Ariadne’s Thread – September 2019

Ariadne’s Thread – September 2019
September 18, 2019 Hannah Stevens

September 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

NEW STAFF MEMBER – DEBORA GUIDETTI, EUROPEAN PROGRAMME MANAGER: We’re excited to welcome Debora Guidetti, our new European Programme Manager, to the team! Based at the Network of European Foundations in Brussels, Debora identifies trends and opportunities, promotes membership, and liaises with other funders’ networks. Say hello at

REGISTER NOW – 2019 GRANT SKILLS DAY: Ariadne is pleased to announce that the 2019 Grant Skills Day “Funding with a Climate Lens – How to Climate-Proof your Foundation and Strategies” will be held on Monday 21st October 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This Grant Skills Day will focus on practical ways human rights and social change funders can begin to incorporate climate change into their strategies and operations, to climate-proof their work. To register, click here.

REGISTER NOW – WEBINAR – SUPPORTING RESILIENT ACTIVISM: ADDRESSING THE WELLBEING OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS: Research shows that human rights defenders are suffering from PTSD, depression, and burnout as a result of the risks and stress of their work. Without adequate mental health support for activists, it could be difficult to sustain the human rights movement at a time when threats and risks of activism are increasing. How can funders take the wellbeing of activists into account through their funding? What are good practices to ensure that funders are doing no harm, and what are the options for actively supporting the resilience of activists to continue their work? Join us for this webinar on Friday 20th September, 15:00 BST to learn more about the findings of the research and hear from peer donors about their efforts to integrate an awareness of wellbeing into their work. To register, click here. See also, ‘Healing is Justice: How funders respond.’

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – ARIADNE’S MENTORING SCHEME: We’re now accepting applications for the second year of Ariadne’s mentoring scheme! Are you new to grant-making (regardless of seniority), a junior staff member, or seeking support with your ongoing work or a professional transition? If so, apply to be a mentee! Are you working at a mid-level position, having worked in grant-making for at least five years, and want to share your experiences with newer, or more junior colleagues? If so, apply to be a mentor! Questions? Email Deadline for applications is 4th October.

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 rethink 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.

CLIMATE STRIKE: Ariadne is joining the Global Climate Strike on 20th September. Join the millions of us walking out of our workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Click here to find out more.

REGISTER NOW – ARIADNE PORTAL TUITION: A half-hour of tuition to improve your skill in using the Ariadne Portal will be held on Tuesday 15th October at 15:00 BST. 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

The State of Artistic Freedom 2019: Freedom of creative and artistic expression has been recognised as a fundamental human right. Yet, the violations of people’s right to express themselves through different art forms have been constantly registered in different corners of the globe, while artists are physically attacked, prosecuted, detained and in other ways intimidated because of the content of their artwork. The State of Artistic Freedom report is a research publication produced annually by Freemuse through analytical examination of documented cases of violation of artistic freedom.

Walking the Talk: Putting workplace equality, diversity and inclusion into practice: The social sector has a diversity issue, and we’re missing out on talent as a result. Walking the Talk is a cross-sector partnership led by NPC, building on previous research which suggested that many in the social sector did not know what to do about diversity or believed it didn’t apply to them. The goal of the partnership is to amplify voices within the sector, sharing practical advice and honest personal perspectives to empower the social sector to step up and do better.

Guide on Intersectional Discrimination: The Case of Roma Women: The Fundación Secretariado Gitano has published a guide on the intersectional discrimination of Romani women, which aims to make visible the discrimination of Roma women and provides guidelines to understand and identify these types of situations.

Can the Universal Periodic Review hold governments accountable on digital rights? This OpenGlobalRights article argues that the Universal Periodic Review can highlight that online rights are an essential part of human rights and that everyone’s digital rights should be protected and promoted.

The unacknowledged costs of the EU’s migration policy in Libya: This European Council on Foreign Relations article covers how the ongoing war in Libya is causing growing numbers of Libyans to emigrate to Europe – and leading European states to make partnerships with authoritarian regimes.

Council of Europe adopts first-ever international legal instrument to stop sexism: States should step up their fight against sexism in all walks of life, according to a recommendation just adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. In response to the #MeToo and other recent movements that have heightened awareness of persistent sexism in society, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted a recommendation to stop sexism, which includes the first ever internationally agreed definition of it.


Blogs and Other Sites of Interest

ARTICLE: Meet 15 Women Leading the Fight Against Climate Change: In this article, TIME Magazine highlights 15 women who are leading the fight against climate change. Tessa Khan, Co-Director of the Climate Litigation Network, and speaker at this year’s Grant Skills Day, is one of the women featured. If you’d like to hear from Tessa and a host of other leaders in the field, on how to climate-proof your foundation and strategies, click here to register for the Grant Skills Day (21st October, Amsterdam).

PODCAST: Better Human: Can human rights make our societies better? Brexit, facial recognition, racism in sport, assisted dying, artificial intelligence – the Better Human podcast explores the most important human rights issues of the day through engaging and accessible interviews with high-profile guests and plain English guides to key concepts and historical events. Presented by leading human rights lawyer Adam Wagner, the tone is open and unpretentious, with all technical terms and concepts explained.

VIDEO: What’s Happening in Xinjiang: Religious minorities are being incarcerated in China’s western province of Xinjiang at a level not seen since the Second World War. China claims that over one million Uyghurs are being “re-educated” in these detention facilities, and many more are subject to pervasive surveillance. In this video, Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS) Amy Lehr and Michael Green dive into what we know about these detention centres, the implications of Xinjiang’s surveillance state, and where we go from here.

PODCAST: Tea with Mama Cash: In the ‘Tea with Mama Cash’ podcast, feminisms and other radical politics will get an airing and a welcome reception – to create, debate, reimagine, of course problematise, and also just be. Hosts Zohra Moosa and Happy Mwende Kinyili share their experiences, perspectives and opinions developed through supporting feminist activism worldwide.

ARTICLE: Is It Legal for A Pharmacist to Refuse to Give You the Morning After Pill on Religious or Moral Grounds? This RightsInfo article covers the story of a woman in the UK being refused the morning after pill by a pharmacist because it went against the practitioner’s “personal beliefs”.

ARTICLE: How Reverse Mentoring Can Lead to More Equitable Workplaces: This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review argues that, to establish more diversity, equity, and inclusion across sectors, we need to re-imagine the traditional mentor and mentee relationship to shift power to younger and less experienced colleagues who possess unique insight into bias and racial dynamics.

PODCAST: A Virtual Tour with Julie Broome of the Ariadne Network: The Virtual Philanthropy podcast is a guided tour for nonprofits looking to understand the steps they should take in order to get in front of and, eventually get funding from, foundations and donors. The tour guides here are various members of the philanthropic sector, from individual donors to gatekeepers of funds. In this episode, Ariadne Director, Julie Broome takes listeners on a virtual tour of philanthropic affinity groups and what nonprofits need to know before trying to engage such institutions.

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


Alliance Magazine: Human Rights Philanthropy: At $2.8 billion per year, human rights funding amounts to 5 per cent of all giving. Yet the very idea of the open, liberal, and democratic society underpinned by respect for human rights is under attack and refugees, people of colour, LGBT individuals and groups, women’s rights and environmental activists and individuals or groups denied basic economic and social rights – all those that human rights legislation protects – are in the firing line. The September 2019 issue of Alliance highlights the eco-system of liberal funders and activists throwing everything at stemming the tide. Whilst the issue is behind the paywall, a special feature “Charting a new course for the human rights movement” can be accessed for free.

Jeff Bezos is quietly letting his charities do something radical – whatever they want: This article looks at how Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (who was, until recently, conspicuously absent from the world of serious charitable giving) has, through his Day One Families Fund, very quickly sent $100 million to two dozen well-regarded nonprofits working to provide shelter to homeless families across the country, with virtually no restrictions, formal vetting, or oversight.

A philanthropic coalition for climate emergency and social justice: In this blog for EFC, Marie-Stéphane Maradeix of Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso imagines a coalition of philanthropic actors declaring a ten-year mobilisation addressing climate emergency and social justice. See also, ‘Why We’re Striking on September 20th’ on why funders should join the Global Climate Strike.

Only 1% of gender equality funding is going to women’s organisations – why? This Guardian article looks at why, although there has been a $1bn boost in support over the last two years, only tiny pots of money are trickling down to feminist groups.

How Philanthropic Collaborations Succeed, and Why They Fail: This Stanford Social Innovation Review article argues that funders need to push past politeness and hammer out expectations for how their collective action will create value – for beneficiaries, grantees, and themselves – beyond what they could do alone.

How to fund investigative journalism: The summer edition of the Journalism Funders Confidential newsletter takes a closer look at investigative journalism in the context of philanthropy. As with many other areas focused squarely on the public interest, investigative journalism is systematically underfunded, including in Europe.

The next Thread will go out on Thursday 17th October. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Hannah Stevens by 15th September if you would like to share announcements, events, or resources for the next issue.


Jobs and Tenders

Head of Climate Action – The National Lottery Community Fund: The National Lottery Community Fund is recruiting a Head of Climate Action; an exciting leadership role which will develop and deliver the Fund’s strategy to support action on climate change. The £100m Climate Action Fund aims, over the next 10 years, to build a network of people and communities taking the lead on meaningful, high impact and sustainable action to reduce the impact of climate change. These communities will be exemplars for what is possible when communities take the lead on climate change and will proactively seek to share their learning and engage others to create a broader movement of change. Location: London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast or Glasgow, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 29th September.

Grants Assistant (Migration and Integration) – Paul Hamlyn Foundation: Paul Hamlyn Foundation is looking for a Grants Assistant to support their work in the migration and integration field through its Shared Ground Fund. This post will also support PHF’s work to fund unusual and radical ideas that can lead to social change through the Ideas and Pioneers Fund. Location: London, United Kingdom. Deadline for applications is 7th October.

Trustees (x4) – Trust for London: Trust for London is seeking to appoint four new Trustees to join its board during 2020. The Trust is inviting applications from people with skills in property investment/asset management, public relations/communications skills, Human Resources management and legal expertise (particularly charity law). Given the context within which the Trust works and funds, knowledge and experience of social policy would be desirable. Candidates should be passionate about promoting effective approaches to tackling poverty and inequality in London. The Trust is committed to ensuring that its work at all levels reflects the diversity of London. They are keen to have Board members that have lived experience of poverty and disadvantage in addition to the relevant skills. Deadline for applications is 4th October.

Outreach Coordinator, Open Society European Policy Institute: Open Society European Policy Institute is hiring an Outreach Coordinator. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of OSEPI’s Head of Partnerships, Research and Outreach and will manage an events assistant, who is responsible for the logistical support for all OSEPI events. They will collaborate closely with all OSEPI teams (policy, administration, research) and OSF’s Office for Communications to coordinate and extend OSEPI’s outreach to policy audiences in Brussels and other capitals and manage OSEPI’s publications process. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 30th September.

Program Officer (China Office) – Ford Foundation: The Ford Foundation China Office, based in Beijing, seeks a dynamic and innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s work related to ensuring that the norms and practice of Chinese development finance promote equitable and sustainable outcomes in recipient countries and communities. They will work with two other Program Officers on the China team and with stakeholders both inside China and in regions where the foundation has operations and where the impact of Chinese development finance is manifest. Location: Beijing, China. Deadline for applications is 24th September.

(Senior) Sector Officer (Justice and Home Affairs) EEA & Norway Grants: EEA & Norway Grants is looking to fill the post of (Senior) Sector Officer- Justice and Home Affairs in the in the FMO’s Priority Sector Unit. The successful candidate will work on several of the following programme areas: asylum and migration; correctional services and pre-trial detention; international police cooperation and combating crime; effectiveness and efficiency of the judicial system, strengthening the rule of law; domestic and gender-based violence; and disaster prevention and preparedness. Location: Brussels, Belgium. Deadline for applications is 6th October.

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


Public Meetings

September 29th – October 5th
European Parliament Debate: “Single Market for Philanthropy ‒ Helping unlock the potential for public good across Europe”:  Hosted by Vice-President Nicola Beer MEP, this event aims to introduce to MEPs and key stakeholders the debate on the potential of philanthropy for the public good. The event will kick off with case studies which illustrate the diversity and complementary role of philanthropy, and how it acts as a tool for citizens to engage with and contribute to the public good in Europe. Keynote speeches on this topic from different perspectives will be given, followed by interventions from commentators. The event is co-organised by DAFNE, EFC, Renew Europe and the European Parliament. The event will take on 1st October in Brussels, Belgium.

October 6th – 12th
SIGNs of Change: The latest exhibition to be displayed in Philanthropy House marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the SouthEast European Indigenous Grantmakers Network (SIGN). The exhibition highlights some of the network’s greatest achievements, and attendees of the 8th October opening event will participate in discussions on these milestones, meet the people behind the network and learn more about what it does. SIGN consists of foundations and philanthropic organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia who partnered together to amplify and improve the development of philanthropy, civil society and cross sector partnerships in South-East Europe. The opening event will take place on 8th October in Brussels, Belgium.


September 29th – October 5th
Documentary Screening: Está Todo Bien: Venezuela is a country rich in natural resources that for decades has prided itself on having one of the best public health systems in the entire region. Today, as the public health system collapses, a pharmacist, a trauma surgeon, a social activist, and two cancer patients confront the same questions as millions of other Venezuelans struggling to survive in a nation plunged into chaos: to protest or to acquiesce, to emigrate or to stick it out, to lose all hope or to hang on to faith? The documentary screening (in Spanish with English subtitles) will be followed by a panel discussion with: Tamara Taraciuk Broner, Acting Deputy Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch; Cristina Hoyos, Head of Latin America and the Caribbean, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces; and Marc Hufty, Professor of Development Studies, the Graduate Institute, Geneva. The event will take place on 2nd October in Geneva, Switzerland.

September 29th – October 5th
Free Media, Disinformation and Democracy: There is no democracy without free media. But in a context of intermingling media and state influence, journalism is under increasing pressure worldwide. How can journalists continue to ‘speak truth to power’? How can grassroots movements respond to illiberal political leaders? At this event, panellists will debate the politics of public opinion from several vantage points. Swati Chaturvedi, a Delhi-based journalist, will narrate her work and the insights found in her book I Am A Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army (2016). Benjamin Arditi, whose scholarly work has focused on various aspects of post-liberal politics, will discuss how movements such as Occupy Wall Street, the Spanish indignados, the Mexican #YoSoy132 movement, and other forms of viral politics have shaped public opinion in the Americas and in Europe. They will engage with the audience on how to keep and promote open democratic debates. The event will take place on 2nd October in Geneva, Switzerland.


October 13th – 19th
Sustainable and Ethical Investment: Using your assets wisely to drive positive environmental impact: Increasingly, social impact investors want to use all the resources available to them to contribute towards solving environmental and social issues – including their time, philanthropy, investments and influence. What role does responsible investment play and how can it be measured? Can these investments generate financial and environmental returns? How do charities and investees manage this complex investment milieu? What are the really important issues to consider when you are aligning your investments and philanthropy? Participants will deepen their understanding of the range of ways of creating impact while achieving financial return. The event will take place on 17th October in London, United Kingdom.

October 6th – 12th
NPC Ignites: NPC Ignites is designed to help charities keep pace with change and anticipate new trends and innovations to ensure their organisations are always maximising their social impact. The annual conference brings together the brightest minds in the charity sector to inspire new ways of working. And it gives participants a chance to network with colleagues and new friends in the sector. This event will take place on 10th October in London, United Kingdom.

October 13th – 19th
Trailblazers: Women Leading the Way: You are young and ambitious. You have a vision. But how do you pursue your dream role when no one at the top of your industry looks like you? Despite the challenges, women of colour are increasingly making their way to the top and carving out a new ‘normal’ for younger generations. To celebrate their success and share how they got there, Intelligence Squared and gal-dem are partnering to bring together pioneers from the worlds of media, politics and culture. The panel will include Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary and the UK’s first black female MP; Mishal Husain, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme; Corinne Bailey Rae, award-winning singer-songwriter and Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible. The conversation will be chaired by journalist and political activist Ash Sarkar. The event will take place on 15h October in London, United Kingdom.

October 6th – 12th
Protest and Power: can climate activism save the planet? Can climate activism – from Extinction Rebellion to the school climate strikes – bring about the radical change in government and business that is needed to stop runaway global warming? The Grantham Research Institute is hosting a debate about what works in climate politics, and what role street protests can play. Speakers will include Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, and former leader of the Labour Party and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; James Murray, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BusinessGreen; Farhana Yamin, international lawyer and environmental activist; and Robert Falkner, Research Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE. The event will take place on 9th October in London, United Kingdom.

October 13th – 19th
A Right to a Home? ‘Home’ means more than a roof over our heads. It can be crucial to our sense of ourselves and our well-being. So, what might it mean to have a right to a home? And what is lost when we lose our home? At this event there will be a discussion of the politics, philosophy, and poetry of home, exploring the fundamental connection between home and human well-being. Speakers will include Cara Nine, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University College Cork; Yousif M Qasmiyeh, Writer-in-Residence, Refugee Hosts, and Creative Encounters Editor, Migration and Society; Beth Watts, Senior Research Fellow, Heriot-Watt University; and Sarah Fine, Fellow at the Forum for Philosophy and a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL. The event will take place on 15th October in London, United Kingdom.

November 17th – 23rd
Pathways to Power Symposium: Between 18th and 19th November, a Symposium on people-led development – ‘Pathways to Power: New Ways of Deciding and Doing’ – will be held in London.  A follow-up to the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy held in December 2016, the Symposium will be a smaller event, focused specifically on deepening and joining up theory and emergent practice – both bottom-up and top-down – that seeks to shift power closer to communities. The event will take place between 18th and 19th November in London, United Kingdom.


January 19th – 26th
Philanthropy Europe Forum: Philanthropy Europe 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 with an interest 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.


September 22nd – 28th
Climate-Forced Displacement: The Unique Challenges & Contributions of Indigenous Communities: This UN General Assembly Climate Action Summit side event will highlight the unique challenges and contributions that Indigenous communities experience and hold in addressing the spectrum of risks associated with climate-forced displacement. The event will be presented by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee; Human Rights Funders Network; International Funders for Indigenous Peoples; UUSC UN Office; HRFN Environmental Justice, Climate Change and Human Rights Working Group; and Permanent Mission of the Solomon Islands to the UN. The webinar will take place on 23rd September.


September 21st – 28th
Pop-up Exhibition & Conversation: Killing Culture: What are the consequences of denying, forgetting or manipulating the legacy of war in the Balkans? And how can memorials encourage dialogue about the legacy of war? Participants in this event will discuss these two questions with journalists and activists from the Balkans during the pop-up exhibition ‘Killing Culture’. The event will take place on 26th September in The Hague, The Netherlands.


October 13th – 19th
Lessons from 1989: Reinvigorating Democracy in Europe: November 9th, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This event, combined with the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, cleared the way for the formation or restoration of liberal democratic institutions not only in Eastern Europe, but around the world. But, this surge of progress has begun to roll back. Many countries have struggled to accommodate the political swings and contentious debates intrinsic to democracy. In Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, antidemocratic leaders are undermining democracy by weakening democratic institutions, restricting freedom of expression and attacking the media, and in some cases even consolidating power beyond constitutional limits. This conference will seek to examine the biggest challenges facing democracy in Central and Eastern European states today, how lessons from 1989-1991 can be applied to present circumstances, and how the United States and other democracies can work to reinvigorate democracy in the region. The event will take place on 17th 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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