ICSW2019 Programme

ICSW Youth Assembly, Hotel Norcev, Novi Sad


The ICSW Youth Assembly is a place for young people to engage with international peers, and to strategise and prepare for International Civil Society Week. The 2019 Youth Assembly will explore alternatives to better support youth movements to make their work more efficient and effective and outline recommendations for resourcing youth engagement. Additionally, the agenda will give space for challenging conversations about the different innovative actions young people are leading to hold leaders accountable in their promise to achieve the Agenda 2030.

CIVICUS Youth Action Team
National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS)
OPENS, Serbia
Pacific Medical Students Association, Fiji
Plan International, United Kingdom
NIDA Civic Movement, Azerbaijan
Movement toward Education and Youth
Empowerment, Sierra Leone
Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar

Civic Space Summit, Belgrade Youth Centre


The purpose of this one-day Summit is to launch a concerted mobilization of civil society between April and September 2019 to put the issue of closing and shrinking space for civil society globally on the agenda of the UN Special General Assembly and High-Level Political Forum in September. The Civil Society Summit will bring together the leadership and members of civil society networks, platforms and international organizations to sign a Declaration and Call to Action and to set out our plan of action to put closing civic space on the international agenda.

09:00 – 16:30


CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness
Balkan Civil Society Development Network
Action for Sustainable Development
Civic Initiatives

Opening Ceremony, Kombank Hall


A lively and informative introduction to the week including a performance by Girls Rock Camp curated by the Femix Network of Female Creativity in Serbia, a political satire put on by 24-minutes’s Zoran Kesic, and personal reflections on the event theme “the power of togetherness” by inspiring global activists. The opening ceremony will conclude with a drinks’ reception.

17:30 – 19:00


Civic Initiatives
feat. Ethiopian Activist Yetnebersh

Welcome Reception, Kombank Hall

19:00 – 21:00

Morning Plenary, Belgrade Youth Centre


The morning plenary will explore how the broader civil society context is hanging and what is required for sustainable collaboration, focusing on the following key questions:

  • What are the latest developments in civic space regionally and globally?
  • What tactics and strategies are working well to combat growing restrictions in civic space imposed in laws and in practice?
  • How can joint work help ensure media freedom and combat misinformation?
  • What are the critical issues that need our urgent, joint attention?

09:00 – 10:30


Farayi Murambwa, Activist, Zimbabwe
Ilina Nesik, Balkan Civil Society
Development Network, Macedonia
Jesper Elias Laurisden, Helvetas,
Maria Karapetyan, Member of
Parliament, Armenia
Mario Mazic, European Grassroots
Antiracist Movement, Croatia
Anna Gielewska, Fundacja Reporterow,
Rilli Lappalainen, Bridge 47, Finland
Moderator: Anabel Cruz, Instituto de
Comunicación y Desarrollo, Uruguay

Concurent Events, Kombank Hall


1 Protecting Civic Freedoms – Our Stories of Resilience


The anti-NGO law in Hungary, the Law on Freedom of Association in NGOs in Kosovo, SLAPPs in France, new “uncivil society organizations” rising in Serbia, Poland and elsewhere… All these phenomena contribute to a shrinking civic space. However, by limiting the freedoms and spaces, governments face a growing resistance in Europe. The workshop share stories of CSOs actions in times of shrinking civic space in the Balkans and the wider Europe. It will tackle how CSOs counteract the negative trends, gauge where actions of resilience come from, and offer joint paths to explore in the future. The aim is to inspire and learn from each other, to reaffirm the collective voice in the joint struggles and to encourage coalition building across regions.

11:00 – 13:00


Balkan Civil Society Development
FOND Romania (Black Sea NGO Forum)
European Civic Forum
(supported by Balkan Trust for

2 Civil Society, Peacebuilding & Inclusion


This workshop will share the insights gained through research and consultations and facilitate discussion that will validate findings and contribute to conceptual clarity; highlight the role of diverse local peacebuilders and how they build peace in the face of adversity; and promote critical thinking around civil society roles, responsibilities and challenges to strengthening inclusion in peacebuilding.

The Inclusive Peace & Transition
Initiative (IPTI)
Peace Direct

3 Transforming CSO Accountability: Stakeholder-Driven Approach for Increased Trust and Impact


This session will explore how an inclusive, dynamic approach to accountability that puts people at the core of decision-making can help CSOs strengthen their legitimacy and impact. The Global Standard for CSO Accountability and its project partners from around the world will provide a starting point to discuss different aspects of accountability, from the basics such as transparency and feedback to more advanced concepts around stakeholder engagement, responsive decision-making, adaptive programming, and innovative partnerships. This session offers something for everyone – from those who are new to the concept to accountability experts, for organisations large and small.

Accountable Now

4 Unpacking Civic Space: Challenges and opportunities


Civic space is the bedrock of any democratic society. It’s premised on universally-accepted rules that enable people to organize, participate and communicate with each other freely to influence the political and social structures around them. However, the state of civic space remains contested around the world. There are restrictions in law and policy, and attacks on civil society organizations and the independent media who hold duty bearers to account and give voice to citizens’ concerns. Nevertheless, gains can be made in protecting and expanding civic space. This event will present an overview of global civic space trends with a focus on the Balkans.

Civic Space Initiative

5 Global Citizenship Education: Recalibrating Civic Action for Systemic Change ( invitation only )


This closed event will bring together more than 100 of the world’s most prominent thinkers, activists, academics and civil society organizations working with the different types of value-based education. The session will allow participants to meet new peers, share ideas and experiences and critically reflect on the role and power of GCE as a tool to mobilize citizens and address pressing global challenges.

Bridge 47

6 Shrinking Media Freedoms = Shrinking Democracy


Number of traditional and new media is growing but it does not mean that media pluralism is in place and citizens are accurately, objectively, comprehensively and in a timely fashion informed. Journalists should resist any pressure to freely exercise the profession, but pressures are so strong and often turn into open attacks on journalists’ life, just because of their professional work. Should journalists have to pay such a high price? What is the role of State in protecting journalists and public interest in public information?

Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia
Civic Initiatives

Lunch , Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

ICSW Local Presentations, Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

Interactive Sessions, Belgrade Youth Centre


1 [ open space ] Redefining Citizen Mobilization through Global Citizenship Education


As an empowering lifelong education, GCE is not only a tool for civil society organisations to reach out to their target audiences and mobilise citizens in their area of activity. Adjusting the civil society raison d’être in the turbulent times, requires challenging ourselves as activists and enthusiasts – by rethinking our own contexts and the roles we play in our organizations, networks, communities, regions and beyond. We need to not only express and confront ourselves, but also to be one with each other. To dissect our assumptions, critically reflect on them and re- assemble the pieces into a puzzle of a braver new world.

15:00 – 17:30


Bridge 47

2.1 [ fish bowl ] What does the Power of Togetherness mean to you? Gaining perspectives of youth and local communities.


ICSW delegates are invited to share insights about how the Power of Togetherness in the 21st Century is perceived across regions and generations. During an hour and a half, ICSW\local representatives and Youth Assembly delegates will open a space for the diverse and inspiring delegation of ICSW2019 to exchange examples and cases where coalition building and solidarity has proven to be a mobilizing element in civil society to create a positive change in a community. What have been the key triggers for civil society to organize a collective action? How have different generations collaborated towards a common goal? What does it take to coordinate strategies and work as one community of social justice advocates?

CIVICUS Youth Assembly
ICSW\local representatives

2.2 HRDs in Hostile Environments: The Importance of Respecting Fundamental Rights and Forming Alliances


Civil Rights Defenders will organize an interactive panel discussion with prominent human rights defenders from different regions of the world. During the discussion, panelists will discuss their experiences and the challenges they face daily, working in increasingly hostile environments. Panelists from different regions (Eurasia, SouthEast Asia, Europe) will present their strategies which they are implementing in their daily operations in order to overcome hostile environment. The discussion will highlight the importance of respecting fundamental and human rights in the context of shrinking civic space as well as the need of forming stronger alliances between different stakeholders around the world.

Civil Rights Defenders International

3 Claiming Space as Political Leverage


Civil society is under severe pressure worldwide. The freedom of association and assembly and the freedom of speech is under attack from governments, business and other undefined actors. How does civil society respond? When we are deprived of our rights and power is consolidated, which counter-measures are at our disposal? In this inter- active workshop, you will meet civil society organizations from Africa, South-East Asia and Middle East that use different methods for claiming space. In some contexts, in order to regain power it has to be claimed through physical, cultural, online or other forms of space. They will take you through their experiences – both victories and setbacks. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your challenges and hopefully get new ideas of how to regain strength.

Norwegian Peoples Aid

4 [ Peer Networking ] Change champions: Re-thinking Approaches to Strengthening Civil Society


In 2018, INTRAC convened the first ICSW virtual event. Many providers of capacity development for civil society took part in that event. A key point of discussion was the need for new approaches to strengthen local provision of training and organisational development for civil society. Since then debates on shifting power and localisation have gained momentum, and this need is growing. Participants interested in expanding in-country support to strengthen civil society are invited to this participatory brainstorming event. The objective? To form a peer network of values-driven ‘civil society change champions’ that can share learning, good practice and develop ideas.


5 Collaborative Networks: Changing the way we organise


Interactive session exploring the future of organisations and the role of collaborative networks. Given the change in the funding landscape, competitive organisations need to give way to collaborative networks – which require skills, trust and communication. Using the Latin American & Caribbean Innovation for Change hub’s product ComuniDAS as a test example, this session will explore concepts such as contributive networks, ecosystemic business models and how to move towards a collaborative and dynamic network. The future of organisations is changing and civil society must also innovate and change!

Innovation for Change

6 New Strategies for Advocacy in Restrictive Civic Spaces


The Consortium of the Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund will facilitate an interactive session on overcoming key challenges to conducting advocacy in restrictive environments. CSOs will share how they operate in closed and closing spaces. Partners, including those working at grassroots level and in severely restrictive contexts, will be invited to present detail on how they implement advocacy activities and the lessons that have emerged from their work. These contributions will shape the development of a toolkit to assist CSOs in developing effective and safe strategies to advance their advocacy agenda. This will include presentation of case studies, best practices, secure communication essentials, and a methodology to help CSOs design their advocacy plans.

Lifeline Consortium

Public Events


1 Illuminating New Solutions and Programmatic Innovations for Resilient Spaces


This session is an interactive conversation with local civil society actors about the machine learning aspect of the Illuminating New Solutions and Programmatic Innovations for Resilient Spaces (INSPIRES) project. INSPIRES will create an unprecedented data repository to analyze the drivers of shifts in civic space, combining locally-created and curated data sets with extensive digital data sets and longstanding research.

Duke University

2 Promoting CSO Impact and Sustainability through Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Social entrepreneurship and innovation play a major role in promoting and supporting CSO impact. Divac Foundation and Civici Initiatives, with the regional Smart Start project will share experiences of collaboration and work in the region of Western Balkans. The objective of the session is to share ways of how to improve the sustainability and social impact of civil society organisations through start-up financial programmes, the use of socially and environmentally responsible strategies for self- financing, social innovation and models of social entrepreneurship. This event will feature ten Serbian CSOs supported by the Smart Start project who will pitch their ideas for social enterprises and receive feedback from an international mentor panel.

Civic Initiatives
Divac Foundation

Open Doors, Local Site Visits


Local site visits to: Bagel Bagel Shop, social business run by women; Center for Cultural Decontamination, nonprofit cultural institution whose work is based on critical thinking, and cultural and artistic production; Center for Youth Integration; Human Rights House; ICT Hub; Impact Hub Belgrade, co-working space for changemakers; Pride Info Center

18:00 – 20:00

Morning Plenary, Belgrade Youth Centre


The morning plenary will explore the most effective ways to connect and scale collective action, focusing on the following key questions: How can we leverage data, technology and online activism for impact?

  • How can we leverage data, technology and online activism for impact?
  • When and how does it make sense to participate in global frameworks like the SDGs?
  • Which new stakeholders can we engage to protect and defend civic space?
  • Which trans-local and intersectional movements are working most effectively and which ways of working can we apply to our contexts?

09:00 – 10:30


Darko Brkan, UG Zasto ne, Bosnia
Gabriel dos Santos, Children’s education activist, Brazil
Harpinder Collacott, Development Initiatives, UK
Renata Avila, Smart Citizen Foundation, Guatemala
Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the Status of Human Rights Defenders
Moderated by: Patricia Lerner, Greenpeace and CIVICUS Board

Concurent Events, Belgrade Youth Centre


1 Organizational Resiliency in Times of Closing Civic Space


PartnersGlobal and CIVICUS have engaged their network partners on the topic of organizational resiliency in the face of closing civic space. The Resiliency+ Framework is the result of this process and is grounded in the realities facing civil society organizations around the world. The Resiliency+ Framework provides a process for CSOs to increase their adaptive capacity to prevent and/or respond to closing civic space based on the emergence/presence of external threats, assessment of internal capacities, and matched with specific strategies tools and tactics that are then organized into a Resiliency+ Roadmap (or intervention plan) and peer mentorship. This session invites CSOs to learn more about the framework and contribute to the ongoing refinement and trust-testing of it by creating space for feedback, reflections, and sharing experiences.

Partners Global

2 Improving our Coalitions for Civic Participation


Citizens around the world are prevented from exercising their inherit right and instinctive need to participate in shaping their societies. Organised civil society and individual activists face major backlash from governments when trying to enforce this right. Now more than ever, it is essential that we not only stand in solidarity when threatened but also that we work together. In this workshop, participants will learn about the Civic Charter – The Global Framework for People’s Participation, and how to use this tool to push back against the clampdown on civil society, focusing on their own coalition-building efforts, while also receiving advice from peers and finding new allies to drive forward their work.

International Civil Society Centre

3 Diversity and Inclusion at the Center of Organizational Work? Let’s get practical!


Diversity and Inclusion have become priority areas across CSOs in recent years in order to address exclusionary practices and wider systemic failures. As global commitments and internal programmes have been created to increase civil society accountability, are we doing enough to encourage intersectional inclusion both vertically and horizontally across civil society? This session aims to identify recent innovations surrounding diversity and inclusion and evaluate how we can push further to ensure all programmes are meaningfully inclusive. Through discussion, we aim to identify practical steps we can take to bring D&I theory into practice.

CIVICUS Diversity and Inclusion Group

4 Hope-Based Communications: Finding a New Narrative for Civil Society


The more we try to counter populist attacks civil society, the more we feed those narratives in the minds of our audience. Advice from framing experts, based on findings from neuroscience, tell us that instead we need to create new idea, new narratives, of our own. Instead of saying that CSOs are not criminal, we need to make people care passionately about civil society, with messages that appear to emotions as well as to rationality, creating a sense of belonging and optimism. Through an interactive set of exercises we will develop a shared sense of some elements that would underpin common value messaging for civil society, including talking points and key words but also the kind of visual moments and activities that we want to show our audiences.

VUKA! Coalition for Civic Action

5 Philanthropy for Active Citizenship


CSOs and non-formal groups around the world are struggling to secure long-term sustainability and constituency support from their fellow citizens. Their causes are relevant, but are they using the right approaches and language to mobilize citizens and effectively engage them in decision-making processes? What tools can they use to demonstrate transparency and build trust in their communities? How can they build strategic partnerships with businesses and other stakeholders? What other local (re)sources can they tap into, to increase their financial sustainability and become more impactful in their efforts to generate social change? How can we add value to the development of local philanthropy and generate lasting support to local communities?

SIGN (South-East European Indigenous Grantmakers Network)

6 Digital Security and Rapid Response Funding Clinic for Civil Society Actors in Need


Recognizing the frequent threats facing civil society actors, this ‘clinic’ aims to (1) provide participants the opportunity to learn about implementing digital security processes to store, monitor and protect their information from threats while they undertake their work, and (2) share information on different rapid response funding mechanisms available to civil society actors and provide in-depth information on the application process. Bringing together multiple experts in these two spheres, the session will include opportunity for participants to have their questions answered and receive in-depth support.

Lifeline consortium

Lunch, Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

ICSW Local Presentations, Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

Interactive Sessions, Belgrade Youth Centre


1.1 [buzz group] La redevabilité citoyenne au service de la démocratie et de l’Etat de droit au Bénin


Government accountability towards Democracy and Rule of Law


Cette session a pour but d’explorer en groupe les meilleures pratiques de reddition des comptes par les preneurs de décision aux citoyens. Comment instaurer des systèmes où le gouvernement a pour gage d’être transparent quant à ses actions et résultats? PJUD stimulera les échanges en présentant la façon dont il favorise les discussions entre citoyens des zones rurales et preneurs de décision locaux au Benin, notamment à travers leur radio communautaire.


The purpose of this session is to explore as a group the best practices of accountability by decision-makers to citizens. What kind of systems can we put in place so that governments be transparent about their actions and results? PJUD will kick off the exchange by presenting how it promotes discussions between citizens in rural areas and local decision-makers in Benin, through their community radio particularly.

PJUD – Promotion Jeunesse Unie pour le Développement, Benin

1.2 DramaNass (Nass means people in Arabic language): Theater for youth active citizenship


This interactive session will look at accompanying participants to explore a new theater methodology called Youth-Quake. It encourages active citizenship among children and youth and prevents young people from marginalization. Participants will go through a simulated exercise of what the use of drama and theater can do to achieve the following sub-objective: Improve the communication skills among their targeted groups; Motivate their target groups to address and work together on a social, political or economic issue; Empower young people and youth to know and claim their rights; Sensitize local and international communities to the main challenges of our globe.

Yes Theater, Palestine

1.3 Strengthening Membership Platforms for CSO Effectiveness


This session will kick start with sharing about the case of Cooperation Committee for Cambodia’s membership platform which will cover key services and platforms for CSO effectiveness, along with some key challenges and lessons learnt. Small group discussions will follow and conclusions will be shared as a group. All participants will be able to get new learnings and food for thoughts from all experiences and might come with innovative approaches for better coordination and effectiveness of the member services in respected countries.

Cooperation Committee for Cambodia

1.4 Transforming the UN in the 21st Century


The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 must be the starting point of a global governance transformation. As this milestone approaches, there is a widely shared sense that the sustainability of the rules-based international order upheld by the UN Charter cannot be taken for granted, that multilateralism is under increasing threat. During the last two years, the civil society-led initiative UN2020 has facilitated discussions with governments, UN officials and civil society activists on the need for a successful, well prepared 75th anniversary commemoration for the UN in 2020, one that includes a meaningful process of stocktaking, review and strengthening of the organization.


Together First

Asia Development Alliance

2 Youthtopia Intergenerational Co-creation Event


Interactive session exploring how young activists can tap into collaborative networks, build powerful alliances and achieve the impact the world needs. In the face of shared challenges and growing complexity, people are innovating on how we come together to explore the answers. It is now easier than ever for people to collaborate, take collective action and inject new ideas, formations and energy into civil society. Participants will share and co-create how to support 21st century activism, building on the ideas of ten young social activists and movement builders.

CIVICUSYouth Action Team


3 The Spark that Lit the Bonfire: Civil Society and Democratic Transition


The CIVICUS Monitor has documented increasing levels of human rights violations and restrictions on civil society: recent findings show that civil society is under serious attack in 111 countries- almost six in 10 countries worldwide. However, in recent years, political transitions have taken place that have led to restrictions being lifted in countries that were previously closed to civil society participation. This aim of the session is to focus on the actions that lead to positive changes in civic space and the role of civil society in making such changes sustainable.

CIVICUS Monitor/ Advocacy & Campaigns

4 Pop Your Bubble: How to speak with people you don’t know, like or agree with


In many ways our world has never been more connected. And yet, we seem increasingly divided: by identity, ideology, fear, and those seeking to turn us against each other. The challenges we face will not be overcome if we simply speak to those we know, like and agree with; we need to learn how to speak with those we don’t. Civil society can help lead the way, but many of us are stuck in our own ‘bubbles’. Inspired by CIVICUS’ SPEAK! campaign, this highly interactive session will engage attendees in three methodologies for bridging division and building connection, then reflect on how they might be applied in different countries and communities.


5 Resilient Roots: How to Make Your Organisation more Accountable (and Resilient?)


This event will demonstrate the benefits of CSOs boosting accountability to their primary constituents – which includes greater legitimacy, relevance and effectiveness. It will then enable all participants to start planning how this could be achieved at their own organisations, and explore how this may also contribute to increasing their resilience in the face of closing civic space. To do this, participants will work in groups with organisations from the 14 Resilient Roots pilot countries, building upon their experiences of implementing new approaches to primary constituent accountability to identify the capacities, challenges and opportunities for doing so in their own contexts.

Resilient Roots


Keystone Accountability

Accountable Now

Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo

River Party


Inspired by the beautiful riverside in Belgrade, ICSW delegates will get the chance to experience unique festive atmosphere at the river rafts, introducing regional music sets and performances. The event will be co-organized by the organizers of Mirdita, Dobar dan cultural festival.


Morning Plenary, Belgrade Youth Centre


This morning session will explore what we can learn from current civic movements, focusing on the following key questions:

  • What lessons can be learned from the data and experience of different forms of participation and communication?
  • What are the emerging best practices for translating civic movements into sustainable constituencies? When should civic movements be designed to expand and when to ‘work themselves out of a job’?
  • What stories must civil society tell to better engage citizens and stakeholders?
  • How can philanthropy help drive social change?

09:00 – 10:30


Abraham M. Keita, Give Hope to Children Foundation, Liberia
Ana Babovic, Leading Change Network, Serbia
Besa Luci, Kosovo 2.0, Kosovo
Diana Vegas Castro, Sinergia, Venezuela
Srdja Popovic, Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, Serbia
Wiem Chamsi, Activist, Tunisia
Moderated by: Maja Stojanovic, Civic Initiatives

Concurent Events, Belgrade Youth Centre


1 Civil Movements as Correctors of Society


To see us, and to hear us, is the motto used by millions of citizens all around the world. People are filling up the streets of their cities demanding justice, better living conditions, more democracy and human rights for all. They’re protesting injustice, violence or climate change. At this session, we will have the opportunity to hear inspiring leaders of the civil movements who will share how they are making the change we want to see in the world. From mass street protests and guerrilla action, to the dilemmas of entering the electoral political arena, do citizens really have the power to change the world? Yes, we have!

11:00 – 13:00


Don’t let Belgrade d(r)own

2 Collective Action to End Child Marriage


Based on the experience of Girls Not Brides partnerships in Africa and Asia, this session will look at some of the critical success factors for working in partnership. The session will zoom in on the different stages of partnership building, and explore some of the tools and methodologies developed by Girls Not Brides. Moreover, we will hear from different Girls Not Brides members how collective action has enabled them drive change in their country.

Girls not Brides

3 Local Resource Mobilization – a Trending Concept or a Permanent Shift in Funding Patterns?


The workshop will be an exploration into experiences with mobilizing local community support for addressing local challenges – based on examples from Ghana and Kenya. Are experiences pointing to a passing development hype or is there a potential for improved sustainable community-led development? How can these new ways of organizing support and mobilizing resources pave ways for a change in the sustainability patterns and power dynamics in development work?

West Africa Civil Society Institute
Kenya Community Development Foundation

4 Trust-based Support for CSOs


Sida is among the few donors that provide long-term Core Support to Kosovar CSOs, and KCSF is its first and biggest beneficiary. Anytime this support is discussed, the main element that comes up over and over again is the trust. The trust that the recipient organization knows best what is needed in fulfilling its mission and advancing its area of work, the trust that the recipient organization is best positioned to lead its strategic thinking and reflection, and as a result undertake necessary adjustments in strategic and programmatic level, the trust in the benefit of long term partnerships, etc. This trust has enabled KCSF to express its best potential in both delivering of its program and strategic reflection and adaptation, without feeling the common pressure to satisfy the donor requirements only for the sake of continuation of support. Thus, KCSF provides itself as a case study to encourage other donors and CSOs to consider such an approach, as a support modality for well-established organizations ready to embark on longer term partnerships.

Kosovar Civil Society Foundation

5 Reaching out and Engaging Citizens


Communication and Storytelling play a major role in engaging citizens and reaching out to global audience. This workshop will focus on learning key concepts and understanding how emotional communication works, what defines organisations with the biggest impact on their surroundings, understanding the impact of storytelling on an organisation’s DNA. Join us in creating a space of inspiration, focus and motivation.

Alan Clayton and Associates
Civic Initiatives

6 Civic Activism and the Armenian Velvet Revolution: the power of Youth, Women and Diaspora as agents for change


Speakers will present the role of Armenian Youth, Women and Diaspora during the Velvet Revolution that took place in April-May 2018 as a result of which the ruling party was toppled and new political forces took over the power, in particular – representatives of opposition political parties, civil society and non-formal civic activists. During the entire revolution process – Youth, Women and Armenian Diaspora all over the world played a crucial role, becoming a moving force, inspiring all members of the Armenian society. Through their actions, the Armenian society regained hope, optimism and trust towards the future of the country.

Armenian General Benevolent Union

Freedom of Association and Assembly in Iran: A Call for Action



A session to elaborate on the dire situation of civil society in Iran, and launch of a joint call for action.

Volunteer Activists and CIVICUS

Lunch, Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

ICSW Local Presentations, Belgrade Youth Centre

13:00 – 15:00

Closing Action, #FreedomRunner


Participants are invited to a closing action that literally takes delegates out onto the streets of Belgrade for a run/walk that will be a physical manifestation of the event theme “the power of togetherness”. By crossing a bridge, walking on the streets and moving on stairs, participants will discover a different side of Belgrade and take part in the launch of a global campaign #FreedomRunner.

13:00 – 15:00

ICSW 2019 RE-CAP (Regional) — Belgrade Youth Centre


For all ICSW delegates who are still in Belgrade, we will offer a space for feedback and reflection of the whole ICSW experience.

10:00 – 12:00


Moderated by: Civic Initiatives