Ariadne’s Thread – January 2020

Ariadne’s Thread – January 2020
January 22, 2020 Hannah Stevens

January 2020

Ariadne’s Thread is a monthly update of events, briefings and research for social change and human rights funders. 

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Ariadne News & Events

Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

REGISTER NOW – 2020 ARIADNE FORECAST ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS: Ariadne is creating its sixth Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders. We will be holding roundtables on 3rd February in Paris (in French), 6th February in London (in English), 11th February in Amsterdam (in English) and 13th February in Como (in Italian), which will focus on relevant trends in the field of social change and human rights at national, European and global levels and in the philanthropic field itself. We will open each meeting with the results of a short survey of pivotal grant-makers in their region. Two to three senior forecasters in each location will then offer expert input and there will be an open discussion between funders. The results of the survey and roundtables will be collated into a 2020 Ariadne Forecast for publication by the end of March. For more details and to register for the location of your choice, please click on the cities. Please note these are funder-only events.

REGISTER NOW – 2020 Ariadne Policy Briefing: You are invited to register for the 11th Ariadne Policy Briefing on 1st-3rd April 2020 in Berlin, for two and a half days of networking, understanding the cutting-edge issues for European funders, improving your grant-skills and having an informative and enjoyable time in the company of fellow funders and grantmakers. This year, Ariadne and EDGE Funders Alliance will hold their annual conferences back-to-back as part of “Change Funders Week” 2020. The EDGE Conference will take place on 30th March – 1st April in Berlin. Click here to register for Ariadne’s Policy Briefing. Please note this is a funder-only event.

HAVE YOU READ? PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT – FUNDERS’ PRACTICES AND CHALLENGES: As in the rest of society, among those who work for and interact with foundations, there will be individuals who are the target or perpetrators of sexual harassment in its various manifestations. Foundations committed to social justice and human rights have an important role in combating sexual harassment through their work, but they must also take all steps necessary to prevent and respond to it in their work. This guide is an invitation to think, discuss, and learn.

HAVE YOU READ? MAKING A WAY FORWARD – COMMUNITY ORGANISING AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE: Ariadne and the European Community Organising Network published a study that presents insights from funders on the role that community organising can play for protecting liberal and inclusive democracies. This report showcases examples of people reclaiming democratic space and developing leadership for the future of their communities.

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 18th February at 15:00 GMT. This is an online webinar you can participate in from your desk. To join, you will need a computer or tablet (iPad/Android) to watch the online demonstration. To register, please click here. For additional portal tuition dates, please click here.

*To register for Ariadne events, your institution must be a member organisation of Ariadne. For questions regarding your membership status, please contact Hannah Stevens.


New Research, Articles and Judgements

Queering SRHR: Report on the state of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of LGBTQI people in Europe: This report is a compilation of the ‘Queering SRHR’ editorial series from Inspire, which sought to raise awareness of current sexual and reproductive health and rights’ (SRHR) struggles, goals and achievements related to LGBTQI people. The aim was to challenge the binary and heteronormative narratives around SRHR, and to encourage colleagues, partners and other stakeholders to make discussions all-inclusive.

Pushing Back: Supporting Human Rights Defenders and Social Movements in Contexts of Shrinking Civic and Democratic Space: This working paper, by Emilie Flower of The University of York, responds to a request from ActionAid to identify concrete examples of push back against restrictions on civic and democratic space. See also, policy brief ‘Wellbeing and Temporary International Relocation of Human Rights Defenders at Risk.’

Trump-linked US Christian ‘fundamentalists’ pour millions of ‘dark money’ into Europe, boosting the far right: MEPs call for action as openDemocracy analysis reveals ‘shocking’ flows of cash crossing the Atlantic to push ultra-conservative agendas.

Three reasons why rights and climate activists should fight populists together: In this article for openDemocracy, Israel Butler of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe and Eefje de Kroon of Greenpeace the Netherlands, write that about how the road to sustainability is paved with human rights. See also, article ‘When Climate Activism and Nationalism Collide.’

Lankelly Chase takes action on climate change at Barclays AGM: This blog covers how Lankelly Chase is one of 11 institutional investors and more than 100 individual shareholders which have recently taken action at Barclays by asking the bank to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies that are active agents in driving the climate crisis. ShareAction, the responsible investment charity, are coordinating this collaboration.

The increasing squeeze on refugees to go home: As delegates aimed for progress on so-called “burden-sharing” at December’s inaugural Global Refugee Forum, the reality facing hundreds of thousands of refugees – from Burundians in Tanzania to Syrians in Lebanon – is that they are increasingly feeling the squeeze. This article looks at how governments around the world are trying to reduce the number of refugees in their countries; they are often putting pressure on refugees to leave – whether they’re ready or not.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

ARTICLE: Graphic violence: an innovative way of representing the war in Sri Lanka: This article introduces Vanni, a new graphic novel which follows the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the ‘Tamil Tigers’, told from the perspective of a single family.  Vanni draws upon over four years of meticulous research, includes first-hand interviews, references from official reports and cross-referencing with experts in the field – an approach which the author, Ben Dix, now applies to other issues including migration and human rights in India through his work at Positive Negatives, an organisation which produces literary comics, animations and podcasts about contemporary social and humanitarian issues.

PODCAST: MEGAPHONE: Having our act together and other warning signs in journalism and human rights work: Journalists and human rights activists encounter difficult situations, affecting themselves or the people they seek to help, daily. This can make them prone to experiencing compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. Listeners will learn more about what these things are, how they manifest, and why paying attention to the symptoms is crucial – for you and for the people you work with. This episode of the MEGAPHONE podcast is dedicated to those people who shake their heads when they hear the term “mindfulness” because, as Andy explains, mindfulness actually means looking out for yourself and each other.

ARTICLE: When ‘Big Brother’ Isn’t Scary Enough: This New York Times article argues that, although there are lots of metaphors for mass surveillance, the most common one is failing us.

APPEL À CANDIDATURES : Fulbright : L’appel à candidatures au programme NGO leaders de la commission Fulbright jusqu’au 15 mars 2020. Il propose aux personnes ayant un poste à responsabilité au sein d’associations, de fondations, d’organisations non gouvernementales et d’entreprises de l’économie sociale et solidaire l’opportunité de faire un séjour de recherche, d’observation, et/ou d’échange de bonnes pratiques de 1 à 6 mois aux Etats-Unis au sein de la structure d’accueil de leur choix : une université américaine, une ONG américaine ou une combinaison des deux. Cliquez ici pour le lien.

ARTICLE: Overload on train to Kashmir’s internet oasis: This France 24 article looks at how, every day the train to Kashmir’s remote cyber oasis Banihal is now packed as people travel for hours to get online in the disputed region where internet has been cut for five months. The mountain town of fewer than 4,000 people has six internet cafes, which are booming due to a security clampdown by the Indian government.

ARTICLE: It’s Time for Philanthropic Billionaires To Share Power: In this article for Forbes Nonprofit Council, NCRP President and CEO Aaron Dorfman makes 3 suggestions for how the ultra-wealthy can protect themselves from criticism of their philanthropy.

Do you have a great blog post, case study or podcast you’d like to contribute? We would love to feature it. Email Hannah Stevens at


Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Tools for Grantmakers: Ford Foundation has created a toolkit to help funders, organisations and the philanthropic community at large identify and instil best practices for DEI-related issues. The case studies and guides draw from four real-life scenarios to help grantmakers and grantees become more adept in establishing processes and policies in their own work. See also, blog ‘A 2020 Resolution for Peace and Security Funders.’

New funders group on climate change: This funders group on climate change, launched last summer, invites other interested funders to join their conversations. The group meets every three months, shares updates in-between and, given that more and better grantmaking is the main goal, is developing a funding map so funders can identify current funding gaps. Often, a think tank or Foundation is invited to speak about their work on climate change, to help build the group’s collective understanding of funding opportunities. Meetings are also an opportunity to present early stage funding ideas to each other, for discussion and learning. Dates for upcoming meetings, in London and via Zoom, are as follows: 4th March; 3rd June; 16th September; 20th October (special COP meeting); and 1st December. To join the group or find out more, contact See also, article ‘As Top Foundations Resist Divesting from Fossil Fuels, What Might Change Their Minds?

Readiness, response and recovery – A funders guide: Of use to all funders, no matter their geographic focus, Philanthropy New Zealand has developed ‘Readiness, Response and Recovery: A funders’ guide for philanthropists and grantmakers.’ It recognises the critical role that funders play in preparing for and responding to major events, and helping communities recover from them.

On Becoming a Better Tech Funder: Tech philanthropy is booming, but it doesn’t think nearly enough about the needs of the organisations it hopes to help. This article from SSIR provides a roundup of best practices and resources that can help tech firms move fast and fix how they fund nonprofits.

Reimagining Power Dynamics from Within: How Foundations Can Support Child and Youth Participation: This PNG blog by Rachele Tardi and Zachary Turk of the OSF Youth Exchange team shares some best practices for engaging children and young people in donor spaces and conversations, drawn from the literature as well as their own experiences in the field.

Donor-Advised Funds and Community Foundations: What’s Right, What’s Missing, and What’s Next: This podcast features a conversation on thoughtfully and effectively deploying philanthropic resources with Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable; and Michael Voss, publisher of SSIR.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 20th February. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 18th February if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust – Sustainable Future Committee Members (x2): The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust wishes to appoint two, co-opted members to serve on its Sustainable Future committee from June 2020. The Committee are looking for individuals with experience in working with social movements and for individuals with a good understanding of behavioural economics, particularly in relation to the ‘Beyond Consumerism’ and ‘Better Economics’ strands of the Trust’s grant-making policy. Deadline for applications is 13th February.

Alliance Magazine – Digital Editor: Alliance Magazine is looking for a trained editor with experience of online editing, strong digital skills and an interest in philanthropy. The digital editor’s principal responsibility is to directly manage the digital strategy and content of the organisation and to work with the executive editor to maintain high editorial quality. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 7th February.

Global Philanthropy Project – Consultant for Regional Taskforce Coordination: The Global Philanthropy Project is seeking a full-time consultant to coordinate the development of regional grantmaker taskforces focused on increasing LGBTI funding in the regions of East Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Latin America/Caribbean, and a fourth regional focus to be determined in consultation with GPP members. Taskforces may be limited to GPP membership or open to wider grantmaking networks, as determined by each regional group. Location: Remote. Deadline for applications is 4th February.

Programme Officer/Senior Programme Officer, Women’s Rights – Sigrid Rausing Trust: The Sigrid Rausing Trust is recruiting a Programme Officer/Senior Programme Officer to co-manage the Trust’s thematic programme on Women’s Rights, and to advise the trustees of the organisation on their grantmaking. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 2nd February. The Sigrid Rausing Trust is also recruiting a Chief Operating Officer.

Program Officer, Economic Justice Program – Open Society Foundations: Open Society Foundations is seeking a Program Officer to join their Economic Justice Special Initiatives team. The team designs, initiates and manages a diverse set of bold, often early-stage, high-risk, high-agency interventions to advance economic justice globally.  Location: London, United Kingdom or New York, United States. Deadline for applications is 9th February.

Communications and Partnerships Manager – European Venture Philanthropy Association: EVPA is looking for an experienced Communications & Partnerships professional to co-develop and execute an ambitious marketing and communication strategy and public relations strategy, aiming to highlight EVPA as the leading community of venture philanthropists, social investors and SPOs in Europe and beyond. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until 9th February.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal.


Public Meetings

26th April – May 2nd
Spring of Philanthropy 2020: The King Baudouin Foundation invites you to attend the “Spring of Philanthropy.” Participants at this event will take an in-depth look at a range of philanthropic topics and will have access to a forum for innovative ideas and practices that might inspire philanthropists in how they are committed to and tackle societal problems. The “Spring of Philanthropy” intends to show how important it is to recognise philanthropy, and to promote and encourage it, at the national, European and international level. The event will take place on 28th April in Brussels, Belgium.


February 22nd – 29th
A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in The Age of Nation-States: In this book presentation, Eric Weitz, author of ‘A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in The Age of Nation-States’ will focus on the relationship between nation-states, human rights and minority rights, including the creation of minorities, Armenians and Jews in particular. He will argue that minority recognition is always double-edged. While promoted by human rights and minority activists as the path to citizenship and full equality, recognition can also be the source of discrimination and violent attacks. The event will take place on 27th February in Geneva, Switzerland.


January 26th – February 8th
Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski: The play explores the legacy of Jan Karski, Polish World War II hero, Holocaust witness, and late Georgetown Professor. Karski, a resistance fighter who represented the Polish government in exile, risked his life to bring first-hand accounts of Nazi atrocities to the Allies, twice infiltrating the Warsaw Ghetto and posing as a guard at the Izbica transit camp, where he witnessed Jews being herded on to train cars bound for death camps. Karski urgently reported what he witnessed to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, and to US President Franklin Roosevelt and US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, all of whom failed to act. Following the play, there will be a panel discussion on these themes, moderated by the BBC’s Razia Iqbal and featuring the play’s director Derek Goldman, actor David Strathairn, Baroness Arminka Helic, Queen Mary University’s Professor Penny Green and experts from Human Rights Watch. The event will take place on 27th January in London, United Kingdom.

January 26th – February 1st
A conversation with Lori Villarosa of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity: Join Lori Villarosa, the founder and executive director of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, for a strategic discussion on practical challenges and shared learning of what has and hasn’t been effective among US funders in deepening their racial equity work over the past decades. Villarosa has been a pioneer working at the intersection of racial justice and philanthropy for more than 28 years, deeply engaging with hundreds of funders at the community level, regionally, nationally and internationally, to advance the use of a racial equity or racial justice lens in their grantmaking and effectively align their internal practices to sustain such a lens. The event will take place on 28th January in London, United Kingdom. RSVP 

January 26th – February 1st
Behind locked doors: Immigration detention in prisons exposed: Every year in the UK, hundreds of people are held in immigration detention in prison. At the end of a custodial part of a sentence, instead of being released back into the community, many prisoners who do not have British citizenship continue to be locked up while the Home Office begins the process of deporting them from the UK. Many have lived in the UK most of their lives and some have even been born in the UK. Denied access to legal advice and grappling with inadequate communication, people in this position find themselves isolated and fearful. To compound this, many prisons operate a system in which prisoners are locked in their cells for 23 hours, rendering coping with legal challenges almost impossible. BID invites you to hear about what it’s like to be detained in prison, about how the organisation continues to challenge this system legally, and why it has a dedicated prisons’ project. The event will take place on 29th January in London, United Kingdom.

January 26th – February 1st
For Sama: Screening and Q&A with Waad al-Kateab: The Guardian invites you to a special screening of Oscar-nominated documentary film For Sama, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Waad al-Kateab. When 18-year-old al-Kateab moved to Aleppo to study economics, she did not expect the city she loved to soon be reduced to rubble – but the siege from Russia under Assad’s regime was sudden and violent. Amid the death of hundreds of thousands and the displacement of more than 10 million people, al-Kateab found love and gave birth to a daughter, Sama. Over six months in 2016, she filmed the devastation around her, and the resulting documentary is both a love letter and an explanation. For Sama interweaves the personal narrative of a new mother with a broader political story, including the targeted bombing of hospitals containing children. At its core, the film poses a question to baby Sama: “Will you blame me for staying here or blame me for leaving?” The Aleppo that al-Kateab loved is gone, many of her friends dead or missing. But there is hope ringing through it: that life and love can be found in tragedy. This event will take place on 31st January in London, United Kingdom. 

January 26th – February 1st
Refugee Solidarity Summit 2020: You are invited to join a convening of grassroots solidarity networks, non-profit organisations, activists, volunteers, community organisers and NGOs working in refugee support, solidarity, advocacy and welcome in the UK and across Europe. The Summit will be instrumental in unifying and refreshing the network, providing the space to reflect, regroup, and celebrate achievements; helping to galvanise approaches and move forward with a clearer sense of collective purpose. The event will take place on 31st January and 1st February in London, United Kingdom.

January 26th – February 1st
Accountability in Advancing Social Change: Social change work is often wracked with questions of accountability, and these questions are mirrored across sectors by authors, comedians, governments, and cultural icons worldwide. During this webinar, participants will hear from community and social movement leaders about what accountability looks like and why it’s critical to achieve social systems change. Funders will share what they’re doing to advance accountability in their philanthropic work, what challenges they’re facing, and how they’re working around those. Attendees will also be invited to explore accountability in their own work. The event will take place online on 30th January.

29th January, 25th March and 28th May
NEID Learning Circle on Impact Investing: New England International Donors (NEID) has organised a four-part series on how to adopt new tools to invest towards lasting change. The series seeks to “deep dive” into examples of impact investments from beneficiaries; identify the challenges and risks of unintended consequences; and provide participants with practical tips on how to get started and/or scale up. The three remaining sessions are ‘Understanding Where your Money Goes’ on 29th January, ‘Better Understanding Blended Finance Options’ on 25th March and ‘Impact Investment by Thematic Sector’ on 28th May. The final three sessions of this four-part series will take place online and in Boston, United States on 29th January; 25th March; and 28th May.

February 16th – 22nd
How would you build a new feminist fund? Imagine a fund that could deliver unprecedented and ongoing resources to feminist movements. Now imagine that you could contribute to its design. By joining an Equality Fund webinar you can learn more about the Fund, its plans and commitments; contribute to its ‘Design and Build’ phase, particularly grantmaking strategies, investment mechanisms and feminist accountability; and provide guidance on best practice for feminist consultations, accountability mechanisms and communications for the life of the Fund. The event will take place online on 11th, 12th and 13th February in several different languages.


February 2nd – 8th
La France en Quête : « La France en quête », c’est le fruit d’un an de travail, de centaines de rencontres et d’une enquête d’opinion inédite, qui cartographie les systèmes de valeurs des Français. C’est l’histoire d’un pays fragmenté, qui se cherche et aspire à retrouver l’évidence de ce qu’il a en commun. « La France en quête : réconcilier une nation divisée », c’est le dernier rapport de Destin Commun, la branche française de More in Common, qu’ils seront heureux de vous présenter. L’évènement se déroulera le 6 février à Paris, France. RSVP


June 7th – 13th
AVPN Conference 2020: The Power of Networks: Themed ‘The Power Networks’, the 8th edition of AVPN’s Conference will focus on the impact that networks can bring to advancing global agendas and changing the status quo. Leveraging the convening and influential power of networks has become more important than ever in order to address the pressing global issues that no one organisation, country or individual can solve alone. AVPN Conference 2020 aims to harness this unique convening power of networks to influence and ignite action in people, platforms and places, in an accountable way. The event will take place between 9th and 12th June in Singapore. 


January 26th – February 1st
How does film raise awareness about migration and refugees? In the short film, ‘Gifts from Babylon’ actor Christopher Tijan Smith plays a refugee who returns to The Gambia. Sadly, after the film was shot, Smith became a refugee himself. After the screening, he will tell his own story as well as the story of the role he plays in the film. Margje de Jong, Creative Director of Movies That Matter, and Dr Emiel Martens will also join the discussion. The conversation will turn to migrant cinema as a genre. What defines migrant cinema? What does it try to accomplish? How do films such as this contribute to public debate, and can they be ‘Bubble Breakers?’ The event will take place on 31st January in The Hague, Netherlands.


October 11th – 17th
Unlocking Abundance: Linking Muslim Philanthropy to Inclusive Capitalism: Global Donors Forum, the biennial convening of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, mobilizes financial and intellectual resources for creating socioeconomic value to benefit people beyond all divides. GDF envisions a peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world, generously endowed by ethical, inclusive, and effective philanthropy. In pursuit of this agenda, GDF resolves to work in collaboration with the vast array of individuals and institutions that seek to build a better world for all. The Forum brings together distinguished philanthropists, grantmakers, social investors, government and business leaders, and experts from across the world to offer pragmatic insight and constructive responses to pressing global challenges. The event will take place between 14th and 16th October in Washington D.C., United States.

Ariadne is supported by the American Jewish World Service, Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and Zennström Philanthropies.

Ariadne is also supported by voluntary contributions from its participants.

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