First day of the Activist Academy

Yesterday was the first day of the Activist Academy 2017. As many participants arrived in Berlin already a day earlier, most of them had the chance to get to know the surroundings a bit better.

Day one was all about getting to know each other better. “Go find it!” was a treasure hunt in small groups spiced up with a photo and video challenge.

After all the fun and games, typical conference introductions were followed by the Activist Academy’s objectives, expectations, logistics and ground rules.

The day continued with an introduction round in a big group “Who are you, people?”. It gave the participants the chance to really get to know each other and everyone’s background.

Gladly the Berlin weather was in favour of the participants, making the day even more worthy.

The sun threw its last blessings down on the many discussions on what makes a good activist and who is a good role model. Participants had a great opportunity to exchange thoughts.

Helena Olsson from Sweden believes that a good activist has passion and planning skills: “To be a good role model would be to show that it’s okay not to be perfect. I saw an inspiring clip of an old woman protesting on social media and that was inspiring to me, to see that activism can last a lifetime.”

Hara Nikolaou said that a good activist is a teacher and a student at the same time. They know that there is always room for learning new things and skills and they are willing to share with others. “In my view, this is the perfect role model,” confirmed Hara.

A participant Alex Caruana believes a good role model is someone who is always willing to learn, search deep into issues and not just see things which are at the surface because some people suffer injustice more than others for various reasons and sometimes the reasons are not visible.

Veronika Štefečková added: “A good activist knows what they are doing and why are they doing that – they have a clear reason, motivation and a vision.”

Thanakarn Bella Vongvisitsin from Thailand sees a good role model and an activist be resilient and optimistic and Megan McIntyre believes that an open mind and the ability to put aside your own feelings to think about the needs of others will define a good activist.

Tudor Kovacs from IGLYO believes that a good activist and a role model have to have compassion and empathy for others, no matter what their position is towards other’s cause. “I started activism out of anger but I found compassion and training myself to see the potential for change in everyone were more impactful,” he added.

We are looking forward to the second day of the Activist Academy 2017.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!

IGLYO is co-funded by the Rights Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme 2014-2020 of the European Union and the Government of the Netherlands. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of IGLYO and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission or the Government of the Netherlands.