SAVE THE DATE: European Civic Academy 2022 takes place along side 20th anniversary of the European Social Forum

13 July 2022 | European Civic Academy, Uncategorised

Save the date for the fifth edition of the European Civic Academy taking place in Florence, Italy on 10th and 11th November 2022!  

The European Civic Academy (ECA) was launched by the European Civic Forum in 2016 to connect and build bridges between civil society and academic agendas, to provide space for civil society actors to discuss with academics and identify priorities and possibilities for strengthening CSOs’ efforts in enhancing civic and democratic spaces in Europe.  

The ECA 2022 will be organised in cooperation with the Centre on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos) of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence. It will bring together laureates from past editions of the Civic Pride Awards to discuss with leading civic actors and academics lessons learn from their inspiring mobilisations and victories.  

How can we sustain mobilisations and civic resilience when democracy and the urgency of the issues at stake seem following different timeframes, when we experience many defeats and challenges? What are the factors that can support the creation of positive social and democratic change in society and in the policy-making? What lessons can we learn from civil society’s successes? How can we think “victories” in ways that take into account the non-linear path of progressive change? What skills, capacities, resources and infrastructures does civil society need to achieve its goals in a coherent manner? 

This year European Civic Academy will also take place in the framework of the European gathering commemorating 20 years since the first European Social Forum took place in Florence, Italy, in November 2002. The event was one of the biggest, most participated and important moments in the European and worldwide alter-globalisation movement. 

About the commemoration 

The European Social Forum (ESF) was a recurring conference held by members of the Global Justice Movement. Just one year after the harsh state repression in Genoa, and despite the recurrent attempts to criminalize the movement, in November 2002 the European Social Forum was born in Florence and the participation was even bigger, broader and stronger, and it was welcomed by an open, supportive, committed and courageous city. In this occasion, the largest demonstration ever held in the world against the war on Iraq on 15th February 2003 was launched and promoted. 

Now it is not about celebrating the past, but it is about keeping alive a memory that can help us to move toward the future.  

Florence was a moment of great strength and convergence of social movements and collective actors coming from all over Europe: a similar strength and convergence is very much needed today, in the face of the immense and dramatic challenges of the present, starting from the need to raise a strong and unified voice for peace and against war on a European scale. 

From 10th to 13th November 2022, European social movements and collective actors will gather in Florence as a step in the process of reconstructing a network of communication, collaboration and possible convergence able to face the tragic times we are living in: war, eco-climatic crisis, exponential increase of social and gender inequalities, democratic crisis.  

Overcoming the great geographical and thematic fragmentation that has characterized mobilizations in recent years is now more necessary than ever, and the very preparatory process that will lead us towards the “Florence 2022” event can become an essential part of this reconnection. 

The first two days of the Forum will be dedicated to the self-organised and self-financed activities put in place by the different national and European networks, also in the aim to involve as many activists as possible from all over Europe and encourage them to come to Florence.  

Then, on the 12th and the 13th of November, all participants will gather in a large and common European discussion meeting.