From October 9th-11th, the Smart CSOs Lab hosted the Civil Society in Transition Conference in Cologne, Germany. Change agents from civil society, academia and the funding community came together to share and develop new approaches and strategies for how civil society can become and be a driving force for the Great Transition to a truly just society living within ecological limits.
Watch voices from the conference sharing their frustrations, motivations and inspirations for joining the movement for systemic change in our conference video “Civil Society in Transition: Searching for new stories”:
New campaigns, new movements, new experiments - the seeds of the new civil society:
At the conference we heard and discussed a range of stories that could be the seeds of the new civil society becoming a driving force for the systemic change. Check here for information/presentations of these examples.
We explored how different strategic approaches of civil society projects and initiatives can mutually reinforce each other and catalyse the Great Transition. The three-level model for systemic change introduced in the paper “How to break out of the system trap” served as a basis for our conversations.
Key questions discussed at the conference were:
- How can we tell and live stories that transform our current consumerist/expansionist culture?
- How can we support the creation of cross-sectoral movements that build real momentum for system change?
- How can we get involved in the exciting innovation process of creating the new system / economy?
- How can we change our own organisations to become fit for system change?
Civil Society in Transition Report: Our broken stories - seeds of new stories - a new activism?
Based on presentations and discussions at the conference this report offers some of the seeds of a new activism that understands the systemic nature of civil society’s many struggles and is experimenting with new ways of catalysing systemic change. It explains the context for why these new stories have become necessary (broken stories) and how the Smart CSOs Lab is providing a space for activists and change agents to jointly learn how to make changes in the way civil society thinks, acts and operates to work effectively towards systemic change.
Conference wall painting:
Check out how our graphic recorders illustrated the conference in a wall painting:
Martin Kirk, Head of Strategy at /The Rules, held a very personal and inspirational key note speech with the title “Confessions of an unwise activist”:
More videos from the conference can be viewed here on the Smart CSOs NING platform.