Our events bring together participants from all over the region and from all kinds of professions and backgrounds (In 2020, mostly virtually). Socially minded businesses, artists, designers, journalists, human rights defenders and anti-corruption activists all fit our broad definition of civil society, and our workshops help them make their campaigns more effective, build their audiences, and improve their sustainability.
Hackathons, video schools, gamification, podcasting and data visualisation workshops—these are just some of the themes and topics of the events we host. We recognise that the tried and tested methods of activism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are no longer as effective on their own, but can be enlivened and invigorated with data, design and technology to multiply their impact.
Every year we host Unlock, a festival of civil tech showcasing the hottest topics, trends and developments in activism and technology in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Our other annual event, CampCamp, brings together civil society with artists, designers, PR & SMM experts, influencers, podcasters, and journalists to work out creative ways to campaign and communicate effectively.
We provide grants to support civic initiatives, projects and independent media across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. We look for opportunities to support projects that help active citizens connect with communities, build lasting relationships and push for social change.
Our grants support projects working on free speech and access to information, art and culture, equality and anti-discrimination, human rights and legal empowerment, democracy, gender equality and the environment. Grantees are also provided with institutional support and opportunities for training, learning and development. We are flexible and responsive and don’t impose thematic requirements.
We identify potential grantees mainly through research and fieldwork. Most of our grant calls are invitation-only, but we are increasing the amount of open calls – every year we host Switch, our grant scheme for tech-based solutions to social issues across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The long-term future of the region will rely on established networks of informed citizens collaborating with each other and thinking critically and strategically. We support the growth and development of these networks by offering opportunities for leading members of civil society, journalists, reformers and researchers to share their experiences and explore ideas for reform.
Our learning and exchange initiatives take three forms: International seminars, fellowships and professional exchanges. Due to the global pandemic, fellowships, professional exchanges and in person events are on hold. Our seminars continue virtually, providing a forum for rigorous discussion between leading civil society representatives from the region with journalists, analysts and researchers.