With more than 415 speakers, more than 13 040 attendees from more than 105 countries, the Estoril Conferences were always driven by the willingness to being an educational project and a pedagogical tool to create impact in the society.

Believing in the extraordinary role of people to change the course of history, the Estoril Conferences were an instrument of action to allow people to change the world.  

The previous editions of the Estoril Conferences were turning around one main overall theme being “Global Challenges, Local Answers”.

For each edition, from 2009 to 2019, the main theme was taking shape through precise topics and elements of discussion such as: globalisation, migration, human security, human rights, the economic and financial crisis, democracy, global justice, and many more! 

Since 2009, Estoril Conferences has been the international stage for the past six successful editions. Several Nobel prize winners, Heads of State and high-level leaders have traveled to Portugal, for an open and impactful dialogue on global challenges.


Empowering Humanity: From Local to Global Justice

The XX century was filled with tragic events, but it also gave humanity the opportunity to rebuild its dignity from the ashes. In a world where information circulates at the speed of light, local problems have become global. And with a continuous flow of ideas connecting people all over the world, it is now inconceivable for a nation to project its future in isolation. More than focusing on the relationship between States, a global approach to justice must largely focus on individuals – not only their inalienable rights but also their binding duties towards one another. Our purpose will be to unveil what lies at the core of human interactions of any kind, including state-level obligations, within countries and beyond borders.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Estoril Conferences, the 2019 edition yearns to synthesize and bridge the dominant challenges posed by globalization in the last decade, revisiting the way we have approached them through the years. Thus, the Estoril Conferences promoted the dialogue between theory and praxis, ethics and politics, past and future, seniors and youngsters.

Aminata Touré

Prime Minister of Senegal 2013-2014


Co-Founder of Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde & 1999 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Catarina de Albuquerque

Lawyer and Human rights activist


Denis Mukwege

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Edmund Phelps

2006 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics

Garrett McNamara

Professional Surfer & Environmental Activist

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

President of the Republic of Croatia & Member of the International Advisory Board for the Estoril Conferences 2019

Sergio Moro

Former Minister of Justice and Public Security of Brazil


Global Migration – Leaving home in a globalized world

The fifth edition of the Estoril Conferences happened between May 29 and May 31, 2017, and was exclusively dedicated to the theme of Global Migration.

People migrate. From our predecessor Homo Erectus, who moved out of Africa across Europe more than a million years ago, followed by the known expansions of Homo Sapiens, to the more recent example of States that have virtually been built upon immigration, humans have always been on the move. Yet, migration is often perceived as a threat or unique burden with which polities are faced.

Two major topics were addressed: firstly, the question of migration as a challenge per se. The goal was to reflect upon migration outside a crisis conjuncture – what challenges does regular migration bring to the world and to the States?

Secondly, we addressed challenges that are brought by a scenario of migration crises, as the refugees’ crisis of 2015 – and that place higher demands not only on transit and host countries but also on the global level.

Arie Kacowicz

Professor Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Intelligence contractor; Systems Administrator; activist


Author, student

Jody WIlliams

1997 Nobel Peace Prize and political activist


Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital, 64th Secretary of State of the United States


President of the Portuguese Republic

Sofana Dalhan

Lawyer and social entrepreneur

Yannis Behrakis

Photojournalist and a Senior editor with Reuters


Global challenges, local answers

The fourth edition of the Estoril Conferences took place between May 20th and May 22nd 2015 and was focusing on the overall theme of “Global Challenges, Local Answers”, giving importance this year to 3 main topics:

  • Special Forum on Education: The Millennials, the Future of Work and Education
  • Economy, Business and Society
  • Democracy, Security and Global Dialogue 


Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa


Political scientist, political economist, and writer


Former prime minister of Greece

Jack Healey

Founder of the Human Rights Action Center, former director of Amnesty International


Head of Green School in Bali, Indonesia

Rickard Falkvinge

Founder of the Pirate Party in Sweden and campaigns for sensible information policy



Fellow at UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology


Foundations of Quantum Theory on the topic “Hidden Variables and Non Locality in Quantum Theory”


Global challenges, local answers

The third edition of the Estoril Conferences took place between April 30th and May 3rd 2013, with several presentations and panels by global leaders and thinkers. Other events included a round Table with Overseas Ambassadors and the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs on “Portugal and Globalisation”, the Estoril Youth Summit, Glotalks (inspirational presentations by invited guests), bilateral meetings throughout the whole program, a Gala Award Ceremony and Dinner.

Bunker Roy

Founder and director of Barefoot college

Estela Barbot

Former Counselor at the International Monetary Fund

Frederik Willem de Klerk

Former President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

George Yip

Co-Director of China-Europe International Business School

John Burton

Former prime minister of Ireland

Pedro Passos Coelho

Former prime minister of Portugal

Shirin Ebadi

Human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran

Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister


Global challenges, local answers

The second edition of the Estoril Conferences on Global Challenges, Local Answers took place between 4 and 6 May at the Estoril Congress Centre. The conference gathered distinguished speakers who discussed current issues of globalisation throughout the course of four thematic panels: the architecture of global governance; the consequences of the economic and financial crisis; the major challenges to human security; and the impact of globalisation on domestic policies.

This edition gave a particular emphasis on the political and social transformations that was taking place in the Maghreb and the Middle East. Special attention was also paid to the euro crisis and its impact on European integration.

Dominique de Villepin

Former Prime-Minister of France

Francis Fukuyama

Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies


President of Prismax Consulting

Howard Dean

Former Governor of Vermont and former President of the Democratic National Committee

Larry King

CNN journalist, television and radio host

Mohamed ElBaradei

Nobel Laureate for Peace and Former Vice-President of Egypt

Pauline van der Meer Mohr

Chair of the Supervisory Board of EY Netherlands LLP, Deputy-Chair of the Supervisory Board of Royal DSM N.V. and independent non-executive director of Viatris, Inc

Petra Laurentien

UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development


Global challenges, local answers

The first Estoril Conferences meeting, entitled “Global Challenges, Local Answers” was held on 7-9 May 2009 at the Estoril Congress Centre.

The Estoril Conferences were organized using a “problem-solving” approach to globalization and were based on the need of finding both global and local solutions while global challenges were rising, having as target audience Government officials, politicians, CEOs and managers, scholar, students, journalists and opinion makers.

The Estoril Conferences were jointly organized by the Municipality of Cascais, the DNA Cascais and the Institute for Strategic and International Studies.

Álvaro de Vasconcelos

Director of the EU Institute for Security Studies,

Chris Skrebowski

Founding Director of Peak Oil Consulting

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Former President of Brazil

Isabel Aguilera

Former CEO Google and GE, Spain and Portugal

Mary Robinson

Former president of the Republic of Ireland.

Radha Kumar

UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development

Samir Amin

President of Prismax Consulting

Tony Blair

Former Primer Minister of the United Kingdom