Elevate Civil Society

Download: Elevate Festival 2010 Timetable

This year's discourse and film program picks out the sociopolitical role of progressive initiatives of civil society and social movements as a central theme. Together with The Yes Men star prankster Mike Bonanno, representatives of the worldwide most important environmentalist groups like Nnimmo Bassey of Friends of the Earth International and Bill McKibben of 350.org as well as many other activists and experts, the aim will be to create awareness and motivation for personal and collective involvement.

The three main topics “Change!” (Friday), “Mobilize!” (Saturday) and “Communicate!” (Monday) take a practical approach to the subject, introduce current initiatives, campaigns and movements and show different possibilities of changing consumer and behavioral habits. “Elevate the Movements!” (Sunday) mainly dedicates itself to the debate of important interrelations, current developments, possibilities for collective intervention and possible future perspectives.

The crisis intensifies, politics fail

The fundamental socioecological crisis – climate change, economic and social crisis, wars, hunger and the progressing destruction of the biosphere - is intensifying. Many affected people and also a growing number of scientists agree that a change of paradigm is necessary: A change, as soon as possible, towards a society that conserves our natural basis of life. And allows everyone worldwide to live a good life.

Europe's governments continue their politics nevertheless, still unimpeded. Not even moderate regulations of the financial market were achieved. Instead, far-reaching economic measures are being taken, which affect mostly those who have already been pushed to the margins of society during the last decades. In respect to climate politics, also, there is not much hope of sufficient progression in the near future. After the failure of the summit in Copenhagen there is not even an agreement to follow the Kyoto protocol, which will expire in 2012.

This way, ruling politics, which by and by are acting exclusively according to the interests of a minimal part of the world population growing richer and more powerful, are risking all our futures.

We are the change!

By looking back at history, we can see that positive changes in society (such as the abolition of slavery, achievements of industrial law and the welfare state, increased gender equality, increased environmental conservation etc.) were never introduced voluntarily by the ruling establishment, but always won by social movements.

In the face of this knowledge, this festival intents to strengthen the countless initiatives and movements working hereabouts and make them more visible, as well as to show possibilities to become active personally. (german, 9MB, PDF)


Download: Elevate Festival 2010 Booklet (german, 9MB, PDF)

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