Ariadne’s Thread – November 2019

Ariadne’s Thread – November 2019
November 20, 2019 Hannah Stevens

November 2019

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

TAKE PART IN THE 2020 ARIADNE FORECAST: Ariadne is creating its sixth Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders. We’re inviting you to help us forecast what funders think might happen in the year ahead, to develop a resource for the whole community. Click here for our short questionnaire, to be filled in by 6th December 2019. Your input will go to create the 2020 Ariadne Forecast, the aim of which is to help funders and civil society discover new trends, see the big picture and plan ahead. Questions? Email

SUBMIT NOW: SESSION PROPOSALS – ARIADNE POLICY BRIEFING 2020: The planning committee for the 2020 Policy Briefing (see below) invites you to submit session proposals for plenary and break-out sessions to educate, inform and assist fellow funders. The deadline for submissions is Friday 13th December 2019. If you would like to submit a proposal, download the session proposal template [Word] [PDF]. Questions? Email

SAVE THE DATE: Join us for “Change Funders Week” 2020, as Ariadne and EDGE Funders Alliance hold their annual conferences back-to-back from 30th March to 3rd April 2020, in Berlin, Germany. We hope this will encourage a flow of information between the two networks, our members, and other partners committed to rethinking philanthropy as a force for social and systemic change. The EDGE Conference will run 30th March to 1st April and Ariadne’s Policy Briefing will run from 1st April to 3rd April. The two events will link up during the afternoon and evening of 1st April for joint sessions and networking opportunities. Further information coming soon.

NEW! CLIMATE JUSTICE PORTAL COMMUNITY: Following our 2019 Grant Skills Day – “Funding with a Climate Lens – How to Climate-Proof your Foundation and Strategies” – we’ve set up a new portal community! We hope that this will act as a space for knowledge- and resource-sharing on funding with a climate lens, climate proofing foundations and strategies, and more. You’ll also be able to find the video of the Grant Skills Day masterclass, notes of the breakouts and more. Want to join? Click here.

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 10th December 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

Be the Narrative: How Changing the Narrative Could Revolutionize What It Means to Do Human Rights: Brought to you by JustLabs and the Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR), the ‘Be the Narrative’ learning paper lays out bold steps for building new narratives about human rights. Viewing the increasingly antagonistic tide against human rights as part of a broader transformation process, JustLabs and FGHR worked with 12 human rights organisations to produce new narratives that not only respond to those of populists, but that provide an alternate vision of what human rights are, where they take place, and who they are for. This paper is the story of this experimentation and what it means for the future of human rights.

#LessonsNotLearned: 15 years of failure to improve asylum decision-making: This report charts a 15-year history of criticism levelled against the Home Office in order to identify patterns in the mishandling of asylum claims, and to question why lessons have not been learned. It examines 50 reports from 17 organisations, including parliamentary committees, the United Nations, non-governmental organisations, academics and independent inspectorates. Lessons Not Learned makes a series of targeted recommendations to transform the ‘inhumane and inefficient’ asylum determination system. But for any of these to succeed, the report argues that the government must ‘hit the re-set button’ on the Home Office. The report argues change is possible but will only be delivered if there is commitment to a change in culture and approach from the very highest levels of government.

Why Climate Action Needs to Target the Border Industrial Complex: In this article for Al Jazeera, Todd Miller writes that whilst climate change is displacing a growing number of people, governments are responding by privatising border policing.

What does that mean here? Localizing human rights in the UK: In this article for OpenGlobalRights, Koldo Casla and Kath Dalmeny write that although some people believe that there is a lot of scepticism towards international human rights in England, experiences of localisation of rights are making a difference.

Fixing Democracy Demands the Building and Aligning of People’s Motivation and Authority to Act: This Stanford Social Innovation Review article writes how it is often tempting to try to solve problems by looking for policy fixes, new technologies, and informational solutions, instead of addressing underlying power dynamics.

Freedom on the Net 2019: The Crisis of Social Media: Internet freedom is increasingly imperilled by the tools and tactics of digital authoritarianism, which have spread rapidly around the globe. While social media have at times served as a level playing field for civic discussion, they are now tilting dangerously toward illiberalism, exposing citizens to an unprecedented crackdown on their fundamental freedoms. Moreover, a startling variety of governments are deploying advanced tools to identify and monitor users on an immense scale. As a result of these trends, global internet freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. This report assesses internet freedom in 65 countries that account for 87 percent of internet users worldwide.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

Photo: Jeff Tan/The Pacific Climate Warriors (Some rights reserved)

ARTICLE: Is climate change worsening gender-based violence in the Pacific Islands? In this article for OpenGlobalRights, Erin Thomas and Megan Lee Candolfi argue that, in the Pacific Islands, gender inequality and gender-based violence are being exacerbated by climate change, including through natural disasters, migration, and displacement. But these changes do not have to be inevitable.

ARTICLE: ‘Racism dictates who gets dumped on’: how environmental injustice divides the world: In this article, The Guardian’s new environmental justice reporter, Nina Lakhani, asked five luminaries of the movement to explain “environmental justice” in their own words. They reveal why, alongside global heating and the extinction crisis, it is one of the most pressing issues of our time.  This article forms part of The Guardian’s year-long series, Our Unequal Earth, investigating environmental injustices: how ecological hazards and climate disasters have the harshest impacts on people of colour, native tribes and those on low incomes.

ARTICLE: Women Give More from Less: This article presents new research supported by PayPal, which suggests that women give more to charity while earning 19% less than men, and as they age, women become more generous.

PODCAST: Social Power – Extinction Rebellion: Extinction Rebellion (XR) say we are in a climate emergency, and that the authorities have failed to respond adequately. Founded only in 2018, it is now a global mass movement. So, what role does XR play in the wider environmental movement? Despite being a mass movement, is XR really inclusive? And what can other change makers learn from how quickly XR has shifted the dial? In this special edition of the Social Power podcast, recorded in the midst of the ‘October Uprising,’ Sheila McKechnie Foundation speaks to protesters blocking roads in central London, and discusses the movement with Chloe Coradetti from XR, Rashid Nix, a community activist and member of the Green Party, and Alasdair Roxborough from Friends of the Earth.

GUIDE: How to identify the grey area — a practical guide for the twilight zone of sexual harassment: Over the past year and a half, Period. Brussels has broken down and analysed hundreds of stories of sexual harassment, and come to a conclusion: women*’s collective history of violence and trauma can be turned into tools to navigate this patriarchal world. “It’s Not That Grey” deconstructs the so-called “grey zone” of sexual harassment by giving concrete tools to identify, bust myths around it and fight harassment. It’s a practical guide navigating the twilight of harassment.

PODCAST: It Can Be Done – stories of human rights law in action: This new podcast series from the Migrants’ Law Project explores how the law can be used for social change.

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


Climate Change & Social Change: How Funders Can Act on Both: The independence and financial freedom that foundations have presents an incredible opportunity for the sector to take a leadership role in tackling the climate crisis. The environmental emergency poses a threat to the communities that foundations exist to serve – but addressing it can provide many co-benefits that will not only protect against future harm, but also improve lives in the here and now. This report features practical ideas for how to use your Foundation’s grant giving, investments and convening power to address climate change today, even if it’s not your organisation’s core purpose. It is a must-read for any funder that wants to do more to address the climate emergency and wants to know where to start.

Funder Commitment on Climate Change: Nick Perks – freelance consultant and former Trust Secretary (CEO) at the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust – has developed a Funder Commitment on Climate Change. An initiative among UK donors, representatives of UK charitable foundations are encouraged to read the document and consider signing up their charitable foundation. Click to read and sign up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. Questions? Email See also blog, ‘Climate of change for leading foundations’ from Nick Perks.

Sustaining Civil Society Lessons from Five Pooled Funds in Eastern Europe: After 1990, US and European foundations and government agencies invested in a series of Partnerships and Trusts to support civil society in Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltics, the Balkans and the Black Sea regions. Analysing the long-term impact of these investments is crucial, especially as many politicians across these regions increase their anti-civil society rhetoric. In this report, three long-time US foundation staff look back at the legacy and impact of this funding and derive a series of lessons for practitioners seeking to understand how best to sustain civil societies for the long term.

Thousand Currents Academy: Thousand Currents Academy is a weeklong training for social change agents mobilising resources for grassroots solutions. The academy seeks to ground participants in their own histories, agency, bodies, and visions; to connect philanthropic and impact investing leaders to grassroots wisdom; to train practitioners in how to align organisations toward learning and transforming; to expand the network of practitioners advocating for philanthropy to uplift the leadership of grassroots leaders who are tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice; and to share practices in funder/grantee relationships, collaboration, and trust-based relationships.

How should billionaires spend their money to fight climate change? I asked 9 experts: In this article, nine top climate experts – scientists, activists, policy entrepreneurs – were asked to let their imaginations run loose. Pretend you’re a billionaire. What would be the most effective way to spend your fortune to fix climate change?

Measuring Social Change: The most recent paper in the Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace ‘Defining Key Concepts’ series looks at the concept of ‘measuring social change’ in development and philanthropy. Drawing on discussions with funders on their current practice, the paper reveals a process-driven approach to measurement that aims to capture more nuanced ways of detecting outcomes where linear models are inappropriate. It highlights what the practitioners are seeking to measure, why they measure, how they measure and the challenges that they face. It also identifies their needs in order to further improve the measurement of social change.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 19th December. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 17th December if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

International Program Director (Natural Resources and Climate Change) – Ford Foundation: The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic, strategic and innovative individual to lead and oversee its global Natural Resources and Climate Change program and team. The successful candidate will work closely with the Foundation’s Program Officers and Regional Directors worldwide to achieve strategic programmatic outcomes. They will also represent the Ford Foundation on the Board of the Climate and Land Use Alliance as one of CLUA’s founding members. Location: New York City or a Regional Office in Africa, Asia or Latin America linked to the NRCC program. Deadline for applications is 14th December 2019.

Learning and Evaluation Officer (Human Rights Initiative) – Open Society Foundations: Open Society Foundations is recruiting an Evaluation and Learning Program Officer to work closely with their Human Rights Initiative team members to ensure that strategy, grant making practices, and learning are mutually reinforcing and contribute to their internal culture of reflection and strategic decision making. The successful candidate will focus on strengthening HRI’s learning culture by supporting the design, implementation, and management of research and evaluation processes that advance HRI’s strategy, synthesising learning across portfolios of the program, and coordinating the grant making policies and tools of HRI. Location: Berlin, Germany or New York, United States. Deadline for applications is 9th December 2019.

Associate Program Officer, Environment (Advancing Climate Change Solutions) – Charles Stewart Mott Foundation: The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is looking for an Associate Program Officer (Advancing Climate Change Solutions) to manage its efforts to address clean energy access in East Africa, primarily Tanzania. The Foundation’s grantmaking under this program area seeks to create the conditions necessary for the private sector in Tanzania to develop mini-grids powered by distributed renewable energy, typically solar, for productive economic uses in remote “last-mile” communities. CS Mott aims to establish an “ecosystem” of actors — entrepreneurs, technical training schools, local financial institutions and others — that will accelerate and deepen the uptake of distributed renewables in Tanzania, thus demonstrating the benefit of such an approach globally. Location: Flint, MI, United States. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Strategic Partnerships Manager (Europe) – The Fund for Global Human Rights: The Fund for Global Human Rights is seeking a Strategic Partnerships Manager (Europe) to play an important role in developing and implementing the organisation’s plans in the UK and the rest of Europe and identifying new opportunities for funding to support the Fund’s mission and grantees. Because the Fund has an ambitious plan to grow and underwrite more human rights work worldwide, the Strategic Partnerships Manager will be responsible for growing the portfolio of grants from European foundations, bilateral and multilateral donors, and/or corporations. Location: London, United Kingdom. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Rights and Justice Committee Member – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust: The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust wishes to appoint a co-opted member to join its Rights and Justice Committee. The Trust’s Rights and Justice programme brings together work in the fields of human rights, racial justice and migrants’ rights. The role of a co-opted member is to complement the committee’s expertise in rights and justice, by offering the deep understanding that comes from personal experience. Location: The committee meets in London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 29th November 2019.  

Senior Head of Regional Funding (London and South East) – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is recruiting a Senior Head of Regional Funding to lead its London, South-East and Eastern team, to maximise the impact of funding and lead the strategic direction and management of its regional portfolio. The successful candidate will be accountable for all aspects of strategic and operational management within the dedicated region, including local prioritisation, grant budget management, operational excellence, and key stakeholder management. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 29th November 2019.

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


Public Meetings

December 1st – 7th
Building the Community Organizing Movement in Europe: The European Community Organizing Network invites you to a donor discussion on funding the community organising movement in Europe. The event will take place on 5th December in Berlin, Germany. RSVP Steve Hughes at

Until 1st December
State Business by Mari Bastashevski: To mark their new collaboration, ECCHR and Magnum Foundation are hosting a joint photo exhibition. The exhibition showcases artworks by Mari Bastashevski, selected from her art research project State Business. Bastashevski combines media and social theories with investigative research in order to explore the relationship between the state, companies, and media which not only sustains crises as the status quo but produces new territories of sovereignty, aggressive mutation of warfare and forms of paranoia for the algorithmic age. Both Magnum Foundation and ECCHR use art’s emotive power to tell stories and develop broader narratives about human rights violations and global injustice. The exhibition will be open in Berlin, Germany until 1st December.


November 24th – 30th
From them-and-us to ‘A Larger Us’: how collective psychology can help us prevent climate breakdown and mass extinction: The Collective Psychology Project is a new start-up that sees the crises burning around us – climate breakdown, extreme inequality, mass extinction, political extremism – as outward symptoms of our inner worlds. Status anxiety. Loneliness. Threat perception. Grief. Shame. Lack of self-worth. The loss of our old stories without new ones to replace them. The good news: we can learn to use psychology to help us heal both ourselves and our politics, in the process helping us to see ourselves as part of a Larger Us rather than a them-and-us. Join the Project’s founder, Alex Evans – a former special adviser to two UK cabinet ministers, climate expert in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and author of ‘The Myth Gap’ – for a shared exploration of why we need collective psychology, what it looks like in practice, and how it can transform the way we campaign on and think about environmental issues. The event will take place on 26th November in London, United Kingdom. RSVP

November 24th – 30th
Resisting censorship in Turkey: Freedom of expression in Turkey is rapidly deteriorating. Independent media has been all but wiped out and at least 117 journalists are behind bars, making Turkey the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. At this event, participants will hear stories of writers, artists and activists from Turkey who continue their work despite mounting pressure to self-censor. Award-winning writer Burhan Sönmez, investigative journalist Nurcan Baysaland, and lawyer Gökhan Ahi will share their experiences of being harassed and imprisoned for their work and discuss how people in Turkey remain determined to speak out in the face of censorship. The event will be moderated by author, journalist, translator and Chair of English PEN Maureen Freely. The event will take place on 30th November in London, United Kingdom.

November 24th – December 7th
London Migration Film Festival: The London Migration Film Festival seeks to portray the diversity, nuance and subjective experience within migration – including and beyond the refugee experience – in order to restore the dignity and humanity inherent within it. It hopes to challenge the rhetoric that overwhelmingly reduces migrants to simplistic categories: enemies or victims, passive or active. LMFF 2019 will include a range of activities, including films, plays, panel discussions, workshops, live music, and networking opportunities. The festival will take place between 28th November and 4th December in London, United Kingdom. Some activities will also be available online.

November 24th – 30th
Global Attack on Academia – examples from Turkey, Egypt, China/Asia, India, and the UK: This London School of Economics and Political Science event will explore how thousands of academics from Syria, Turkey, China/Asia and Egypt are today deserting their homelands in search of intellectual refuge in Western universities while attacks against academic freedoms are intensified in Europe and the UK.  The event will take place on 29th November in London, United Kingdom.

December 1st – 7th
Losing the Moral Compass: Defending the Torture Ban in a Post-Truth World: Freedom from Torture invites you to a day of discussion on key challenges facing us today. Participants will engage in a series of conversations with human rights advocates, torture survivors, activists and philanthropists on how to strengthen international mechanisms to combat torture, sexual violence, the rise of elected leaders supporting torture, and how to defend and uphold the torture ban. This event will take place on 2nd December in London, United Kingdom. RSVP

January 19th – 26th
Philanthropy Europe Networks Forum: Philanthropy Europe Networks Forum is an annual flagship event which provides a space to consider current topical issues, share knowledge and experience, and engage with a broad range of stakeholders interested in the work of national associations and donors forums and their foundation and donor members. Philanthropy Europe Forum involves leaders in the field and experts from national associations, donor forums and philanthropy support organisations. The Forum’s interactive format ensures there are many opportunities for active engagement, learning and networking at both strategic and practical levels. The event will take place between 23rd and 24th January 2020 in Madrid, Spain.


November 24th – 30th
Healing Solidarity: Wondering how we build anti-racist and intersectional practices in ‘development’ and ‘aid’ spaces? Asking how we build care and solidarity in our work environments that can help support us all in the work? Thinking about how we can decolonise our practice and end the story that ‘we know better’? Healing Solidarity is a week of conversations with activists, practitioners and thinkers interested in reforming international development practice, and figuring out how to care for ourselves and one other in the process. The online event will take place between 25th and 29th November.

December 1st – 7th
Framing Solidarity: working together to promote shared narratives: What if we didn’t just communicate about our own special interests, but developed shared narratives with other causes that helped transform public attitudes across the board? Environmental Funders Network invites you to the fifth in their webinar series focused on communicating and framing environmental issues – and in this case the need to communicate shared values that link the environment to many other causes. The webinar will take place on 7th December.


December 1st – 7th
Toward a More Inclusive and Diverse Global Philanthropy
– Strategies to Address Social, Economic and Historic Inequality:
Wealth – in the hands of individuals, philanthropic institutions, and investors – has reached new heights. At the same time, growing inequality, which in part has created these new levels of wealth, is destabilising many societies. How can philanthropic institutions improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices internally, while working externally through grantmaking and partnerships to address growing social, economic, and historic inequality? The event will take place between 2nd and 5th December in Salzburg, Austria.


November 24th – 30th
D66: Covering the climate in the Middle East: How do countries in the Middle East deal with the challenges of climate change? At this Humanity House event, activists and experts from the region will share their thoughts on the challenges of putting climate change on the political agenda. They will also discuss climate change policies and energy transition in the Middle East. The event will take place on 26th November in The Hague, The Netherlands.

December 8th – 14th
European arms exports and the case of Yemen: How to hold governments and corporate actors accountable for contributing to armed conflicts? European arms exports are regulated by domestic law, the European Common Position on arms export controls and the Arms Trade Treaty. These legal frameworks prohibit arms exports to countries where there is a clear risk that they might be used for internal repression or to commit serious violations of international humanitarian or international human rights law. The reality, however, is different. Can the European defence industry and authorities responsible for authorising arms exports to regions of conflict be held to account for their roles in serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations? Which legal avenues can be used to address their roles in these violations? The event will take place on 12th December in The Hague, The Netherlands.

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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