Charlotte Petri Gornitzka

19 January, 2016

A historic year has come to an end.  We now need to join forces to tirelessly work for full implementation of the outcomes from the conferences on Financing for Development, the UN General assembly on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate agreement at COP 21.

One of the lessons of the last 15 years is that the Cecilia Nyambeki cooperates with the Kenyan CSO NACHU and is being interviewed by Nyokabi Kahura for a reportage at www.sida.seworld’s biggest challenges cannot be solved in isolation. The new universal agenda, which makes all countries developing countries, needs a more inclusive – as well as sustainable – social and economic model. How we as governments, donors, civil society organisations (CSOs), private sector etc. partner for development will have an impact on the ability to address the global challenges of today. MORE

John Bines

12 January, 2016

Once upon a time, in the north west, lived Arrogance. One day Arrogance met Greed. Perfectly compatible, they soon conceived and Colonialism was born.  Colonialism was strong and became very powerful. However, Colonialism did much damage to others and ultimately faded away to great happiness.

Arrogance blamed Greed for Colonialism’s wrong-doings and ended the relationship. However Arrogance was still fit and well and took another lover – Benevolence. Arrogance and Benevolence were not well suited; they were virtually incompatible. Despite this they too had a child called Development.

Development’s upbringing was difficult; torn by the conflicting demands of its parents. Because of this, Development struggled to build sustainable relationships and had a number of fleeting romances. As a result of one of these, Ingo [1] was born. Later and after an awkward courtship, Development settled down with Globalisation and, soon after, Collaboration was born.

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Kumi Naidoo

15 December, 2015

Co-author Daniel Mittler, Political Director, Greenpeace International

That the Paris climate agreement for the first time sets its eyes on limiting global warming to a safer level of 1.5 degrees and sends a clear signal that the fossil fuel era is ending, is the result of real leadership from the most vulnerable countries combined with unprecedented levels of climate mobilisation over the last years, months and days. What is good in the Paris agreement is there because of people power. What is bad, and there is plenty, is where people power now, going forward, needs to be directed.

Let’s be honest: Photo by Elizabeth Stillwell, creative commons image via FlickrAfter Copenhagen six years ago, the climate movement was depressed. We tried not to let that happen (at Greenpeace, for example, we had a fresh team taking over early in 2010 to keep momentum going). But the mood was too dark, so it took months before we, as a movement, recovered. Looking back now, though, we can say that the strategic roads taken after Copenhagen were vindicated over the past few days. The climate movement’s new focus since 2010 on winning national battles had already resulted in key steps forward: Coal demand is now in terminal decline worldwide, after a dramatic – if not complete – change of course in China. This year alone Shell had to retreat from the Alaskan Arctic, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and Alberta put a cap on tar sands oil. Combine this bad news for fossil fuels with new players – from cities to companies – coming on board with the vision of a 100% renewable future and the ground shifts. It has worked to change – from the grassroots up – the global conversation around climate change. MORE

Alexia Skok

8 December, 2015

Civil society organisations (CSOs) must be prepared with the tools they need to navigate transformative change as it arises – with this at the core of its agenda, the International Civil Society Centre launched Scanning the Horizon in December 2015.

This new project is bringing together a community of experts – futurists, strategists, and trend analyst – to build a base of knowledge that detects disruption early and helps organisations mitigate potential challenges.

On 3 – 4 December, Scanning the Horizon held an initial working group, which included David Thomson (Global Strategy Director, Plan International), and Lars Gustavsson (Futurist, World Vision International). These two changemakers discuss the project, potential future disruptions and the need for CSOs to constantly scan the horizon for upcoming trends.


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Wael Hmaidan

1 December, 2015

The world is looking to Paris as world leaders gather in the city to open the UN Climate Summit (COP 21) where governments from more than 190 countries are expected to forge a new, global climate agreement that paves the way for an accelerated transition to a 100% renewable energy future.

For the first time ever over 150 countries have submitted national climate action plans known in technical UN-speak as INDCs. Submitted over the past 9 months these pledges, including some from countries who have never taken action before, can help to bend the curve of projected global warming closer to the internationally agreed target of of 2°C – or ideally 1.5°C. However they are not enough to achieve this goal alone, so the Paris Summit must build on them. MORE

Rebecca Masisak

24 November, 2015

Be_The_Change_Report_Large_UploadIn early 2015 the International Civil Society Centre launched the Building an Organisational Culture of Change working group, bringing together 23 civil society leaders and experts for an exciting research project. Exploring the transformation that international civil society organisations (ICSOs) must undertake to adapt to disruption, the group developed an outline of a culture that embraces change and identified concrete steps towards establishing such a culture specifically in ICSOs. The results appear in the recently released Be the Change report. Rebecca Masisak was a member of the working group, and writes below about how the report’s messaging relates to her experience as CEO of TechSoup.

Disruption in society, business and government circles creates new opportunities for civil society organisations (CSOs) to look for innovative ways to meet their mission objectives. MORE

Alexia Skok

17 November, 2015

Technological, political and planetary disruptions are threats to ICSOs’ existence. At the same time they entail brilliant opportunities to deliver our mission. We have to welcome change in order to reap these opportunities – Be the Change.

Throughout the past year, the International Civil Society Centre undertook an exciting and enriching project that brought together a group of civil society leaders and experts to explore the cultural organisational change that international civil society organisations (ICSOs) must undertake to adapt to disruption; The Building an Organisational Culture of Change working group was born. MORE

Claudia Juech

3 November, 2015

This is the third post in our four-week series of guest blogs by influencers in the civil society sector, reflecting on ideas and topics brought up in the book The Hedgehog and the Beetle – Disruption and Innovation in the Civil Society Sector by Burkhard Gnärig. The below blog is by Claudia Juech, Associate Vice President, Managing Director Strategic Insights, The Rockefeller Foundation.


Disruptive innovations are ‘wild cards’. Their influence is unpredictable. They change how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day. Harvard Business School professor and disruption guru Clayton Christensen says a disruption displaces an existing market, industry, or technology and produces something new, more efficient and worthwhile.

What’s confusing is that we already know most technologies that could prove disruptive in future such as wearables, augmented reality or the driverless vehicle – yet many organizations will still be surprised when they affect their way of doing things. MORE

Burkhard Gnärig

7 April, 2015

When we started working on disruption in the civil society sector very quickly the question arose, whether the dramatic changes we observed in the outside world would eventually threaten the existence of even the most successful and prominent organisations?

Recently I was involved in a discussion about the future of our sector and we all agreed that our organisations would have to go through fundamental change in order to survive and thrive in a fast changing environment. When we reviewed the required depth and speed of change we had to undertake several colleagues voiced doubts whether their organisations would be able to undertake such extensive changes in a relatively short period of time. Suddenly the room fell quiet and one could sense the thoughts most of us struggled with: Will my organisation be able to change fast enough? Could my organisation disappear? MORE