Prominent figures who were supposed to participate, including Rem Koolhaas, Richard Sennett, and Saskia Sassen, didn’t show up—last-minute changes, the Baghlis announced. One architecture writer ended up on a panel as a substitute, arguing for easing visa restrictions and opening borders to better reflect the present-day public mood of openness. But the point was made, an idea stirred up: Something unanticipated could emerge from civil society. A few weeks later, the country’s infirm four-term president announced he would stand for a fifth term. A popular uprising soon followed.