Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

Reshaping Democracy Through Compassion shortlist


Who is behind this?

Krzysztof Izdebski

Fundacja ePaństwo


Who is joining forces?

TechSoup Europe

Action SEE



K-Monitor, Hunagary

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

To overcome the crisis of creativity in project-based routine work of civic tech activists from broadly understood CEE region, we should look for new ways of designing more efficient and better-tailored changes to CEE and EU democracies. Activists’ self-development and empathy towards all members of society supported by methods based on design thinking, critical design, art and mindfulness will help eliminate intellectual exhaustion and activate innovative, creative thinking. Let the bold vision

Where will your idea take place?

TransparenCEE Network big events, open for everyone, takin place in Poland, Western Balkans, Ukraine

Why does Europe need your idea?

We need strong CSOs and brave activists. By reshaping civic tech activists mindset of open thinking, we want to overcome our inner barriers to connect with fellow citizens and work together in reshaping democracies in a positive and courageous way, taking into account the needs of all stakeholders.
Creativity is needed in building more resilient programs answering the challenges of the complex reality democracy is functioning in now. That won’t be possible without activists’ self-development and building open minds for finding better solutions to multi-dimensional problems we are facing all in the same moment (sustainable activism, building strong organizations, understanding modern public life and being able to shape our actions accordingly).

What is your impact?

We will bring the topic of sustainable activism to democracy oriented civil society organizations and groups. Activists, hence, will be more self-aware of the potential and limits of their own as well as other people and communities they work with. That will lead to building strategies accommodating the following notion: we are all humans not robots, our brains are beautiful and powerful but we have also basic human needs and we need to take care of them.
Activists will have online space to find information about sustainable activism and they will learn about this source thanks to our outreach work. Within TransparenCEE community this topic will be present and discussed as a mainstream issue, considered in project planning just as any other organization capacity aspect.

How do you get there?

1. We will announce an Open Call for a retreat.
2. We will conduct individual interviews to examine potential participants’ needs.
3. We will organize one 5-day retreat for 30 people
4. As the retreat follow-up, we will give a chance to participants to organize their own workshops for creativity in their communities
5. We will create online space offering tailor-shaped information and tools on sustainable activism and its role in building resilient pro-democracy programs.
6. We will create space for a dialogue at our annual events, raising awareness of the problem in the community and beyond
7. We will promote the idea and the project during events directed to democracy activists
8. We will gather our project findings in an attractive multimedia form to encourage others to carry on.

What is your story?

Members of TransparenCEE are activists with long term goals, often being overwhelmed by everyday life, experiencing symptoms of burnout - especially the CSOs leaders who struggle between fulfilling the mission and maintaining the organization. This hostile environment gives limited space for innovative actions. Facing anti-democratic actions all the time we feel like we don’t have tactics to keep the balance and carry on with our missions.
We see the Western world develop new ideas using a creative and compassionate approach to problem-solving, while the CEE innovation appears extremely technical and lacks the “human touch”. The combination of the two requires skills we haven’t developed yet. We wish we could cease being slaves of a copy-paste innovation; and to create, not to re-create.

Who are you doing it for?

Democracy oriented activists and leaders of organizations in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. TransparenCEE network is an informal composition of individuals and organizations wanting to strengthen democracy in their countries, local communities,often within the EU. That will be our testing audience but we also want to promote findings from our project in wider communities and other European and global networks we are connected to. Surfacing this issue will help building pro-compassion lobby in the democratic movement.
Another key aspect is to address donors with detected problems, incl. the discussion on bringing more “human touch” into number-based, overwhelming metrics for projects and why this issue should be vital part of any sustainable program.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Contemporary research highlights the role of well-being in sustainable actions. Many companies and corporations introduced it to their programs at least 10 years ago, while we-activists still think fighting for the mission will be enough not only to keep us going, but also to motivate others to follow being creative and resilient. We can see it’s not that easy. That is why we want to try something completely new going beyond the usual NGO approach. The CEE region almost traditionally lacks trust in “crazy” ideas like compassion and mindfulness, pretending we are all “rational human beings”, forgetting that emotions are important too. That paradoxically makes us irrational. This project will verify if it is possible to build space to accommodate both perspectives and help us perform better.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50750,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Office expenses 550.00 € Travel costs 11,700.00 € Accommodation and subsistence 10,800.00 € Event costs 4,000.00 € Fees and honararies 12,050.00 € Public relations 4,550.00 € Personnel Costs 4,900.00 €

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We will appreciate all kind of inspiring practices and examples, also if there is anybody who already works in the field of sustainable activism, please let us know, we want to learn more about you!




Idea created on Jan. 19, 2018
Last edit on May 23, 2018

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