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[EN] Innovation Hub Blog

Positive Perspectives on Future Pathways

‎We live in volatile, uncertain, and complex times. How can we collectively navigate and shape the future of development cooperation? Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Partos team was determined to give emerging voices a global stage and discover new insights. Hence, on October 8th 2021, international development professionals, researchers, changemakers and innovators gathered to jointly celebrate innovation within development cooperation.

Innovation Festival Aftermovie
15 oktober 2021

Navigating and Shaping the Future

“If we want to change the future, we must step out of our comfort zone. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s a mission possible!” – Bart Romijn, Partos Director

Hybrid & Global: “The New Normal”

This year’s Festival was different. Due to recent changes in the world, the Festival was divided into an online part, hosted by Dzifa Kusenuh and Mariken Gaanderse and broadcasted live from the main stage of Pakhuis de Zwijger, and in-person sessions addressing core themes; communication, advocacy and learning & innovating. After the kick-off, Krizna Gomez took the stage to give an inspiring keynote on Hope Based Communications and foresight.

“The signals of change are happening in the fringes, but they can change the way we see the world.” – Krizna Gomez, independent consultant

Dynamic & Adaptive Future Pathways

This year Partos initiated a new Future Exploration trajectory, aimed at exploring dynamic and adaptive future pathways for development cooperation that can withstand uncertain and complex futures. This trajectory is facilitated by Butterfly Works, and Merel van der Woude presented the Roadmap with thematic future briefs and opinion pieces. Speaking about dynamic adaptive pathways, Merel shared insights into how warning signals can help us building pathways to prepare for the future and redefine the role of INGOs, power imbalances and new forms of collaboration. Alexander Medik complimented her: “There are beautiful ideas and trends, and action is needed to shift the power.”

“It might feel like we are looking at dark scenarios, but the pathways will help us step on the bike and prepare for the future.” – Merel van der Woude, Butterfly Works

Frames & Narratives on Development

Although the facilitation of knowledge-sharing is an important raison d’être of the annual Innovation Festival, Partos’ broker role was taken to the next level when Krizna Gomez, Jurjen van den Bergh, Kiza Magendane and Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach took the stage and shared perspectives on polarisation during a panel discussion. Surprisingly, most inspiring insights did not regard avoiding negative framing specifically but rather focused on understanding the root causes of certain emotions and what can be learnt from polarizing techniques.

Digital Communities for Social Change

People who were physically present flocked to the IJzaal for an in-person session on Online Community Engagement hosted by RNW Media. How can we build digital communities that offer reliable information, foster voice diversity, encourage participation, and are inviting to marginalized groups, while reducing the negative impact of online adversities? How can we keep up with the reality of a fast-changing online environment while constantly adapting our strategies to the needs and aspirations of young people? Walied KhalidAdrien Trocmé, Ruba Mimi and Wouter van Tongeren shared their insights. 

Climate Justice & Fair Policies

Donald Pols and Kumi Naidoo kicked off the online discussion on climate justice. Rather than addressing mainstream aspects of the current climate crisis, the conversation focused on how to build fair climate policies through development cooperation while leaving no one behind.

Recognising climate justice is a human right and thus a justice issue, instead of a technical issue. Rich countries must take responsibility for financing this climate justice.”Kumi Naidoo, Founding Chair at Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity

Shifts in Communication

Sharing stories and giving a stage is easier said than done. How to conduct ethical storytelling and honour the people behind the stories? Storytellers Joost Bastmeijer, Anne Moraa (LAM Sisterhood) and Sarah Page (SPARK) shared their experiences. Not only by using different layers such as sound, video and text but also by highlighting the importance of the use of language.

“My job is not to craft their stories but to provide a place to share their stories. I’m not giving them a voice; they already have one.” – Sarah Page, Communications Manager

Shifting Power: (Net)Work in Progress

During an online panel, initiators of several platforms for systems change shared their stories about power structures. Jenny Hodgson, Charles Kojo Vandyck, Pascal Richard and Osai Ojigho took the virtual stage. How to address underlying drivers and power structures and get to power shifts in practice? It’s quite difficult to summarise an hour full of uplifting and motivating words, but Charles Kojo Vandyck came close: “INGOs should be working in solidarity with southern civil society, not exerting power over them. We need to go beyond the old North-South framing and start building a sustainable global network.”

Fresh Perspectives

Pascalle Grotenhuis, Ishita Dutta, Patrick Meier, Rosebella Nyumba and Dumiso Gatsha shared their fresh perspectives on the online stage. Various themes, such as data & digital, feminist & queer, community-led and inclusive financing, were thrown into the blender to create utmost interesting conversations. The results: fresh perspectives on building an inclusive and just future.

“Feminist leadership goes beyond female leadership, it addresses the systems of power and rebuilds these systems to become more equal and just.” – Pascalle Grotenhuis, Director Social Development & Ambassador for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality

0,7% ODA Discours

On October 6th, AidWatch launched its annual flagship report, monitoring both the quantity and quality of the EU and Member States’ official development assistance (ODA). How do other EU countries advocate for a substantial ODA budget, and what can be learnt from other political contexts to strengthen collective advocacy? Celia CranfieldRebekka BlomqvistLukas GoltermannGautier Centlivre, and Nasim Salad discussed success stories as well as less successful ones.

Collaborative Innovation Awards

A lot of shared knowledge, but let’s not forget about the highlight of every year’s Festival: the Innovation Awards. What are some of the most creative solutions to address today’s challenges in the field of development cooperation? The nominees pitched their innovations and the jury rewarded Virtual Innovation Labs, Voice+ and CNV International for their efforts. These changemakers received an art piece from artivists selected by Süd Illustration Agency and the chance to participate in three exclusive workshops (FutureLab).

Inclusion & History

After the festivities, the day was topped off with a keynote. “At the end of the day, the barriers of participation are not only INGOs but also the local governments, so we need to #ShiftThePower”, according to Lydia Zigomo, who took the virtual microphone. The women of LAM Sisterhood gave us the last insights of the day with a performance, taking us back in time. “For us, innovation is also looking at history, to see where we come from.”

“We won’t win tomorrow, but as long there’s progress, there’s hope”
– Bart Romijn, Partos Director

Festival photos