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TOOLS FOR CITIZENS

IN A COMPLEX WORLD

The world is becoming increasingly complex and changing constantly. As a result, the role of civil society is rapidly changing as well. Civil society actors become facilitators, conveners, innovators, advocates and service providers. The new civil society becomes a whole living system that cannot be created by any sector acting alone. The boundaries between sectors are blurred. Grass root organizations, social businesses or co-operatives – different actors share the same purpose: positive social development and the common challenge of navigating through these complex times.

Tools for Citizens is made to answer to this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (in short, VUCA) world. When complicated situations turn into complex ones, new approaches are necessary to respond to new needs. By providing easily accessible DIY tools – methods and workshops – which tackle specific capacity building issues, we support civil society actors who want to act and collaborate in this complex world. The Toolbox enables actors to improve how they work together in their team, as an organization and with other civil society actors.

In complex situations, causes and solutions are unknown and many. There is never one solution to a problem. With process orientated workshop outlines for specific capacity building issues, we offer a “how to” orientation for spending a day in your team to improve one specific need. This workshop outline – which we call a “Path” – always needs to be adapted to your needs and context. We believe that only you can identify your challenges, create your solutions and see how you need to change. With the Toolbox, we support you as you navigate your way towards a stronger team, organization, and society.

THE STORY BEHIND TOOLBOX

The story behind Tools for Citizens is a story about people and organizations joining forces to strengthen the capacity of civil society actors. Over two years, conversations in Berlin and Istanbul emerged; an international team grew and kicked-off the project in 2017. As a team of eight people and four organizations, we started this Toolbox journey aiming to develop an easily accessible, DIY Toolbox to respond to the current challenges and needs of local civil society in Turkey. We started with a needs assessment and developed methods and workshop outlines, which respond to some most important challenges of civil society actors in Turkey.

In 2018, the core team grew and four Greek organizations joined in. We continued and expanded the development process, and now Greek civil society actors are developing tools with us which are geared towards the Greek local context. Tailoring the Toolbox’s development toward the contexts in Greece and Turkey has enabled us to understand and respond to specific needs. Yet, civil society around the globe faces similar challenges in this complex world, even though the causes may differ from place to place: the tools developed for these two local contexts can be applied to strengthen civil society globally.

WHO WE ARE

The program is run by MitOst e.V., supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and operated in cooperation with Socius, Anadolu Kültür, COMM’ON and Art of Hosting Athina with the consultancy of Laden Yurttagüler and Yörük Kurtaran and the contribution of HIGGS and Impact Hub Athens.

MitOst is a non-profit organization based in Berlin. MitOst promotes cultural exchange and active citizenship in Europe and its neighbouring regions. With 1,400 members in 40 different countries as well as with various partners, MitOst is part of a dynamic network. MitOst encourages activities and implements programs which foster cultural exchange, active citizenship, social cohesion, and sustainable urban and rural development – beyond cultural, sectoral, or linguistic borders.

SOCIUS is a consulting partnership which has been facilitating organizational and personal development processes since 1998. It is based in Germany and works with a wide range of clients with international reach, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa as well as Central and Southeast Asia. SOCIUS is a non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) and a co-operative (eG) under German law.

Anadolu Kültür was founded as a not-for-profit cultural institution in 2002 when individuals from various fields of the art world, the business world and civil society came together to support the production and sharing of culture and art in cities across Turkey and abroad. Anadolu Kültür continues its activities with the belief that cultural and artistic exchange will help develop mutual understanding and dialogue and overcome regional differences and prejudices, and that a broader cultural life will elicit a discussion of concepts such as citizenship, identity, and belonging.

COMM’ON  is a non-profit organization, based in Athens, working as a “backbone” organization for innovative and sustainable societal collaborations in the city and in smaller communities. It has been designed as a multileveled space, where people – leading new societal activities – meet, learn from each other, exchange assets and co-create new effective and sustainable solutions for common living, building a new societal eco-system. COMM’ON empowers the vivid network of the grassroot social activities, encourages collaborations between different socially orientated stakeholders and supports the process of translating commonly built knowledge to policy making assets.

AoHAthina is a social co-operative enterprise registered in Athens, Greece. Inspired by the recent Greek context, AoHAthina’s core purpose is to offer collaborative learning opportunities for emerging leaders, people who care and are initiating and prototyping new ways of working and living. AoHAthina provides Trainings, Summer Programmes, Collaborative Labs and Consulting services that develop leadership practices in time of systemic change.

Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major foundations in Europe that is associated with a private company. For over 50 years, it has followed the legacy of Robert Bosch, continuing his commitment to social and societal causes in a contemporary form. The Foundation exclusively and directly serves charitable purposes. It focuses on the topics of health, science and research, education, society, and international relations.

WHO WE ARE

The program is run by MitOst e.V., supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and operated in cooperation with Socius, Anadolu Kültür, COMM’ON and Art of Hosting Athina with the consultancy of Laden Yurttagüler and Yörük Kurtaran and the contribution of HIGGS and Impact Hub Athens.

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