Barion Pixel


The Our Common City international online conference will examine different aspects of urban social justice work. In the first part we will discuss the possibilities and challenges of participatory and social justice-oriented urban governance. Later we will discover through panel discussions and workshops the development of grassroots education for the empowerment of citizens, especially those who experience exclusion.

These two topics are closely linked and need to be developed simultaneously: progressive municipalities need to examine themselves critically and improve their practices, while citizens and their organizations need to be empowered to participate in the newly emerging political spaces.

This event is a sequel to our conference held in 2019 when 400 people gathered from all around Europe to share and analyze their experiences in urban social justice activism and the democratic governance. We would like to continue this interesting learning process with panel discussions and workshops.


The conference will take place on Zoom, where the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and add comments. On Zoom we will also provide simultaneous interpretation in English and Hungarian.

The panel discussions will be streamed live on the Facebook page of the School of Public Life.

Please register for the conference on this link or at the end of this page.

For more information, please contact us at

Click here to see the Hungarian conference program



6pm-8pm (CET) – Activists in the town hall – opportunities and challenges in light of the past two years

The participants of this roundtable all are people who used be activists or civil professionals before the municipal elections in 2019 and then entered city government as decision-makers. We are going to discuss their assessment of the past two years as well as the opportunities and challenges they have experienced in municipal politics. Would they return to the civil sphere? Would they want to move up the political ladder? Is it possible to achieve meaningful social change through municipalities?

Guests: Andrea Varga (Deputy mayor of Miskolc) I András Pikó (Mayor of the 8th district, Budapest) I Zsuzsanna Döme (Deputy mayor of 9th district Budapest) I Bálint Misetics (Adviser to the Mayor of Budapest on housing and social policy)

Moderator: Tessza Udvarhelyi (School of Public Life)


10am-12am (CET) Participatory processes in municipal governments

In the past two years, more and more leaders in Hungarian municipalities have been talking about involving local residents in the decisions that affect them and „participation” seems to be living its renaissance. What does all this mean in practice? Is there some real change? Do residents want to participate? Do politicians really want them to participate? We will discuss these questions with our Hungarian and international guests.

Guests: Kamilla Kovács (Public Participation Officer, Municipality of Miskolci) I Sylwia Betlej ( Municpality of Gdansk) I  Milota Sidorova (director, Metropolitný inštitút Bratislavy) I Representative of the Municipality of Budapest

Moderator: Miklós Merényi (K-monitor)

4pm-6pm (CET) Holding elected representatives accountable

The municipal turn in 2019 brought a lot of hope for organizations and individuals working for progressive causes. How well have the municipalities declaring new, open, participatory and green policies performed in light of these high hopes? And what are the opportunities and tools inside and outside municipalities to make sure that elected representatives keep their promises and work for the public good?

Guests: Veronika Juhász (MKKP, municipal representative) I Orsolya Vincze (K-Monitor) I Áron Halász (Hungarian Bicycle Club) I István Szulovszky (Civil Kotta)

Moderátor: Bernadett Sebály


10am-12am (CET) What is the social vision we teach for? – citizenship education and social impact

What are the goals of a citizenship education center? How do they know if they make an actual impact? How do they envision a more just society? We will discuss with members of organizations that work in citizenship education, movement building and impact measurement, what are the visions they work for every day, and how does their work make a difference.

Guests: Laurence Cox (Ulex Project, activist trainer) I Ágnes Fernengel (School of Public Life, director) I Cosmin Pojoranu (Funky Citizen)

Moderátor: Kinga Tóth (Deviszont Community Space)

2pm-4pm (CET) Organization building as a common inquiry – workshop with the the Recrear group

In the workshop of the Recrear group, trainers will use case studies and interactive exercises to demonstrate participatory, creative and reflective practices that can benefit anyone in organisational development. The workshop aims to provide practical ideas on how to transform the work culture within and between organisations.This is an interactive workshop with limited participants, and the places are filled in the order of applications.

Trainers: Kirsten Williams and Fiammetta Wegner 

4pm-6pm (CET) Organize! – Political mobilization, movement building and citizenship education

Why do people take to the streets? How to facilitate long-term movement building? When do people experiencing exclusion participate in political and community work? And how can citizenship education support this? We will discuss with members of international organizations the successes and difficulties of mobilizing people experiencing oppression.

Guests: Aruna Roy (School for Democracy) I Mónika Bálint (Civil Kollégium Alapítvány) I Dezső Szegedi (1 Magyarország Kezdeményezés) I Fabio Tomáz(Florestan Fernandes National School)

Moderator: Ágnes Fernengel (School of Public Life)


This Conference is organized by the School of Public Life, a community-based training and research center that develops democratic culture in Hungary by improving the citizenship skills of people living in social exclusion, supporting social movements and groups that fight for social justice.

The project is supported by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung e.V., zastoupení v České republice. The organizers are responsible for the content provided and do not necessarily represent the points of view of the foundation.

Megosztás Facebookon
A Közélet Iskolája célja, hogy mindenki számára elérhetővé tegyük az önszerveződéshez szükséges tudást és képességeket. Képzéssel, stratégiai tervezések vezetésével, kutatással és tudástermeléssel támogatjuk a civil szervezeteket és alulról szerveződő csoportokat...
A kosarad üres.