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The following participants came together with our Team Syntegrity team in Barcelona this June, to address the question:

In the context of several major interconnected global crises, how can civil society help to renew our democracies to rise to the challenge?

Together they made recommendations under twelve topic headings that we want to explore further with them and our readers and partners over the coming months. See the initial results here.

 

Safe spaces, bagpipes and houmous

“This is the safe space I was talking about… a totally open space people can feel safe in, because stories are shared, barriers are broken and everyone is welcome.”

Change in a consensual way

“Because often when it comes to politics, I am sort of a leader. But here I was a follower: and it was a good experience.” An interview on thoughts arising from Team Syntegrity 2017.

The European Left in times of crises: lessons from Greece

The prospect of government did not generate or impose novel thinking, practices, or behaviours within the Greek left.

While the sun shines

A conversation with Ashish Ghadiali, film-maker, party activist, autonomous individual, about reinventing politics through culture and democracy.

Re-thinking strategies for social change in Transeuropa

One of the most controversial elements of the strategy proposed by European Alternatives, Transeuropa and DiEM25 has to do with understanding the role of the nation-state.

4 things that struck me after visiting political spaces in 14 US cities

I call my homeland Aotearoa New Zealand. Where I’m from, biculturalism is not a radical position, it’s a common experience.

The future of civil society is dependent on space

It’s hard to cross the threshold of a place that doesn’t feel like it’s for you.

The politics of feelings

A meditation on the ‘millennials’ and several of the discussions at Team Syntegrity 2017.

Diary of an organiser: Team Syntegrity 2017

I have been a qualified facilitator for more than two decades, but had almost forgotten what this extraordinary three-and-a-half day process was like. Would it be different in the twenty-first century?

More mouthy male feminists please

Team Syntegrity 2017 light blue group: “It would be strategic to create feeling spaces where we can explore the masculine experience of patriarchy. Real democracy now!”

Letter from a recovering Team Syntegrity 2017 participant

"In this exercise, we were forced to sit side by side and face to face and discuss diverse issues reasonably, coherently, and cohesively. It was smart and it was intimate."

Team Syntegrity emergent

If creativity is born from bringing different perspectives together, the group’s diversity was a positive sign from the outset.

From civil society to political society

“You can avoid paying attention to politics only until politics starts paying attention to you.” Thoughts gathered at Team Syntegrity 2017 in Barcelona.

Team Syntegrity, a comprehensive method of hope

Collaborating, competing, contradicting, negotiating, accommodating and compromising, all took place to different degrees in one symbiotic process. Our first participant report-back.

What the hell is going on in Macedonia?

A maelstrom of scandals, drama, violence and anger has seen Macedonia sliding towards collapse in recent months, with serious implications for the Balkans as a whole.

Glimpse into a key party debate: deciding the future of Podemos

Podemos is locked in passionate debate in the run-up to its second state-wide assembly, next weekend. It must build its internal democracy and its social base in Spain. But how? Español

Loomio and the problem of deliberation

One of the frustrations within the current political system is that most people are alienated from deliberation. The founders of decision-making software Loomio want to give everyone access to that essential skill. 

How to build a movement-party: lessons from Rosario’s Future City

Passive, spectator politics is not an option. It is up to the activists to prove that maintaining a party in movement is possible over the long term. Español

‘The system is a reflection of who we are’: an interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir

“It's not only about us versus the system. The system is really us.” As Iceland’s radical Pirate party approaches the gates of power, we speak to its figurehead Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Portrait of the artist and The Confession, Part One

An interview with the director of The Confession, Moazzam Begg’s story commissioned by BBC Storyville and the BFI - one of the most resonant modern stories for our times.

The Think Project, Brexit and the urgent need for better citizenship education

The Think Project in Wales, born from a project to combat home-grown Islamic extremism, demonstrates that open discussion can effectively draw at-risk youth away from far-right ideologies as well.

An open letter to #NuitDebout from the Indignados’ districts of the internet

This open letter is against the manipulation of 'new ' parties. Let's be radical, demand what's possible. Español. Francais.

The capitalism tribunal

At the 'Capitalism Tribunal' in Vienna, citizens from across the world are invited to prosecute or defend capitalism. The charges are then transferred from the digital sphere to physical space, in a real trial.

The BBC is failing to ask the big questions about the EU referendum

Britain's public service broadcaster must do more to communicate this historic vote beyond the narrow agendas of the official campaigns. 

The ‘SYRIZA experience’: lessons and adaptations

SYRIZA did what the traditional way of doing politics dictates: supported social movements, built alliances, won a majority in the parliament, formed a government. We all know the results.

Renewing the Latin American connection

All the countries of those sitting around this table were born in genocide. In the case of Brazil, we were the world champion of slavery. So we are based on that! Sweet but violent. From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

The decline and fall of the European Union: is it time to rip it up and start again?

There was no distinction in EU politics between friend and foe. Everything worked so nicely. But this was also the reason why nobody was greatly interested. This has definitely changed now. 

Embracing the dissenting Jew (from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv)

Should Tel Aviv become the sister city of Amsterdam? And if Amsterdam says no, is the city giving in to anti-Semitic forces - or daring to embrace critical Jewish voices in a way Israel no longer can?

Populist snapshots: Front National (FN) in the European Parliament

This article looks at the basic framing devices of France's Front National rhetoric in the European parliament, and some of their debates. It is taken from a Counterpoint series on populist rhetoric leading up to the European elections.

Saving Europe: reformulating the rules

A Europe of welfare states, relatively free and democratic, with social provisions that allow for more emancipation and personal sovereignty: this must be saved, through a citizens’ pact to strive for more democracy. But first, we must face up to the full scale of the crisis. (Video, 25 minutes).

The Canary Islands, Spain’s paradise lost

The country’s hard-won welfare state system is in reverse gear, with rights and social justice being handed back to charities, as was the case in pre-constitutional Spain, over 35 years ago.

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