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International virtual conference

covid19 impact on civic and youth activism
September 2-3, 2020

The international virtual conference “Covid19 impact on civic and youth activism’’ explores implications of Covid19 on civic movements and civic activism. Besides having to swiftly adapt tactics and strategies for reaching own goals and coordinating members with new set of digital tools, activists are as well confronted with various dilemma’s for instance digital surveillance when digital organising and campaigning, or restrictions of civic or political freedoms for the sake of security of all. Key societal issues (re)gained a central position in civic and political debates, such as defending public good and resources, social inequalities, women and children rights, protection of people at risk of domestic violence, as well as access to affordable quality health care for all. More than this, the crisis actually raised interest of a broad public towards ecological challenges, increasingly claiming a more eco-friendly societal framework for the post covid19 crisis.


The virtual conference aims to explore the impact of the covid19 pandemic onto civic and youth activism, especially in Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. Specific objectives include:

  • To discuss latest trends and new challenges faced by nonviolent activists movements following the covid19 crisis
  • To explore tactics and strategies applied by activists groups and movements to continue rallying and campaigning
  • To review competences and skills necessary for activists to run their movements and campaigns in post-covid19 context

The virtual conference is organized as part of the international Community Action Training – CAT programme, an educational and training programme supporting emerging nonviolent civic movements campaigning for social transformation and social change.

Key topics

  • Adapting tactics and strategies of nonviolent movements in new context
  • Digital organising and digital safety for activists
  • Competence framework and necessary key competences for activists in new context
  • Impact on women rights and gender equality: new challenges and consequences of Covid19 and responses by women activists and groups
  • The bigger crisis to come: responses of climate change and environmental protection activists during quarantine and in post-covid19 context
  • Covid19 crisis as an opportunity for swift societal changes?

Types of Sessions

Live Dialogue (60 min)

Following a video input available on the conference platform prior to the Live Dialogue sessions, the audience comes into dialogue with keynote speakers about the current trends and main challenges of activism and movements, from a broader angle. A facilitator conveys the questions and feedback of the audience, whereas the session is graphically recorded live. Note: key-note speaker’s video input watched prior to live session on the conference platform

Panel Discussions (60 min)

Up to three professionals from different contexts or regions discuss a concrete issue at stake and share their opinions and perspectives. A facilitator conveys the questions and comments of the audience, whereas the session is graphically recorded live.

Meet-up’s (45 min)

A meeting with a group of activists, presenting their objectives and tactics, and the impact of covid19 on the movement and their strategic responses. Activists Meet-up’s are planned in smaller group and a moderator brings up the audience questions and concerns to the activists team.