Trial and error


Open for Change is about new approaches to tackle the deep dividing lines in our societies. You can navigate your journey through the event along four programmatic lines:

  • Triggers for change
  • Tough dilemma’s
  • Trial and error
  • Test the tools


´Trial and error´ will investigate the process of searching for new approaches. Why does change tend to be so slow and difficult? Which challenges do we face?

We want Open for Change to be characterized by openness in all its facets. The following participants will be taking us along in their search for what works and what doesn’t:


How to carnivalise politics?

Carol Tokuyo

How to use the positive as a driving force for activism? Fora do Eixo began to organise street parties- festivals where artists, activists and the general public are welcomed into a celebration of performing arts, punctuated by political analysis by performers and public debates on issues about city policy and the concerns in people’s lives.
#artcommunity #Brazil #Fora do Eixo #revolutionary love

Change through satire

Jimmy Ssentongo

As a researcher and teacher, Jimmy’s work focuses on ethnic diversity and tensions in Uganda. In his spare time, he also publishes cartoons at university and national newspapers. Through his cartoons – which critically reflect on social justice, political interests and manipulation - Jimmy engages with a wider audience.


Financing social change

Michael Edwards, Keith Wallace, Jaap Spreeuwenberg, Remko Berkhout, Michel Scholte, Dennis Karpes, Omar Ramirez

In relation to development and social change, money is both a curse and a cure. Michael Edwards will lay out an ecosystem of democratic, institutional and commercial funding models, arguing against a single, “best” approach to social finance. In part 2 of the session, we build further on the commercial funding model, when three ‘typical Hivos organizations’ – TruePrice, the Naga Foundation and Play4Karma – will pitch their business models to a panel of (informal) investors. How to finance your social cause, while remaining independent and sustainable for the future?
#alternative funding #business models #organizational learning

Brilliant failures

Maria Bobenrieth

Women Win uses sport programmes to develop positive growth in girls. Economic empowerment has to be part of that growth, argues executive director Maria Bobenrieth. Not only for the girls, but also for the programmes themselves. Years of experience makes her an expert on brilliant failures in connecting the need of the people to need of the market.

Women Win#empowerment#organisational learning#sports

Teaching for change

Caroline Suransky, Ajita Vidyarthi, Lingga Utama, Joe Bazirake, Mhlanganisi Madlongowane, Frank Nieuwenhuizen

The Pluralism Knowledge Programme organizes an annual summer school for scholars and activists from Uganda, India, South Africa, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Together they not only learn about pluralism in class, but also intensively experience living it. Five young graduates discuss how the summer school challenged them to change both personally and professionally.

Kosmopolis#personal change#Pluralism#summerschool

Packaging knowledge

Carla Sutherland, Crystal Simeoni

How many studies and data sets make it beyond the academic world? And how many activists actually use research to rethink their strategies? Be it on religion and sexuality or service delivery data sets, Carla and Crystal work in very different domains and both share their search for tools and ways to create a culture of knowledge.

Colombia University#theoryandpractice#Hivos#tools

How to change your approach?

Arvid Vormann

WADI focuses on empowering women and advancing their political and social equality in the Middle East. Arvid Vormann will share the trial and errors, successes and break-throughs of WADI’s 10-year fight against FGM in Kurdistan, and how they are currently reinventing their approach.


How to commit the crowd?

Abdallah Absi, Tamer Taha, Mark Laagewaard

Changemakers increasingly turn towards new means to collect funding for their social cause. Crowdfunding is one of those; it’s the new buzz around the block. But when does crowdfunding work? How to commit the crowd? (Young) crowdfunding initiatives from the Middle East and the Netherlands will share their trial and errors.


Re-engaging secularists and Islamists

Emna Jeblaoui

Emna Jeblaoui is a Tunisian researcher and activist whose mission is to contribute to a dialogue between secularists/liberals and Islamists in Tunesia. Her country is deeply polarized following the uprising of 2011. On reconciling the open society and the Arab-Muslim identity.
#Arab Spring #polarisation #religion