The mood was full of expectation in the big hall of Pakhuis de Zwijger. Bart Romijn, director of Partos, kicked off the day by a brief elaboration on inclusion and compassion. Marina Diboma, the moderator of the day, introduced Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Anita Sescon, Mercy Kure Sale, and Ivan Kasonko from the NOW-Us! teams. They had a special conversation on stage about their dreams for an inclusive society. Together they talked about their efforts for an inclusive society and about the importance of taking part in the planning and implementation of policy involving their communities. The first step to achieve this, they concluded, is to create awareness of- and understanding for their vulnerable positions. The key-principle ‘nothing about us, without us’ should be well embedded in every partnership.
Next up, our newest publication Digital Dalits, Colourful Carroças: Civil Society Action for Inclusion was launched. This book, created in collaboration with The Broker and CIVICUS, showcases Civic Society in action for inclusion. Everywhere around the world people are excluded from some or many aspects of life. Civil society organisations around the world are making great efforts to ensure that people are not left behind. This publication is the result of The Spindle to celebrate these organisations and to get inspiration from their actions. Yannicke Goris from the Broker, one of the authors, had the honour to hand out the first copy to Yetnebersh Nigussie, a keynote speaker who was also interviewed for the publication.
“Inclusion is both a process and a goal, where everyone, regardless of gender, religion or disability, or any other status, can contribute and benefit from existing opportunities, on an equal basis with others.” - Yetnebersh Nigussie
In between the plenary sessions in the morning and afternoon, many optional workshops took place. Here you find some examples. Note: At the bottom of this page, you can download some of the presentations.
Inclusive Civil Society Partnerships
“What are the kind of alliances that I need to realise the social change that I want to see in my country?” With this question, Elena Mejía and Marion Latour started a constellation in which the audience had to take on roles of, among others, a government, a donor, an INGO, a civil society organisation and a citizen. The constellation was insightful as it showed the complexity of a system consisting of many different actors and stakeholders working, or not- working, together. In order to cooperate, we should acknowledge each other’s role, resources and added value, make them explicit and build further on that.
Digital in Motion
Digitalisation is one of those topics that can inspire both hope and despair. In the Digital in Motion session facilitated by Anand Sheombar, we searched for answers for the challenges development organisations face in our digital era. Some practical digital applications of Oxfam Novib, SoaAids and RNWMedia were presented. Benjamin Dalmulder of the Digital 100 and Rogier Kamer of Digital Power elaborated on the need for digital expertise and its correct application. “Data is generally used to monitor what goes wrong. It has however great potential and should, therefore, be used for improvement and realisation of progress”.
Thomas Coombes gave two sessions on Hope-Based Communications which he developed to help NGOs respond to framing challenges and to develop new narratives for the human rights movement winning debates and change attitudes. In the sessions the discussion was focused on how we can better communicate based on solutions, values and empathy, because like he mentions “Anger Mobilises, Hope Organises”.
In between the workshops, the festival attendees had the chance to visit the innovation room, expand their networks, meet up using the Network App and ask questions to partners and experts in the exhibition market. The afternoon workshops like Inclusive Storytelling, Future in Cities and Inclusive Business Partnerships were as well-attended as the mornings’. Festival guests had the option to attend highlighting talks with interesting experts on various topics. One of them was Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat. He spoke about his work on online open-source investment and showed some resolved cases. Do you want to know more and check out what they said? Here you can find the link to the live streaming.
The plenary programme kicked off with the Girls Take over Day advocating for the empowerment of girls all over the world. Nidhi Goyal continued with a talk on leadership, inclusion and intersectionality. “Now it’s time to take inclusion as a way of living, a way of being and to truly embrace it”. Of course, we also congratulate all other nominees whose projects contribute to a world of equity and inclusivity for all. To learn more about the Awards and the initiatives, click here.
Then the Awards ceremony kicked off. The spotlights were on all finalists of the Awards. Congratulations to the winners of the NOW-Us!, Best Innovation for Development and Best Humanitarian Innovation Awards. All winners did great and impressed the jury as well as the audience with an inspiring passion for their projects. As the winner of the NOW-Us! award Habiba Mohamed said: ‘“Today we are not just raising our voices, but somebody is actually listening.”
With all these dedicated people, striving for more inclusion in this world, the festival felt like an innovation lab for inclusion. One day full of inclusive solutions, inspiration, dialogue and connections. We ended the 6th edition of the Partos Innovation Festival with Dreaming of Syria who introduced to us the Dabke Dance. A vibrant dance to connect with each other!
Photos can be viewed through this link.
Photo credit: Roos Trommelen
Do you want to look over the workshop presentations once more? Some of them you can download here. Others will follow soon.