you friends" (Jn 15, 15): friendship with God and its aspects. Science and Medicine Teamwork and the technological revolution in large research teams. CERN: a model for investigative cooperation. Research and poverty eradication: combating tropical diseases. The doctor-patient relationship. The terminal patient: coping with the disease. The family, the doctor and the terminal patient. Organ and blood donors: technical and anthropological aspects of being a donor. The debate about living donor and its conditions. Growing from an adolescent to an adult. The influence of drugs and insomnia in the integral development of the person. The relationship between the mind and brain. Recovering the concept of the immateriality of the soul. The rise of mental illness: the devastating burden of patients that suffer from a losing their connection with reality. Pain as a medical reality. Pain therapy and the meaning of life. Providing information to the terminally ill. Palliative care as part of comprehensive health care planning. Training doctors. Is it possible to recover the meaning of medicine as both an art and a science? Quality of life, should be adjusted to the circumstances in relation to the deepest reality of each person? The problems of achieving happiness through medication. Death, pain and aging as part of human life. Scientific truth and disclosure. False myths in medicine: how they are created and how they are detected. Devices meant to serve families. Family video games, karaoke, specific software, etc, as a means of family integration: Wii or Kinect as a family activity. Virtual Reality, a service of technology to our prima facia knowledge (systems that show synthetic images on real images). Using augmented reality in sports broadcasting systems, military and humanitarian aid. Support to surgical, architectural, tasks, etc. Virtual reality: flight simulators, vehicle; army, surgery, special effects for films, new interfaces for games. The cost of simulating reality. Telepresence. The example of decommissioning nuclear power plants (Fukushima). Surgical Teleoperation: Da Vinci system. Technological advances that improve communication and relationships between people. Are there criteria for the use of social networks in the family? Mobile Phones and family sociability. Family GPS, Smart Entertainment: point location for recreation and rest (nature, culture and tourism adapted to the user). Funding of basic science. Criteria for allocating resources for research grants. The balance between basic and applied research: a delicate balance. Physical theories that contrast with reality. Possible criteria of scientific validity in research. Superstring theory: an interpretation of physical reality or a mathematical construct? Different levels of scientific theories and their interrelation. The scientific method, knowledge of reality, and its limits. The role of theory in the design and interpretation of scientific experiments. Respect for moral standards in scientific research as an obstacle to the development or a gesture towards realism. Ideological prejudices in contemporary science. Science that leads us towards or away from God and others. The philosophical assumptions of science. The beginning of human life. Balance of technology and research removed from ethics. Maternal - filial communication in pregnancy. Communications The impact of social networks on the possibility of friendship. The benefits and difficulties that they present. Cyber bullying, Grooming, etc. Being media "swamped" in an information society. How do we present the news and what will be the future of online media? Change, agenda setting? The "avalanche” of information and the need to find reliable sources. Quantity and quality of information. The challenge of learning and the cultivation of memory in digital environments. The importance of logic in relationship to rhetoric. The friendship between logic and the media. Knowledge, news and distractions. The permanent connection as a threat to productivity and efficiency. Addiction and excesses in consumption: escape from reality. Escapism and "absolutism of entertainment". Speak or send messages. Friendships on the web: between friendship on- line and off -line friendship. Virtual life and real life: identity, anonymity and narcissism. Profiles in social networks, is it possible to think of an ethics of visibility, image and identity? Brands that are trendsetters in social networks. The B2B and B2C communication. Creating a revolution towards kindness in the age of "hackers," "trolls" and "spam." The difficult art of listening in the era of direct messages. The constant flow of novelties as they relate to productivity and efficiency? The problem of immediacy and the desire for the "scoop". Speed of information, rumours and reputation. Justice in social communication. The advantages of speed of information on natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Returning to reality: "disconnect to connect". Leisure, work, family life, friendship and digital platforms. "Citizen Journalism" vs "professional journalism". Is information more superficial or less conditioned by material interests? Social networking and digital media at the service of the new evangelization: ideas, initiatives, projects. Social media and the soul. Communicating in 140 characters. How does this means of communicating fit with the practices that are part of the virtue of friendship? Do social networks only change our form of expression or also the way we think? The generation of the self: the culture of image creation and the vice of vanity. Protecting personal identity on the web. Economics, law, politics Open parliaments. Ciber-democracy, e-policy, e -government. Networking technology, politics and democracy. Politics 2.0 (E-Politics) politicians on the web and active citizenship. Horizontality and weakening of hierarchies. Emergence and power of citizen movements in social networks. Uses and abuses. Has anything really changed? Friendship and entrepreneurship. The balance between trust and justice when starting and running a business. Friendship in government organizations. Hierarchical relationships between friends. Regulating solidarity. Legislation on national and international NGOs. Regulating donations. Fiscal incentives towards gratuity. Patronage. "Crowfunding." Solidarity between countries. Cooperation towards development and the principle of subsidiarity. The "vocation" to development. International relations. “Friendship" between countries: alliances, interests, principles. Privacy in social networks. Custody and control of friendships and relationships of minorities. Coexistence and pluralism in democratic societies. The limits of freedom. Conscientious objection. Conditions of war and peace. Richness of diversity. Politics of affirmative action. Friendship and marketing. Advertising Strategies in the "Social Media". Regulating university studies. Coexistence between students and teachers. Residence halls. The dilemma between quantitative economics and social economics: mathematical and humanistic science or social science. An uneasy relationship: neoclassical versus Keynesian economics, where does reality lay? The role of government in solving the financial crisis: national states and the challenge of globalization. The economic crisis as a crisis of values. The market regulation after the financial crisis What are the solutions to unemployment? How does capitalist materialism exacerbate the problem of unemployment? Should all people expect to work? Should people find themselves at the mercy of the international monetary system and its creators or under the law of a bureaucratic welfare regime? Who should make the necessary “sacrifices,” if any, in order to promote development in the third world? Is a society in which the business sector exercises the most political power the kind of society that will best facilitate a spirit of solidarity between the rich, the poor, and the middle class? What kind of economic structures are most conducive to war? To concord? To Peace? Social networking and communication within companies: the effects of the Internet on friendship in the workplace. The reality of the European Union: is it an economic union or a political community? Tradition and reality: a Christian Europe. What are the possibilities of friendship between nations in Europe should we see a rise in nationalism (France, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, etc.)? What are human rights? Do they play a role in fostering concord, peace and friendship between people or discord and war? What are the uses and abuses of human rights discourse? What happens when rights are combined with an inflationary rhetoric? What happens when rights become too detached from human nature? Returning to the natural law: the fall to relativism after the failure of positivist forms of rights and law. The limits of legal interpretation. Is there a way to harmonize rights as developed within the framework of natural law philosophy with those rights developed under various forms of modern philosophy? Democracy and relativism: visions found in the contemporary debate. Does pluralism by its nature descend into relativism and tyranny? The reception of the Ratzinger - Habermas dialogue. Responsibility and the Internet: The abstract definition of freedom of expression and journalism without ethical boundaries. What is the purpose of the media and journalism, is it to get to the truth for the sake of promoting the common good, or simply not to lie? Is the media a source for building friendship or building more confusion and discord in society? Disclosure of secrets and common good: "full transparency" as the main criterion of the media. Can the media lie or manipulate the telling of the news in the interest of promoting nationalism or war? Is it truly possible for the media today to establish independence from the interest of government and business that pays their bills and provides them the mechanisms for delivering their products? "Biolaw" and "Taboo": closing our eyes to reality. Environment and Law: nature as limit to industry. Contemporary transformations of the legal concept of family: an escape from reality? Not quite equal or different? The principle of equality and the nature of things. Poverty, Development and Law: Caritas in Veritate and its legal and political applications. Capitalism, communitarianism, liberalism debates between the major economic traditions. Where does friendship fit, if at all, in these various forms of political economy? Art and Architecture Spaces for living, are they conducive or not to the habits, such as neighbourliness, that create the conditions for friendship or not? Spaces that isolate or bring people together, to what degree, if at all, do artistic and architectural works enhance, break down, or prevent social relationships. Influence of the economic crisis in architecture. The crisis as an opportunity for a new model of architecture. Is community architecture possible in the context of crisis? In what way it may affect new projects? The work of art as an autonomous object constructed outside the real environment, is it possible to decouple the work of its community of interpretation? Real space and virtual space. Control of technology, attention to concrete reality. Is it possible to develop and implement architecture of human scale? Sustainable architecture: technology and science to the rhythm of nature. Recovering the human scale of the city. Back to the value of human use. Dilemmas in designing: architecture as business - architecture and service; architecture to impress - architecture to live. Models and examples of contemporary architecture. Reality and fantasy in the creative and constructive process: compliance with standards . Abandonment of modern utopias: technological utopia. City: habitat diversity and complexity. How can our cities to be more human, more conducive to building friendships? The planning regulations and living in cities. Evolution of the dwelling unit. The art of creating useful spaces for the use and satisfaction of man. The debate on the universality of contemporary artistic experience: is art simply something that is created by an artist? The large collective buildings: from medieval cathedrals to contemporary urban projects. Collective Housing . The great architectural studios and the figure of the exemplary architect. The communicability of musical experience. How the different kinds of music can lead to the order that enables friendship or a revolutionary society that cuts off the possibility of genuine friendship. Emergency Architecture: Shigeru Ban. Can artistic creativity can contribute something positive in the aftermath of natural disasters? Is humanitarian architecture appealing to architects? The recovery of the aesthetic element in art: the perception of shape and colour as aesthetic elements to communication and relationships between humans. The notion of artistic originality: Does the one who sees art appreciate more an art that comes from a personal style? Should artists be paid by individuals or from a common fund? What is the role of the artist in society, to break down models of friendship or to show their possibilities, their beauty? Redesigning the way we do things. Nature as a model for creating art. Knowing the artist: Gaudí as seen by Etsuro Sotoo. Is the relationship between the art and the artist a kind of friendship? How does contact with art change our lives and our relationships with others?