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ECFI Learning Lab for Changemakers

ECFI Learning Lab for Changemakers - 2020 'Sustainability'

What is Learning Lab?

ECFI Learning Lab for Changemakers (ECFI-LLCM) is a structured learning space for practitioners from community foundation field in Europe to enhance their working, thinking and making meaning of social change in their communities. The “Lab” in the title indicates that it is a space that is safe and purposeful. It is a space inhabited by peers, primarily led by peers with limited outside guidance and structuring that is provided through ECFI. At the same time, it is a space that gets “dirty” in two ways:

1) Through the experience brought in by practitioners, which is subjected to their individual and collective reflection, and

2) by the very ways of conversations and experimentation (as that is what happens in labs) with ideas, thoughts and reflections of practices, approaches and situations of interest to learners.

The context for this conversation is the post-Covid-19 period when many pieces of the social, economic and political order will be changing. The role of philanthropy and community-based action and civic engagement will play out in a new situation and will have to find its renewed role and function in a new context.

The Lab invites applications from the staff, board members or volunteers of CFs and CF support organisations, leaders of community philanthropy initiatives who have been engaged in life of community foundations and support oganisations and other relevant types of community philanthropy organisations for several years (more than 1 year).

The term “Changemaker” in the title suggests that members of the Lab are actively engaged in the life of a community or organisational field of community foundations, act for its betterment and as individuals, are in a creative tension with the world. The LLCM assumes that changemakers today are concerned with global issues and seek ways how to connect them to community level and vice-versa.

The Changemakers are invited to become the Lab’s Collaborators based on a competitive process. They are meant to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own learning, behavior and decision-making. They join Lab as individuals, not as organisations representatives, however, the connection to their organisation, community and organisational field/sector is important part of the intended scope of the Lab and the Lab provides support for organisations that changemakers are associated with.

6-8 Collaborators will work in the lab for 2 months for 50% of their time while they continue their relationship/employment/ work with their organisation.

Collaborators will be supported to engage via various efforts such as reading, listening, writing, thinking, participating in on-line or off-line conversations and via other creative means individually and with other collaborators, tutor and others around the relevant theme.

Collaborators develop recommendations, concepts, plans, programs, case studies, approaches, methodologies, schemes, processes and the like that are applicable in the CF organisational or CF field context and respond in their unique way to challenges and questions that the theme poses.

Collaborators are required to produce a publishable report and commit to apply findings of their work in their organisational setting and to share that experience after some time with other colleagues and engage in review.

For 2020 the theme is “Sustainability of a Community Foundation and it is expected to start on 15 October. The tutor supporting this initial Lab will be Filiz Bikmen, an accomplished professional with broad experience in philanthropic institutions and the community foundation field.

The Application Form requires from applicants to submit two essays in English language. One on the value of learning for the applicant (to gather insight about his/her motivation) (500-750 words) and second on the topic / issue / situation / practice / tool / approach/ challenge/ that elaborates the set theme that the applicant would like to engage with during the session (500 - 1000 words).

Applications will be reviewed between 15 August – 4 September 2020 and the applicants will learn the outcomes of the selection process before or on 11 September 2020.

Organisations where invited collaborators are based, receive a subsidy in the value of 50% of the total cost of labour of the Collaborator for 2 months from €1,500 up to a maximum of €3,000.

Boris Strečanský

Consultant for emerging countries in the community foundation field