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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.)

Kattints ide az esemény magyar leírásáért!

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 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). You don’t need to register to follow the stream.

Pre-registration is not compulsory, but is recommended in order to assess the number of in-person participants and interpretation needs.

Please register here by 10 June 2023 at the latest.

We will provide coffee, tea and snacks during the conference and for those who pre-register by June 10, 2023, we can also provide lunch on Saturday

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? The role of civic organizations

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: Bolba Márta (evangelical pastor in Józsefváros), Rácz Béla (Co-founder of 1Magyarország Kezdeményezés, community organizer), Törley Katalin (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), Nika Kovač (founding director of the 8th of March Research Institute), Doran Schranz (Executive Director of ISAIAH and Faith), 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), representatives of civil society organizations (to be confirmed), 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 / Feministisation of Politics collective), Andrea Krizsán (Professor at Central European University, Senior Research Fellow at Democracy Institute), Béla Rácz (Co-founder of 1Magyarország Kezdeményezés, community organizer), 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).

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.