Ariadne’s Thread – March 2021

Ariadne’s Thread – March 2021
March 18, 2021 Hannah Stevens

March 2021

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 Huma Kabakci on Unsplash

COMING SOON! 2021 ARIADNE FORECAST: Keep an eye on your inbox, because our 2021 Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders is almost finished and will be winging its way to you next week! There’s not long for you to wait until you can find out what challenges and opportunities your peers think 2021 will throw at your grantees; how your practice as a funder could change; which political events might affect your work; what will become more important in the months ahead; and – perhaps most importantly – what they feel hopeful about.

WEBINAR: HUMAN RIGHTS GRANTMAKING PRINCIPLES: MOVING FORWARD: FROM PRINCIPLES TO ACTION: What does bold and just philanthropy look like in practice? What can we do TODAY to advance human rights well into the future? Join Ariadne, HRFN and PAWHR for the culmination of our Principles Project series. In this final session, we will draw together the lessons from our powerful conversations over the last six months. Together with funders and activists from around the world, this series has explored six principles – and many concrete practices – to fund human rights. It is time to put the principles into action. Come learn from approaches that have successfully shifted funding practices. Join others working to be part of a new era of resourcing – whether as funders or activists (or both!). And help us define and prioritize the next steps for this project, from toolkits to communities of practice, that will be most transformational. Join us on Tuesday 23rd March, 15:00-16:30 GMT (world clock). Click here to register. You can find recordings, slides and visual harvests of the previous five sessions here.

NEW GENDER LENS INVESTING PODCAST EPISODE: CHANGING CONTEXTS AND LIVES: BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL TOGETHER: In our fifth and final episode, we look at how COVID has presented Gender Lens Investing and sustainable investing more widely with their first big test, and they have passed well. This series of podcasts was supported by funds from the European Commission. They are written and presented by Jo Andrews and produced and edited by Bill Taylor of The Lark Rise Partnership. You can listen and subscribe via iTunesSoundcloudSpotifyStitcher or TuneIn.

TECHNOLOGY TOUCHPOINT SPEAKER WINS UK SUPREME COURT CASE AGAINST UBER: On 19th February, former Uber driver, James Farrar, achieved a landmark win for workers’ rights. Along with the App Drivers & Couriers Union, he took Uber to an employment tribunal to argue that the app’s drivers are workers rather than self-employed contractors. After 5 years of legal battle and several appeals from Uber, the British Supreme Court ruled against the ridesharing company and confirmed that UK drivers are entitled benefits such as minimum wage, a company pension and holiday pay. In November, during our first Technology Touchpoint, James spoke to Ariadne about his activism and the legal process. Along with two other guest speakers, he explored how new digital challenges and opportunities facilitate strategic litigation, tech worker unionising and advancement of human rights in the new gig economy. The webinar was part of Ariadne’s Digital Power initiative, which aims to support Ariadne members to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities of technology. Ariadne members can watch a recording of the Technology Touchpoint here.  

PEX NEWSLETTER: Need more European philanthropy news in your life? Click here to sign up to PEXnews – a monthly update on what’s new in philanthropy in Europe, delivered by our friends at Dafne and co-created by the PEXcommunity. If you haven’t already, check out their new podcast and storybook too!

WE’VE MOVED! Well, kind of. We’re still working from our kitchens, perched at our dining room tables or set up in the cupboard under the stairs. But we’ve given up our office space, so we’re 100% virtual. If you’d like to use ‘snail mail’ you can reach us at: Ariadne, c/o Global Dialogue, First Floor, 10 Queen Street Place, London EC4R 1BE.

*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

State of hate: Far right extremism in Europe 2021: This landmark report exploring the state of far-right extremism across Europe is a collaboration between three leading European anti-fascist research organisations: HOPE not hate Charitable Trust (UK), EXPO Foundation (Sweden) and Amadeu Antonio Foundation (Germany). The report includes contributions from 34 leading scholars, researchers and activists from across the continent and 32 country profiles. The report includes an exclusive survey of 12,000 people across eight major European countries (Sweden, France, Germany, UK, Hungary, Poland and Italy), measuring attitudes toward immigration, minoritised communities, feminism and political disaffection. 

Solidarity Playbook: The Solidarity Playbook, written by friends of the network Deborah Doane and Sarah Pugh, collects case studies and best practices to help other civil society organisations (CSOs) respond to undue scrutiny and challenges, and to enable learning on how to act in solidarity with civil society actors, particularly local partners.

Blighted lives: Romani children in state care: The European Roma Rights Centre has published a report on the situation of Romani children in state care in five countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania & Moldova) which highlights failures to address the overrepresentation of Romani children in state care, as well the lack of any meaningful progress on closing down child institutions for good. The research demonstrates the need for immediate action by Governments and the European Commission, in the context of the new EU Roma Framework 2020-2030, to ensure progress on deinstitutionalisation.

The world faces a pandemic of human rights abuses in the wake of Covid-19: In this article for The Guardian, secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres writes about how the virus has been used as a pretext in many countries to crush dissent, criminalise freedoms and silence reporting.

Our chance to reconnect: Published by the /Together Coalition, this report sets out the findings from Talk/together, the UK’s biggest-ever public survey of what unites and divides UK society and what could bring its people together as they emerge from the Covid crisis. The report finds evidence of stronger connections within neighbourhoods and communities, with millions of new volunteers keen to step up again. If this positive legacy is built upon, this could help drive a step-change in social connection once the country emerges from the pandemic. What is perhaps most striking about the findings – particularly when one considers how divided that society felt upon entering 2020 – is the extent to which people felt the pandemic showed the unity of society rather than its divides.

Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege: Freedom House’s annual ‘Freedom in the World’ report tracks global trends in political rights and civil liberties. As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favour of tyranny. This year’s edition, titled “Democracy under Siege,” finds that fewer than a fifth of the world’s people now live in fully Free countries. Other key findings include India’s status changing from Free to Partly Free, and the United States’ score falling by three points.

COVID-19 challenge for Zagreb homeless: Croatia fails to help its growing homeless population: This article from ERSTE Stiftung looks at the pandemic, an earthquake, and  floods – three disasters and three missed opportunities to help Croatia’s growing homeless population.

To be a Congolese woman in Brazil: In this ‘beyond trafficking and slavery’ special feature from openDemocracy, nine women lay bare why they went to Brazil and what they experienced once they got there. Not all migration stories are the same.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

COMIC: Data, Responsibly #2: Fairness & Friends: Data, Responsibly studies the foundations of responsible data science and builds tools that translate their insights into data science practice. You can immerse yourself in all things “Fair” in their new Data, Responsibly comic. A computer scientist, artist and philosopher join a zoom room. This happens!

GAME: FiftyFifty – The card game for everyday equality: For International Women’s Day, IKEA took on inequality in the home with the launch of a free digital  game, FiftyFifty on Instagram Stories. Developed in collaboration with relationship expert Jennie Miller, FiftyFifty takes couples, housemates, friends and co-workers on a journey to explore the roles and dynamics in our homes in a positive way. The division of household chores can be challenging at the best of times, but the situation has been exacerbated further by the addition of home working and schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Did you know that women are doing up to three times more unpaid care and domestic work than men? FiftyFifty provides a pause button to help us all, regardless of gender, revaluate and re-set our home life through open and honest conversation; helping to resolve any imbalances.

CALL FOR EVIDENCE: The potential of civil society: Pro Bono Economics has opened its Law Family Commission on Civil Society call for evidence. The call for evidence is open to anyone (civil society organisations and participants, policy makers and businesses) to share their opinions, experiences and feedback until 10th May 2021. They are running a call for evidence to gather insights, evidence and examples that will help them understand the current landscape, and aspirations for their work over the next two years. It poses a range of questions, ranging from what the Commission should aim to achieve, to how civil society works with business and government, to what would allow civil society organisations to maximise their impact.

HOW-TO: Inclusion 101: The how-to of inclusive and accessible communications: Prior to the pandemic, access to information was a right that persons with disabilities were often denied due to a lack of awareness on the “how-to” of creating accessible information. Kerry Thompson, DRF/DRAF’s Senior Officer of Communications, Inclusion, & Analytics, has been asking during her twelve years at the organisation: how do we make websites, social media, newsletters, and virtual and physical meetings inclusive and accessible for a global audience? This has become timelier as of late, and so DRF/DRAF have developed a series of “how-to webinars. During the recordings of the webinars, Kerry explores how to create accessible information in virtual spaces, and how to make your organisation more inclusive for all. See also, Kerry’s blogs: “Inclusion 101: A Guide for the Well-Meaning, Well-Doing, and the Well, Clueless” and “Persons with DeafBlindness:  The Left Behinds During the COVID-19 Era.”

VIDEO: Decolonising Data Panel – Digital Freedom Fund: The “digital age” has brought great innovation, opportunity and connectivity. Nonetheless, a closer look at how data-driven technologies are built, used and maintained exposes how technology can reproduce colonial paradigms of oppression, domination and harm. This video of a Digital Freedom Fund-hosted panel on Decolonising Data takes a critical look at how data infrastructures centralise power while dispossessing and disenfranchising certain groups and communities. The session also explores strategies that can be adopted by activists and organisations to push and fight for the decolonisation of data and broader infrastructures.

BLOG: Digital Rights are Women*s Rights: In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, Digital Freedom Fund has released a blog mini-series to highlight the importance of intersectional feminism for digital rights. The collection illustrates why we must embrace intersectional perspectives if we want to defend the digital rights of all. It explores issues ranging from the importance of feminist technological infrastructure, to the role of online platforms in fighting against sexual violence, to women’s access to abortion information online.

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


Missed expertise: Mapping experiences of first-time foundation trustees: This report from Ten Years’ Time looks at how grant giving organisations can develop more inclusive and representative boards. It focuses equally on the support that first-time trustees often require, alongside changes that trusts, foundations and charities may need to make in order to develop culturally more inclusive board environments. It also seeks to shed light on the important role of chairs on boards, viewing them as fundamental to creating more inclusive board environments or in sustaining a culture which does not benefit first-time trustees from diverse backgrounds.

Diving Deeper: Under the surface of LGBTI funding data: Global Philanthropy Project has developed a series of “Diving Deeper” briefs to explore a number of new analyses using its Global Resources Report (GRR) dataset. The briefs focus on global LBQTI funding; the role of intermediaries and government embassies in global LGBTI funding; and regional trends. The series illuminates the importance of GRR data in ongoing strategy and advocacy towards impactful resourcing of LGBTI human rights advancement and inclusive development. The “Diving Deeper” briefs are developed to serve as tools for LGBTI movements, funders, and policy makers.

Journey toward racial equity: This report represents the latest in an effort by Philanthropy-Serving Organisations (PSOs) to advance philanthropic practice and impact by centering racial equity. Written by members of United Philanthropy Forum’s Racial Equity Committee together with Community Centered Evaluation & Research, the report is based on findings of the Forum’s inaugural Racial Equity Capacity Assessment for PSOs. Nearly three-quarters of Forum members completed the assessment, which provides a baseline to examine PSOs’ internal efforts and external programming in advancing racial equity. See also blog, ‘No room for complicity: fighting racism within funded partners.’

Building Indigenous power in philanthropy: In this article for Stanford Social Innovation Review, Gaby Strong (Sisseton-Wahpeton-Mdewakanton Dakota) of NDN Foundation writes how, while allies and advisors are important in the work of Indigenous Peoples and communities, it’s more important to support and develop Indigenous power, leadership, and decision-making.

European Climate Pact: An invitation to philanthropy organisations: In this blog for Alliance magazine, Elena Višnar Malinovská of the Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission, writes how philanthropy can play an important role in Europe’s green transition by supporting concrete action for climate and the environment, from boosting local grassroots projects to accelerating and scaling up societal innovation. The European Climate Pact launched as part of the European Green Deal is an opportunity for philanthropy organisations to bring their valuable support to initiatives from across Europe.

Advancing justice is a multi-pronged act: In this article for Alliance magazine, Nicolette Naylor from Ford Foundation and David Sampson, of Baring Foundation write how, although many funders are reluctant to delve into legal work because they see it as too specialised, it can be a more supple and accessible instrument for achieving change than they realise.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 15th April. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by Tuesday 13th April if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Grants Officer – The Fund for Global Human Rights: The Fund for Global Human Rights is looking for an Arabic-speaking Grants Officer to manage the Fund’s programmes in the Middle East and North Africa. The successful candidate will join the fund’s Grants Management team, which focuses on ensuring that resources are reaching frontline activist organisations. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 31st March.

Learning & Exchange Programme Officer – Prague Civil Society Centre: The Prague Civil Society Centre is recruiting a Programme Officer who will empower established and emerging organisations and initiatives in the region, connecting them with experts in innovative approaches in communication, technology and business. The successful candidate will support community building across the region by organising events serving as a source of inspiration, motivation, knowledge and experience sharing and solidarity. Location: Prague, Czech Republic. Deadline for applications is 21st March.

Senior Programme Officer – Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS): The Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society is looking for an experienced Senior Programme Officer. The post holder will design and implement a programme of grant-making and field-building activities for a new global funder initiative to tackle the growing trend of governments using counter terrorism and security laws, technological tools and discourse to criminalise, surveil and delegitimise those engaged in activism, protest and dissent. Location: Flexible. Deadline for applications is 22nd March.

Programme Officer – Ford Foundation: The Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) thematic area is looking for a Programme Officer to help shape and implement its strategy focused on building greater economic security, opportunity, and power for workers in the United States. The successful candidate will lead a major grant making portfolio that focuses on the intersection of technology and low-wage work; a more modestly sized portfolio that focuses on shifting narratives about work, workers, and the economy; and a cross-team capacity plus some special projects focused on business partnerships/corporate engagement in improving job quality. Location: New York, USA. Deadline for applications 28th March.

Director – Digital Freedom Fund: The Digital Freedom Fund works to advance digital rights through strategic litigation in Europe. The fund is looking for a Director to work closely with the Board, to drive strategy by raising the organisation’s profile within new and existing networks, increasing grantmaking opportunities, effectively leading the current team, as well as adding key talent and capacity building to ensure the organisation’s goals and aims are met. Location: Berlin, Germany. Deadline for applications is 28th March.

Trustees – Global Dialogue: Global Dialogue is an independent, international platform for philanthropic partnership, offering hosting, regranting, incubation and special initiatives capacity, enabling funders to work together to advance human rights and social change. Global Dialogue is seeking new Trustees to oversee the growth of the organisation over the coming year. The board are especially keen to hear from people with experience is some of the following fields: an international perspective on human rights/social justice work, from individuals based either in the UK or overseas; diversity, equity and inclusion; charity finance; organisational development; charity governance and leadership. Location: London, UK. Deadline for applications is 30th March.

Researcher – The Baring Foundation: The Baring Foundation is looking to commission a researcher to research how legal action, in all its forms, has been used by civil society organisations to challenge racial injustice in the UK between 1990 to 2020. The objectives for this piece of research are to: understand what has been achieved, how it was done, and whether there are existing models for that work; understand the opportunities of using legal action to challenge racial injustice and achieve wider social change; and begin to tease out the limitations of using the law to challenge racial injustice. Deadline for applications is 31st March.

Programme Director – The European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM): The European Programme for Integration and Migration, a collaborative initiative of private foundations, is looking for a motivated Programme Director who is passionate about seeking to improve the lives of migrants and the societies they live in. The successful candidate will oversee strategic development, external representation and fundraising as well as leading the EPIM team. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 1st April.

Programme Manager – Women’s Funds Collaborative: The Women’s Funds Collaborative is looking for a Programme Manager to support a participatory grantmaking programme focused on building the infrastructure of women’s funds as well as the ecosystem of women’s funds.  Location: Remote. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Women’s Funds Collaborative is also hiring a Feminist Learning and Evaluation Manager.

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


Public Meetings

March 22nd
Making peace with the climate: Water crises as entry points for conflict resolution: On World Water Day, Berghof Foundation and the European Institute of Peace are hosting an online event focused on practical ways communities affected or threatened by conflict can draw upon climate security knowledge to promote dialogue and to prevent and resolve conflicts. With water conflict as a prism, conflict resolution practitioners will share their experiences and lessons learnt while trying to resolve conflicts over water or with water scarcity as an important backdrop. The discussion will also reflect on the opportunity of motivating conflict parties to cooperate on shared environmental challenges as an entry point for more comprehensive peace negotiations. The online event will take place on 22nd March.

March 23rd
Funder Safeguarding Collaborative: You are invited to the launch of the Funder Safeguarding Collaborative. Founded by Oak Foundation, Comic Relief, Porticus, The National Lottery Community Fund, and Global Fund for Children, the Collaborative aims to promote collaboration, listening, and learning among funders and organisations to support and strengthen safeguarding practices globally. The online event will take place on 23rd March.

March 23rd – December 14th
Science and Society Seminar Series 2021: The European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) aims to advance, coordinate and promote excellence in philanthropic research in Europe. ERNOP invites you to a series of seminars covering a broad range of topics including taxation, financial vulnerability, impact investing and media perceptions of philanthropy. Each one-hour session will consist of a presentation and a moderated discussion, with space for questions. The online events will take place from 23rd of March to 14th December.

March 24th
Funds: To reserve or not reserve, that is the question: In light of the Kids Company judgement and the increasing financial pressure faced by trustees as a result of the pandemic, the issue of trustees’ decision making about where to spend precious funds on services or reserves has never been more topical. You are invited to join and share your thoughts and hear from speakers including Caron Bradshaw, CEO at Charity Finance Group; Murtaza Jessa, Partner at haysmacintyre; and John Rendel, Director of Grants at The Peter Cundill Foundation. The online event will take place on 24th March.

March 24th
Visual Rebellions: Reframing and resisting power through feminist photography: COVID-19 has further revealed how patriarchy continues to shape the world, as the crisis has disproportionately affected women, girls, and gender nonconforming people. This event will explore the photography of, and feature a conversation with, Katie Basile, Tonika Johnson, Mayela Rodriguez, and Arin Yoon, four remarkable community-based artists and activists creating work that showcases the diversity and richness of perspectives of women, gender nonconforming people, and communities of colour. The online event will take place on 24th March.

March 25th
The hype machine: How social media disrupts our elections, our economy and our health: During this event, MIT professor Sinan Aral will draw on two decades of his own research and business experience to go under the hood of the biggest, most powerful social networks to tackle the critical question of just how much social media actually shapes our choices, for better or worse. He will cover a range of topics, including how network effects fuel Twitter’s and Facebook’s massive growth to the neuroscience of how social media affects our brains, the real consequences of fake news, the power of social ratings, and the impact of social media on our kids. The online event will take place on 25th March.

March 26th
Woke, joke or bespoke? Business and human rights and the role of the lawyer in the 21st Century: 2021 marks the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights (UNGPs) at the Human Rights Council. The UNGPs and the Business & Human Rights field they spawned have been lauded as a resounding success by corporate accountants and corporate accountability advocates alike. In this talk, Dr Michelle Staggs Kelsall will consider three of the underlying narratives informing Business & Human Rights and the role the 21st century lawyer plays in these telling tales. She will argue that the current modes and manner in which Business & Human Rights operates does little to benefit the global South (including the global South inhabiting the global North) and provide food for thought on the ways in which lawyers can and should respond to the perplexing new challenges the field brings to light. The online event will take place on 26th March.

March 30th
The future of stop and search policy: Ensuring fairness and proportionality in practice: Campaigners argue that a history of poor use demonstrates that Stop and Search is a fundamentally flawed police power and undermines community trust. Racial disparities in the search rate continue to ensure that Black and Minority Ethnic people are disproportionately affected by the negative effects of stop and search. This symposium will give policy makers, local authorities, police forces, charities and other interest groups the opportunity to analyse the mounting challenges associated with stop and searches and discuss best practice in tackling accountability, building trust with communities and tackling discrimination in all searches. The online event will take place on 30th March.

April 1st
What White people can do next: Join Emma Dabiri, academic, broadcaster and author of Don’t Touch My Hair, as she discusses her new book. Emma will discuss her radical call to action that incisively tackles how we can transform demonstrations of support into meaningful change. She will also share her vision of a reimagined future that challenges people to stop the denial, interrogate capitalism, denounce the white saviour and educate ourselves. The online event will take place on 1st April.

April 20th
Humanitarianism and human rights: A world of differences? You are invited to join a roundtable discussion on the book ‘Humanitarianism and Human Rights: A World of Differences?’ The meeting will explore the fluctuating relationship between human rights and humanitarianism, as well as ethics, obligations, duties, history, and modern-day practice. The online event will take place on 20th April.

April 28th
Mary Wollstonecraft and the Vindication of Human Rights: Mary Wollstonecraft claimed human rights for all. She overcame limited education and a background of domestic violence to become an educational and political pioneer, and one of the greatest thinkers of the eighteenth century. As well as her intellectual audacity, it is Wollstonecraft’s love for humanity, her self-proclaimed “ardent affection for the human race” that continues to inspire. This event explores how, despite a savage pandemic, economic downturn, and increasing isolation in both political and individual life, there is a counter-story of community building and education, of optimism and hope. The online event will take place on 28th April.

May 11th – 13th
Frontiers of Social Innovation 2021: Stanford Social Innovation Review invites you to the 2021 virtual convening of the Frontiers of Social Innovation conference, “People, Power, Resources: Enacting an Equitable Future”. Over the course of three half-days, academics, heads of non-profits and foundations, executives and founders from socially responsible businesses and social enterprises, and policymakers and influencers will discuss, debate, and develop approaches to creating a more equitable future. One of the key questions participants will examine is: Are we ready to move beyond the approaches of the philanthropic status quo to find solid, workable solutions to end poverty? The online event will take place from 11th to 13th May.

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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