105 participants from 26 countries, 66% women, grass-roots activists and representants of NGOs attending 21 workshops – these are numbers of MEGAPHONE 2018, activists’ response to shrinking civic spaces.

Facing a global pushback and struggling in the era of misinformation and social media algorithms, we, the changemakers need to find the ways how to strengthen our narratives, get people involved in the causes, and use technology as a megaphone for engagement.

We organised MEGAPHONE 2018 [Cluj-Napoca, Romania (13-15 November 2018)] a space to find the answers for activists, action groups, and NGOs fighting for freedom of expression, accountable government, clean earth or promote justice and equality in CEE region.

Understanding Propaganda and Finding Ways to Get Our Voice Heard in the Mainstream

During two days of the event, activists tried to understand propaganda, disinformation and find ways of reacting to it. In every time slot, they could choose one of three workshops. Participants could demystify AI, understand fake news and propaganda production, discuss displays of hate speech and hate crime online. We discussed the role of civil society organizations not only as human right defenders but also as a possible target of hatred.

“Wow, how easily we can use apps to visualize our stories!” – you could hear on the corridor after practical workshops on data visualisation and storytelling workshops where we learnt how to use apps to present stories & data in a persuasive way. An interesting part was a workshop on communication through humour, irony, and sarcasm where we created our own memes!

Common Response and Community Mobilization

We strongly believe in the network power and we support community building in the region. Because activists should not act alone, we invited successful ones to share their stories and ways to involve large groups of citizens in their campaigns. Activists from Armenia, Poland, Romania shared their stories on how they mobilized local communities to support their cause.

Self-Care Within Community: Strategies to Survive in an Era of Burnout

“To prevent burnout and take care of folks long-term, leaders and teams must cultivate a culture of well-being.” – says Susan Comfort, leader of www.NonprofitWellness.org 

Since activists must support each other through our difficult, stressful and/or life-threatening activism, we were sharing tools and tips on how to build connection and camaraderie within teams. An unconference spirit of the event was also a great time to build new and strengthen the existing networks.

 

 

“Don’t think what you can do. Think what your community can do and offer them easy ways to get engaged. And dare doing crazy stuff”

– such feedback after MEGAPHONE2018 encourages us to think about the next year edition!

EDU Resources

If you were not with us, no worries. Here you will find useful materials and edu resources (podcasts, webinars, reports).

All photos are CC-BY, made by M.Ratte

MEGAPHONE 2018 was possible thanks to generous support from:

 

 

We did it in cooperation with friends from 

and support from