Barion Pixel





June 16-17


Jelentkezési határidő:


Friday, June 16. 1.00-7.30pm
Saturday, June 17. 10am-6.30pm
organizer: Közélet Iskolája
venue: Central European University (Budapest 1051, Nádor utca 15.)

The two-day international conference will bring together activists, community organizers, theorists and politicians to discuss the possibilities of organizing and political work for a just, inclusive, equitable, respectful and sustainable society. The first day of the conference will focus on grassroots initiatives and the social and political nature of regime change, and the second day will explore how the above principles can be applied in social movements and local government in an authoritarian political environment.

This conference follows on from the 2019 Our Common City conference, where we explored the role of social movements in transforming local governments, and the 2021 Our Common City 2.0 conference, where we explored the practices of equitable local government and the issues of grassroots political education.


The conference can be visited without registrasion.

The conference is free to attend, but if you would like to support our work and ensure that all of our trainings remain free in the future, donations are welcome here.

The conference will be held in English and Hungarian with simultaneous interpretation.

The conference will also be streamed live online and can be followed on the School of Public Life Facebook page (no interpretation available for the live stream)

The patron of the conference is the Mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony. The conference is supported by Faith in Action.

For more information, please contact us at 0630 8717762 or



13.00-14.30 How do regime changes happen?

In this panel discussion we will discuss the various ways in which authoritarian regimes have been and can be ended including experiences from Eastern Europe and the United States. We will focus on the political, economic and organizing aspects of regime change.

Participants: Grigory Frolov (Vice President of Free Russia Foundation), Alejandra Gomez (co-executive director of Living United for Change in Arizona), Bernadett Sebály (junior researcher at the CEU Democracy Institute), moderator: Tessza Udvarhelyi (founder of the School of Public Life).

14.45-16.15 Mass constituency organizing - how to build networks on a national scale?  

In this panel discussion, we will explore experiences of grassroots organizations that move beyond the local level and attempt to organize individuals and communities around issues at a larger scale.

Participants: Márta Bolba (evangelical pastor in Józsefváros), Béla Rácz (Co-founder of 1Magyarország Kezdeményezés, community organizer), Kata Törley (teacher, representative of the Tanítanék Movement), Gordon Whitman (Managing Director for International Organizing at Faith in Action), moderator: Adrienn Zubek (director at Polgár Alapítvány az Esélyekért).

16.30-17.45 Translating community power to political power

In this panel discussion, we will explore the possibilities of using community organizing as a vehicle for progressive political change, the possible dynamics of civic and political actors in elections as well as the possible relationship between political parties and community organizations.

Participants: Dávid Csepregi (member of Szikra Mozgalom), Tina Tomšič (8th of March Research Institute), Doran Schranz (Director of ISAIAH and Faith In Minnesota), Viktor Szalóki (network coordinator of aHang), moderation: Mónika Bálint (Executive Director of Civil Kollégium Alapítvány).

18.00-19.30 How is Budapest doing in 2023?

In this panel discussion, the Mayor of Budapest and representatives of key civil society organizations will discuss how they assess the situation of the capital in terms of housing, social issues, equal opportunities, sustainability and community participation. They will also discuss what needs to be done to make Budapest a fair and healthy place, where everyone has access to essential public services and opportunities.

Participants: Gergely Karácsony (mayor of Budapest), Vera Kovács (From Streets to Home Association), Marietta Herfort (Roma Women's Network), Merényi Miklós (K-monitor), János Mező (Greenpeace) moderated by Dóra Ónody-Molnár (journalist)


10.00-11.30 Social imagination: how to think about our past and our future in desperate times?

In this panel discussion, we will explore the role of imagination in social change, the ways in which our imagination is restricted by both political apathy and authoritarianism as well as the ways in which our imagination can be liberated for both the past and the present.

Participants: Csaba András (Senior Lecturer at Department of Film and Visual Studies, University of Pécs), Tessza Udvarhelyi (founder of the School of Public Life), Márton Gulyás (Partizán), moderation: Bernadett Sebály (junior researcher at the CEU Democracy Institute).

Further participants are soon to be announced.

11.45-13.15 The politics of a just future: feminist and anti-racist governance

The politics of a just future: feminist and anti-racist governance How do we dismantle systemic patriarchal and racist oppression in governance? How to build political institutions that work for a society of equality and solidarity? In this discussion, we explore how to transform governance structures to serve the interests of women, roma, the poor and other oppressed groups. We will examine the role of local municipalities and social movements in the struggle for feminist and anti-racist governance.

Participants: Maria Francesca de Tulio (activist of l'Asilo / Feminisation of Politics collective), Andrea Krizsán (Professor at Central European University, Senior Research Fellow at Democracy Institute), Adrienn Bogdán (Roma officer at the 8th district of Budapest), Rev. Dr. Gregory J. Edwards (POWER Interfaith's Chief of Staff), moderation: Ági Fernengel (director of the School of Public Life).

14.30-16.00 How to maximize what a city can accomplish in a hostile state?

In this panel discussion we will talk to three people who all came from civil society to work in local governments in Hungary in 2019 with great hopes of social and political transformation. Where are they standing now? What are their accomplishments and barriers?

Participants: Bálint Misetics (Social Policy Officer at Mayor's Office of Budapest), András Pikó (Mayor of the 8th district in Budapest), Andrea Varga (Deputy mayor of Miskolc), moderation: Miklós Merényi (municipal expert at K-Monitor Egyesület).




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June 16-17

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