Ariadne’s Thread – November 2021

Ariadne’s Thread – November 2021
November 19, 2021 Hannah Stevens

November 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 Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

TAKE PART IN THE 2022 ARIADNE FORECAST: It’s that time of year again, and what a year it has been. We’re creating the eighth Ariadne Forecast for European Social Change and Human Rights Funders, and we need your help. What is your greatest hope for 2022? What opportunities and challenges do you see for your grantees, and how do you think your practice as a funder might change? Tell us about your predictions via our short questionnaire in French, Italian, Spanish or English. The deadline for filling in the questionnaire is 8th December. Questions? Email

HARNESSING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION FOR A JUST TRANSITION: WHAT CAN FOUNDATIONS LEARN FROM CLIMATE ASSEMBLIES IN FRANCE AND OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES? As the capacity of representative democracy to respond to the climate emergency in a just and efficient way has been called into question, social movements have increasingly called for greater citizen participation in climate decision-making. These demands recognise that climate change threatens fundamental rights and exacerbates inequality, and ill-designed climate action can be unfair. Following the massive protests for climate justice in 2019, a wave of climate assemblies has swept through Europe with the twin goals to make climate action stronger and fairer. What can we learn from these experiences to support citizen participation for just transitions? Ariadne and Transparency & Accountability Initiative (TAI) invite you to join a discussion with Armel Le Coz, Démocratie Ouverte and Erica Hope, European Climate Foundation, moderated by Inga Wachsman of Porticus. Click here to join us on Tuesday 30th November, 14:30-16:00 CET (13:30-15:00 GMT | 08:30-10:00 ET).

TACKLING VIOLENT EXTREMISM: LESSONS FROM GREECE – WHAT CAN WE LEARN? Just over a year ago, a Greek court declared the far right party Golden Dawn a criminal organisation and its leaders were imprisoned. The verdict was the culmination of a hard fought battle over many years by activists in Greece and internationally. Social Change Initiative, Ariadne and the Global Citizens Circle invite you to hear insights on what the experience of defeating Golden Dawn in Greece means to other activists working to tackle violent extremism. Together with HumanRights360, SCI have drawn together key lessons and insights on the defeat of Golden Dawn – what strategies and approaches were used, what brought about success and what do we need to be vigilant of and cognisant about in the future? Click here to join us on Tuesday 7th December, 16:30-18:00 CET (15:30-17:00 GMT | 10:30-12:00 ET).

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: ARIADNE MENTORING SCHEME: We are pleased to announce that applications for the fourth year of the Ariadne Mentoring Scheme are now open! If you’d like to join the scheme as a mentee or a mentor, please apply as soon as possible, as spaces are limited to 10 pairs (this cohort will be smaller than normal, allowing us to redesign the scheme for launch in 2022). Applications will be handled on a first come, first served basis, and will close when the cohort is full.  However, please note that, if we receive multiple mentee applications from an organisation, we may need to prioritise based on need, to ensure accessibility across the network. The full announcement is available on the portal, and you can apply to be a mentee here, or a mentor here.

HUMAN RIGHTS GRANTMAKING PRINCIPLES: MICROSITE LAUNCH: Ariadne, HRFN and PAWHR are excited to launch a new microsite to centrally house materials related to the Human Rights Grantmaking Principles. Whether you’re a grantmaker looking for ways to improve your practices or an activist advocating for philanthropy to do better, the site is a resource for you. It showcases the grantmaking principles and related materials, including thought-provoking articles to deepen our understanding of the concepts; practical tools to help assess and improve grantmaking practice; and research to inform advocacy on how philanthropy can and should change.

ARIADNE’S PORTAL: Last month, we launched Ariadne’s new portal! If you haven’t yet logged in, please do so here (NB: your username is your email address). After some ‘teething problems,’ we’ve temporarily disabled email notifications while our developers fix some things. We’re going to be launching a ‘daily digest’ function, but immediate notifications will be available for those who prefer them. Need assistance? Take a look at our guide or email

MICRO PORTAL TRAINING SESSIONS: Learn how to use the new Ariadne Portal in this 30-minute training session. Ariadne members are encouraged to join one of these micro training sessions, to find out how to make the most of our new site! To register, click here.

(DIGITAL POWER) OFFICE HOURS: MEET WITH MAYA: Maya Richman, the project lead of Ariadne’s digital power programme, would like to offer ‘office hours’ for Ariadne members. Are you interested in discussing issues related to technology and data and the intersection of human rights? Are you looking for resources to inform your grantmaking but don’t know where to start? Book a 30-minute conversation with Maya here.

TECHNOLOGY TOUCHPOINT: FUNDING PUBLIC INTEREST TECHNOLOGY: How do we fund and support the development of public interest technology projects? What does that look like in practice? Join Di Luong from Open Tech Fund, Tara Tarakiyee from the Center for the Cultivation of Technology and Angie Gaudion from Framasoft to learn about privacy-preserving grantmaking tools, and how to support open source ecosystems. You don’t need to be a “tech funder” to attend! Click here to join this webinar on Thursday 25th November, 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT | 08:00 EDT).

AMA: WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH AI? WHY SHOULD I CARE? – CONVERSATION WITH FREDERIKE KALTHEUNER FUND DIRECTOR AT THE EU AI FUND: Join us for an informal chat with Frederike Kaltheuner, Fund Director at the EU AI Fund. Many of you have expressed interest in learning more about AI, the funding landscape, and cutting through the hype. In this “Ask Me Anything” conversation you will have the opportunity to ask Frederike about the EU AI landscape, what she’s been learning, insights from the recent scoping report, and possible overlap where EU human rights funders may find value. The conversation will be 1 hour, and active participation is encouraged. Click here to join us on Wednesday 8th December, 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT | 08:00 EDT).

*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

Digital surveillance, civil society, and the media during the COVID-19 pandemic: As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, so did many digital technologies promising to improve the public health response. These technologies raised various concerns for civil liberties in the digital age, from infringing on privacy to institutionalising mass surveillance capacities. This media monitoring project explores how English-language news organiations worldwide reported on these digital surveillance initiatives over the period of a year. The report sheds light on the evolution of coverage over time, its geographic distribution, whose voices were included and excluded from these debates, and the prevalence of mis/dis-information. It also explores the place of civil society in these narratives. The report concludes with a set of recommendations and resources for civil society groups and journalists working on the intersection of civil liberties, public health, and digital technologies.

Italian LGBTQ+ hate crime bill defeated: This article from Politico reports on how Italian senators have killed a bill that would have criminalised violence and hate speech against LGBTQ+ people in Italy. 

‘They targeted us for one reason: We’re succeeding in changing the paradigm’: In this article for +972, Palestinian human rights groups, after being outlawed as ‘terrorist organisations’ overnight, talk about why Israel’s allegations are not just unfounded, but amount to an act of political persecution.

The high cost of living in a disabling world: In this article for The Guardian, Jan Grue writes how, for all the advances that have been made in recent decades, disabled people cannot yet participate in society ‘on an equal basis’ with others – and the pandemic has led to many protections being cruelly eroded. See also, Time for Philanthropy to Confront Ableism.

The looming fight over how we give our data: We face a choice between two models for donating data: one governed by corporations and one determined by grassroots civic action. The winner will decide how much control we have over our digital information, write Lucy Bernholz and Brigitte Pawliw-Fry in this article for Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Business and human rights: Will digital technologies bring new unknown threats to human rights? The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the risk of human rights violations online. This article from International Service for Human Rights asks: Do technology companies have human rights obligations? What are they? Do these private actors have a duty to promote human dignity online?

The climate activists stealing Big Oil’s playbook: A secretive network of public relations experts has spent the better part of the last decade whispering into journalists’ ears about climate science — spoon-feeding them facts, figures, spin, and quotes. If this sounds like yet another Big Oil manipulation of the climate conversation, that’s because the network deploys many of the same tactics, only on the other side of the debate. Until they were contacted by POLITICO in preparation for this article, the Global Strategic Communications Council operated in semi-secret — “unbranded,” as they put it — to push a unified message from a diverse group of sources: Climate change is real, it’s caused by humans, and something needs to be done about it immediately.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

ANIMATION: What the water brings: From Colombia to Uganda, From Georgia to Micronesia, young feminists are taking back Mother Earth and ushering in eras of harmony, beauty, and sustainability. Despite the ongoing climate crises, young feminist activists make it clear that they have already started to create solutions. We need to listen to them. FRIDA’s grantee partners Strong Gogo, Island Pride, Corporación Sihyta and Kaiso Women’s Group tell the stories of their work and communities in this beautiful animation by Colectivo Fósforo that celebrates the connectedness and power of ecofeminist movements.

PODCAST SERIES: Tales from the border: InfoMigrants presents season one of its podcast Tales from the Border. In a series of eight episodes, listeners are taken on an audio journey to some of the borders – the political and physical barriers – that confront migrants as they attempt to reach their destination in Europe. On sea, on land, different journeys, one aim. These are the tales of migrants as well as some of the people they meet along the way. All want to reach a place of safety and start a new life. Listen to the podcast series to hear the stories of their journeys.

WEBSITE: This is intersex: To mark Intersex Awareness Day on 26th October, OII Europe and NNID Foundation launched a new website, talking about being intersex in Europe and the issues intersex people combat daily. The goal of the website is to increase the knowledge on intersex human rights issues in Europe, contributing to the overarching goal of reaching more acceptance.

ARTICLE: Are billionaires best at deciding what to do with money? U.S. lawmakers are again talking about taxing billionaires, and billionaires have some feelings about it — namely, they’d rather not. It looks like they’re going to get their way, too. It’s a familiar sentiment among the super-rich whenever there are discussions like this: They’re maybe open to the idea of taxing people like themselves more, but they’re not quite sold on any specific proposals. On taxes, Bill Gates turns into Goldilocks: There are soups, chairs, and beds out there that work, but so far, it doesn’t seem like he’s found one that’s just right, writes Emily Stewart in this article for Vox.

TWITTER THREAD: Dana Schmidt, Senior Programme Officer at Echidna Giving, has compiled a Twitter Thread of essays about things she wishes she’d known when starting in grantmaking 15 years ago.

BLOG: Democracy is dying. Philanthropy needs to stop its toxic intellectualizing: In this Nonprofit AF blog, Vu Lee urges philanthropy to put aside individual whims and hang-ups, and focus on what really matters.

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


Time to act: How philanthropy must address the climate crisis: As the climate crisis deepens, FSG shares this call to action for private foundations and donors, especially those that may not have focused on climate previously. The report presents a set of practical recommendations and vignettes to illustrate how a wide range of funders, varying in size, structure, and expertise, can further their existing missions by supporting effective climate action through grantmaking and investments. The report encourages funders to support frontline communities most affected by the climate crisis to transform economic, political, and social systems toward a more just, regenerative, and liveable future.

Why fund climate justice? In this article, Kristina Johansson, Founder of Solberga Foundation, shares her personal story on becoming a climate activist and establishing a foundation addressing climate crisis. She also reflects on the role philanthropy can play in tackling climate change and the need to trust grassroots movements.

Climate Mitigation Tool: Are you ready to take climate action, but still looking for the right entry point? Active Philanthropy’s Climate Mitigation Tool guides you in starting or strengthening your climate funding strategy, independent of the size of your budget or the level of your climate expertise. Use it as a starting point to get an overview of mitigation approaches, as an instrument to dig deeper into specific topics and solutions, or, if you are a climate funder already, to explore alternative measures to cut emissions. It’s the first interactive tool designed for philanthropists seeking to understand emission reductions, linking climate solutions and policy goals with philanthropic levers. The tool provides a first step in translating detailed technical information into opportunities for philanthropic action. Customisable features help you to personalise your experience and start your climate mitigation journey.

Now that we know what you need, here is what the Racial Equity Working Group could do! In this blog, Ariadne’s Senior European Programme Manager, Debora Guidetti shares the outcomes of the PEX Racial Equity Working Group Survey on the needs of the PEXcommunity on how the Working Group can sustain its capacity and orient its work to advance racial equity in Europe. 

Alliance: Reporting from COP26: Alliance editors were on the ground in Glasgow for COP26 and have produced extensive coverage on the climate philanthropy story. There’s a section of the website dedicated to news, analysis, interviews, and insight from the conference.

Applying a feminist lens to grantmaking for addressing violence against women and girls: Funding for transformative change: This handbook from COFEM aims to support donors in applying a feminist lens to grantmaking, particularly in funding work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in humanitarian and development settings. It seeks to advance strategies for ethical and effective funding that supports transformative and sustained social change. 

Funding audit: Current practice in racial justice funding: The Funders for Race Equality Alliance is a group of charitable foundations working together to advance race equality in the UK and support a sustained and thriving race equality sector. One of their aims is to increase the amount of funding that is allocated to the BAME sector and to racial justice work. They have designed an audit tool to enable funders to analyse their portfolios, and to help them develop targets and strategies to ensure they are properly supporting race equality work. It gives funders a snapshot of their current portfolio and supports greater transparency of current foundation expenditure. It is also intended to be used by the Alliance as a baseline against which to measure progress in achieving their aims, and to better their understanding of racial justice funding. All results up to November 2021 are now available.

The world isn’t paying enough attention to inheritors. And vice versa: Inheritors are the greatest beneficiaries of the world’s inequities and hold one of the most powerful keys to transforming them. However, there is no global framework around training inheritors to use multigenerational wealth for good. In this blog, the Generation Pledge team explain that this is why they created one.

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


Jobs and Tenders

Senior Programme Officer – Mozilla Foundation: Mozilla Foundation is seeking a Senior Programme Officer to join their growing Fellowships and Awards team. The team manages a grant-making strategy providing essential funding and resources to partners in the movement for a healthier internet. Over the past year, Mozilla has gone through an extensive reflection process and developed an emerging grant making strategy to increase their impact. The successful candidate will complement the current team and provide leadership support on tech and policy issues, with a particular emphasis on the areas of focus the Foundation believes it can make real progress on within its Trustworthy AI strategy: transparency, bias, and data stewardship. Location: San Francisco Office, Remote US, Toronto Office, Remote Canada, Berlin Office, Remote Germany, or Remote UK. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Director (Equity, Global Programmes) – Open Society Foundations: Open Society Foundations is seeking a Director, Equity to form part of the Global Programmes’ inaugural senior leadership team and support the design and implementation of its work. The successful candidate will work in close concert with Global Programme Directors, Regional Directors, and other colleagues at the global level, to design, implement and support fully integrated, impact-driven OSF-wide programmes. Location: London, Berlin, or New York. Deadline for applications is 15th December.

Temporary Programme Associate (Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme) – Oak Foundation: Oak Foundation’s Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme envisions a world where child sexual abuse and exploitation are prevented. The team works to end child sexual abuse and exploitation, online and off-line. They work through two sub-programmes that: (1) promote, scale and advance solutions to reduce child sexual abuse; and (2) hold global institutions accountable to prevent abuse and to end impunity for child sexual abuse. The Temporary Programme Associate will work closely with the Solutions and Advancing Action team and also support the Prevent CSA team’s monitoring, learning and evaluation work. Location: Geneva, Switzerland. Deadline for applications is 28th November.

3 x Funding Officers – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is seeking three Funding Officers to join the team responsible for the Fund’s grant-making activity in Glasgow. The responsibilities of the successful candidates will include advice, assessment, grant management and learning. They will ensure that funding responds to the local context, the Fund’s commitment to equity and inclusion, and challenge themselves and colleagues to continually improve the way they work. Location: Glasgow, Scotland (working from home until April 2022). Deadline for applications is 21st November.

Programme Officer – British Asian Trust: The British Asian Trust is looking for a Programme Officer to support the Programmes and Central Operations functions. This includes coordinating the Trust’s programmes, ensuring proper and consistent grant management across the portfolio, supporting programmes and partnerships, while at the same time delivering high quality administrative support across the team. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 5th December.

*For more jobs, see the ‘Career Opportunities’ section on the landing page of the Ariadne portal. To address pay gaps in the charity sector, we strongly encourage you to #showthesalary in your job adverts.


Public Meetings


November 26th
COVID-19, corporatisation and closing space: The triple threat to civil society in India: During this event, Ingrid Srinath, founder Director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University, will discuss COVID-19, corporatisation, and the threat to civil society in India. This talk is part of the Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice (2021/22) series, a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE and organised by Professor James Putzel and Professor in Practice Duncan Green. This online event will take place on 26th November.

December 1st
Lost in “participation”? The Global Fund for Community Foundations invites you to join a conversation led by peers from Somalia, Poland and the U.S. about why and how meaningful community participation is at the heart of their work. This 90-minute session with the Somalia Fund, FemFund and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo will dig into “participation” to explore what participation looks and feels like to them, and why taking the time to build shared ownership from the bottom-up makes all the difference in their work. This online event will take place on 1st December.

December 2nd
Participatory grantmaking: Building power through BIPOC leadership: You are invited to join the Participatory Grantmaking Community for a deep dive into understanding how traditional philanthropic practices have negatively impacted movements led by people of colour, specifically understanding “movement capture” and how participatory grantmaking practices aim to address those negative impacts. The sessions will feature BIPOC centered participatory processes, and how committee selection, orientation, committee support, and the deliberative process look like for these models. This online event will take place on 2nd December. 

December 2nd
Philanthropy needs volunteering: What role can volunteering play in philanthropy, and what synergies does it create? During this session, foundation experts will attempt to answer these questions, and former senior experts will share what motivates them to volunteer and how this impacts their life. Participants will also hear from Senior Experts of Jugend Eine Welt, experts in global development cooperation projects and part of the ‘Senior Experts Austria’ programme. The organisers hope that attendees will be inspired by ideas about volunteering in philanthropy and benefit from exchange of experience and contacts. This online event will take place in German on 2nd December.

December 3rd
Disability, Development, Rights, and Inclusion: During this event, Terhas Clark, disability rights change leader, and Mosharraf Hossain, disability rights activist, will discuss disability, development, rights, and inclusion. This talk is part of the Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice (2021/22), series, a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE and organised by Professor James Putzel and Professor in Practice Duncan Green. This online event will take place on 3rd December.

6th December, 17th January, and 7th February
Black liberation is for everybody: Solidaire learning series: Join Solidaire and Malkia Devich Cyril for a four-session learning series focused on Black Liberation. The series is designed for Solidaire members, interested donors, and philanthropic partners interested in supporting black-led organising in a deeper way in the future. The series will be led by organiser, author, and healing justice practitioner, Malkia Devich Cyril, who was born and bred in black liberation movements spanning generations. Malkia will invite an array of friends and speakers to share lessons from the frontlines of electoral organising, healing justice, criminal justice, climate justice and other struggles for black liberation. Three of the four sessions have yet to take place: Understanding the Ecosystem of Black Liberation Movements; Black Liberation is a Global Struggle; and Lessons from Funding Black Liberation Movements. These online events will take place on 6th December, 17th January, and 7th February.

December 8th – 10th
OutSummit 2021: OutSummit is an annual global conference for the human rights of LGBTIQ people organised in partnership with OutRight Action International and CUNY School of Law. It is a space where people from across civil society, State, and private sector boundaries who believe in LGBTIQ equality come together to build momentum for achieving protection of the human rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. This online event will take place between 8th and 10th December.

December 9th
Struggling with care: Feminist/Queer insights on Covid-19 and socio-ecological crisis: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, feminist approaches to care and social reproduction have been widely used for highlighting the value of life-making activities including healthcare and education, as well as the persistence of stark care inequalities along the lines of gender, race, and class. However, the socio-ecological dimension of care and reproduction remains far less explored. During this event, thinking with feminist and queer networks in Italy with references to transnational activism, Miriam Tola, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Geography and Sustainability of the University of Lausanne, will argue for a reconsideration of care and reproduction to account for the socio-ecological relations in which the pandemic is embedded. This online event will take place on 9th December.

January 19th
Safeguarding and participatory grantmaking: How do we make those involved safe? How can we make participatory grantmaking safe? What do we need to think about and consider in the design and delivery of participatory grantmaking programmes to ensure safety, not only for young decision makers but for all involved? What does this mean for me and my work? Join the Participatory Grantmaking Community, along with the Funders Safeguarding Collaborative, to explore what taking a safeguarding approach to PGM means for funders and learn from great practice already out there. This online event will take place on 19th January. 

April 20th – June 8th
Embodied leadership for funders and donors: This eight-week introductory embodied leadership programme is for leaders in the funding world who are committed to redistributing wealth to social and climate justice movements, BIPOC communities, and poor and working class communities. Embodied Leadership for Donors will support participants to vision new possibilities, align actions with vision, and transform toward our longings for freedom and liberation. This online event will take place over eight weekly sessions between April 20th and June 8th.



December 5th
The I and the We: Curated by artist Camille Walala and her sister, curator Sarah Ihler-Meyer, ‘The I and the We’ showcases around 200 powerful artworks selected from over 6,400 entries to the 2021 Koestler Awards. The Koestler Arts UK exhibition consists of art, music and writing by people in criminal justice settings. Expect quirky artworks made of found materials, works full of humour and joy, as well as pieces reflecting on loss, relationships, and prison life, all created during the pandemic. The exhibition will run until 5th December.



March 3rd – 4th
International Conference on the Research on Philanthropy: You are invited by Compagnia di San Paolo, Dafne, EFC and the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) to attend the International Conference on Philanthropy. This initiative aims to explore the common opportunities and challenges for foundations and the European research community and to identify possibilities for closer dialogue. The conference will be a unique opportunity to merge philanthropy research and institutional philanthropy. This event will take place in Turin, Italy between 3rd and 4th March.

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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