“Changemakers in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean South”
13 – 18 June 2017
The Center for International and European Studies (CIES) at Kadir Has University held the 7th International Neighbourhood Symposium (INS) in the lively and historic Black Sea town of Odessa between Tuesday, 13 June and Sunday, 18 June 2017. This year’s Symposium focused on “Changemakers in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean South”. It organized in cooperation with local partners: UA: Ukraine Analytica and the Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”.
The setting: The INS focuses principally on the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean South, two regions that are shared neighborhoods of the European Union, its member states, the Russian Federation, and Turkey. While each region is distinct with its own historical, political, social, cultural and economic features; their contiguity implies a number of synergies and shared experiences on a variety of themes ranging from systemic dynamics to societal prerogatives. The INS aims to promote further understanding and cooperation in the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean South and beyond by providing a forum for study, dialogue and networking in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment.
Why Changemakers? The term “changemaker” has gained much mileage as it has been used by Ashoka to empower social entrepreneurs and innovators, we believe that it has a wider definition. A changemaker is a business leader, a policy maker, an activist, a young leader, a scholar, as well as a social entrepreneur that believes in change while also seeking to make it happen. A changemaker is thus an innovator, a trendsetter, and a visionary; someone who is willing to take creative action to solve social and societal problems.
Objective: Hence, the aim of the 2017 edition of the International Neighbourhood Symposium is to discuss, assess, and understand the regional dynamics as well as the impact these are having on the transformation of the societies of the countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Mediterranean South during the first two days of the Symposium. Expert discussions will also brought the spotlight on a number of societal concerns as diverse as politics, the role of the media, our understanding of democracy, the nexus of international development and humanitarian work, and the potential of cultural cities. In other words, while an understanding of the key dynamics at play is imperative, it is also incumbent to debate and explore how changemakers, that symbolize the potential of human capital, can affect change.
Days 3 and 4 dedicated to peer to peer workshops facilitated by expert trainers whereby participants, in the role of changemakers, presented project proposals emanating from their cooperation in the workshops.
Target audience: Young professionals and graduate students primarily from the countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood, the Mediterranean South, Central Asia, EU member states, and the United States are the Symposium target group. In addition, applicants from the fields of public policy, politics, journalism, and business are especially encouraged to apply. The target age group is 22-35 years of age (those born between 1982 and 1995).
Partners: The CIES project enjoys the support of numerous international partners and co-sponsors. To date these include, apart from the aforementioned local partners, the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation; NATO Public Diplomacy Division; the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Odessa Branch; the Friedrich Naumann Foundation; the Harvard University Black Sea Security Program; Kadir Has University; the International Institute for Peace, Vienna; the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, Istanbul; the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”, Sofia; the International Relations Council of Turkey, Istanbul; the Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey; the International Networking Institute, Istanbul; the Fotoessa Centre for Education, Research and Action, Athens; and International Development Management (IDEMA), Istanbul; the Federation of NGOs for Development (FOND), the Black Sea NGO Network, Bucharest, the Open Ukraine Foundation, Kyiv; and the International Renaissance Foundation, Kyiv .