15-19 July 2024

 

The Caux Democracy Forum, taking place in Caux, Switzerland from 15 to 19 July 2024, aspires to inspire, equip, and connect individuals, groups, and organizations in the pursuit of stronger democracies and human rights across Europe and the world.

The Caux Democracy Forum is co-organised by Caux Initiatives of Change and Initiatives of Change International, in partnership with the Geneva Diplomatic Club for the Opening Ceremony.

 

How can democracy be revitalised across Europe and the world?

Democracy is retreating across the world, and dictators are creating harsh societies in which human rights are ignored. Some of these dictatorships are determined to crush democratic neighbours, by force if necessary.

If the tide is to turn, those of us who live in democracies have a vital role. Europe could enable democracy to thrive in countries where it is faltering. That would be a far more satisfying task than making ourselves ever wealthier, especially at a time when climate change is forcing rich societies to adopt simpler life-styles.

Democracy cannot be implemented from outside, and each society needs to develop their way of enabling governance by the people for the people. But whatever its form, this depends on an educated citizenry, just governance, an inclusive economy and truthful media. Europe can strengthen these elements on our continent and beyond.

If we are to play that role, we first need to look at ourselves. Europe’s wealth is not all home-made. Much of it has come from the exploitation of other continents, and this continues today. We can only be effective advocates for democracy and human rights if we recognise our hypocrisy where it exists, and work for justice.

 

Caux Palace Adrien Giovannelli

 

About the Event

This four-day residential forum will look at what we can do to contribute to revitalise democracy across Europe and the world. Part of a three-year programme (2024 – 2026), it is designed to enhance democratic governance, human rights and sustainable economic development.

The event is articulated around three workstreams (detailed below) set as priorities to feed into existing ongoing agendas and processes, from local to global. 

  • Workstream 1: Healing the wounds of the past - forgiveness and restitution.
  • Workstream 2: People-centred economics
  • Workstream 3: Civil Society fostering dialogue – From polarization to participation

 

Each of the workstreams will discuss cross-cutting issues:

  • Narratives used - “Words matter”
  • Equity – “Double Standards”
  • Needed capabilities and attitudes - “Inner Development”

 

Caux Democracy Forum graphic

 

Challenges will be further explored through plenaries, community groups and workshops.

The event has been designed to allow participants the time to gain some perspective, retreat from the bustling routine and find a space that allows for silent reflection, creative collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

 

Quiet time, reflection

 

What Practical Outcomes are Envisioned?

The Caux Democracy Forum aims to facilitate interaction among participants, providing inspiration, tools, courage, and effective strategies for enabling, facilitating, and encouraging the capabilities and attitudes considered necessary to strengthen democracy across the world.

The Forum will:

  • Bring people together around collective exploration and action.
  • Provide first-hand experiences of a wide range of people active in the key selected issues.
  • Learn, innovate, prototype, practice and share application of tools.
  • Create opportunities to support further activities within the Caux Democracy Programme and organisations.
  • Ally with partner organisations
  • Share stories, arts, event designs and presentations.

 

Who is attending the Caux Democracy Forum?

Over 200 people are expected to participate in the full residential program and 300 for the Opening Ceremony

The Forum will commence and conclude with the voices of those most impacted, positively and negatively, from civil society. We will also hear from representatives of people’s movements, NGOs, governmental bodies, media, United Nations agencies, and unconventional actors. Speakers will be chosen based on their relevant personal experiences.

Departing from conventional protocols, the Caux Forum provides participants with an opportunity for interaction regardless of seniority.

Our sponsoring initiatives will ensure the Caux Democracy Forum to be an inclusive event, bringing together creative and innovative minds from all regions of the world.

We will continue to update this page with information on speakers and workshops in the weeks to come.

 

terrace, conversation, people

 

The Caux Democracy Forum at the Caux Palace, near Montreux

The Caux Democracy Forum takes place in our centre for dialogue - the Caux Palace, a former Belle Époque Grand Hotel nestled in the mountains 1000m above sea level.  With its breathtaking view over the Léman and the Alps, it provides a unique and inspiring setting.

We recognize the importance of accommodating partners and families of attendees. The Caux Democracy Forum will offer "companion programmes", “family programmes” and enhance the participation of youth.

 

PROGRAMME

15 July: Opening Ceremony

  • Time: 16:00 à 17:45 CEST
  • Venue: Caux Palace, Switzerland

In collaboration with the Geneva Diplomatic Club, the opening ceremony of the Caux Democracy Forum will take place at the Caux Palace on 15 July from 16:00 CEST, followed by a reception and concert organised with the support of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation.

With an expected in-person attendance of three hundred people, the event will also be streamed online.

If you only wish to attend the Opening Ceremony, please make sure to secure your place by kindly filling out the online registration form.   

Full details of this event, including the agenda and featured speakers, will be announced in the coming weeks.  

 

15-19 July: Full Residential Caux Democracy Forum

The full residential Caux Democracy Forum, including the Opening Ceremony, will take place at the Caux Palace and starts with the Opening Ceremony at the Caux Palace on Monday, 15 July at 16:00 CEST.

Attendees who have booked the full Forum packages (15 - 19 July) are asked to check in from 15:00 CEST on the 15 July. For participants who arrive early on 15 July and would like to drop off their luggage at the Caux Palace before official check-in times a luggage room will be available.

Details on the specific workstreams can be found below.

 

Speakers

Bogdan Klich

SENATOR BOGDAN KLICH, Chair, Foreign and European Union Affairs Committee, Polish Senate

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKSTREAMS

Each participant is invited to select and follow one of the three workstreams for the duration of the forum with two dedicated workshops per day. Plenaries, community groups, the evening programme and other activities bring all participants together.

About the Workstream

Healthy democracy relies on robust relationships, yet lingering wounds from the past often obstruct progress, affecting multiple aspects of life. This workstream delves into the imperative of healing broken relationships and fostering forgiveness and restitution.

New energy, vision and calling can emerge from each step taken to repair a relationship. Trust can grow again, and with it the cooperation needed to answer the challenges we face from the personal to the global.

We will hear from outstanding peacemakers and explore the approaches, skills and tools needed to heal the wounds of the past – and the present.

 

Target Audience

This workstream is particularly relevant for anyone active in conflict resolution and peacebuilding as well as students and their faculties focused on conflict resolution, peacebuilding and international relations.

 

Objectives of this Workstream

Through the IofC experiential approaches of storytelling, sharing and reflection, this workstream is designed to inspire, equip, and connect participants: inspiring them through interactions with outstanding peacemakers, equipping them with knowledge shared by both speakers and participants, and fostering connections through the exchange of experiences and approaches among peers.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage with grass-roots peacemakers and learn from their approaches, skills and tools.
  • Reflect on personal experiences of healing past and recent wounds.
  • Reflect on present needs for healing in and around them.
  • Expand understanding of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘restitution’ and their critical importance.
  • Reflect on why healing relationships is fundamental to a healthy democratic life at all levels.

 

Provisional Workstream Programme

Each afternoon there will be 2 x 75-minute workshops. In the first session, presenters will share their experiences and the initiatives for reconciliation that they have taken in a wide variety of contexts, followed by questions and answers.

In the second session, participants will have the opportunity to discuss in small groups their take-aways from the first session, present their own peacemaking initiatives, reflect on next steps, and share their learnings with the whole group.

The presenters will be present for consultation throughout the whole Forum.

Please note that these workstreams are still subject to change. Stay tuned for the detailed programme coming soon.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

WORKSTREAM COORDINATORS

Peter Riddell cropped

Peter Riddell (UK) is Convenor of Initiatives of Change UK’s Agenda for Reconciliation programme which supports refugees who wish to contribute to rebuilding their countries of origin. He has spent several decades with IofC organizing trustbuilding programmes between people of different faiths based on shared moral and spiritual values, in particular with people who have suffered due to Britain’s imperial legacy. He is a founder member of several organizations including British-Arab Exchanges and the Balfour Project.

 

 

Amina Dikedi

Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye (Nigeria/UK) has been actively involved in the work of the Initiatives of Change (IofC) since 1982. Originally a teacher, Amina decided to change her profession and run a fashion business in Lagos. While involved in her profession, Amina remained involved with IofC volunteer work. In 2000, as a member of the IofC International Coordination Group, Amina and others ran international pan-African ethical leadership programmes across Africa. In 2013, Amina was contracted as Project Leader to support the South Sudan Initiative for Peace and National Reconciliation. From 1994 to 2013 Amina served as International Coordinator to the Creators of Peace (CoP).  She has been a Board member of IofC Nigeria since 2012 and a member of the IofC African Coordination Group (ACG) 2007 – 2010. She has worked with the Agenda for Reconciliation programme for over 10 years, served as convenor of the ACG and was President of Creators of Peace International. Through her work and her caring approach, Amina has earned the respect, trust and friendship of a large network of individuals throughout Africa and many countries beyond, from Presidents, and politicians, senior civil servants, traditional leaders, educators, business people and ordinary citizens.

 

A workstream hosted by Initiatives of Change and the UN Human Rights Office

 

About the Workstream

This workstream will focus on how we can enable our economies to flourish and create just, inclusive societies. Democracy is untenable amidst abject poverty, and it is easily undermined amidst extremes of rich and poor.

As well as productivity and financial sustainability, our economic frameworks need to prioritize human rights, social justice and sustainable development within our countries and in our dealings with others. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals will enable democracy to grow in countries where at present it is weak or non-existent.

Initiatives of Change and the UN Human Rights Office are devoted to this progress. Initiatives of Change focuses on the integrity and cooperation in government, business, industry and agriculture which enables a thriving economy. The Human Rights Office works for laws which ensure that the wealth generated is equitably distributed. Each approach complements the other.

This workstream will hear from people of expertise and experience who are grappling with these challenges. Topics covered will include:

 

Strengthening developing economies

Democracy flourishes on a just and equitable economic base. This session will examine how people in wealthy nations can strengthen economies in the developing world, and confront exploitation in both.

FARAI MAGUWU, Executive Director, Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Zimbabwe.
Farai Maguwu founded the Centre to improve governance of natural resources in Zimbabwe. He has done extensive research and documentation on human rights abuses and illicit trade in diamonds. In 2011 Human Rights Watch honoured him with the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism.

MARK GOYDER, Founder Director of Tomorrow’s Company, a London-based think-tank focusing on rediscovering the human purposes of business.

 

Defeating corruption

Corruption undermines democracy. This session will hear of initiatives which have proved effective against corrupt practices. It will explore how these approaches and others could be applied to confront current corruption.

 

Developing a media of integrity

Democracy depends on media which tells the truth. Journalists and others who are devoted to developing a media of integrity will outline the challenges, and will discuss how media consumers can help.

 

Making the most of immigration

Conflict, poverty and climate change are forcing millions to flee their countries. This session will discuss how they can be enabled to contribute to their host countries, and learn skills which can help their homelands thrive when they are able to return.

Muna Ismail

Dr Muna Ismail is the Programme manager of IofC UK's Refugees as Re-Builders. Refugees as Rebuilders is a British capacity-building training programme, accredited by UK training authorities, which provides innovative learning opportunities for settled refugees. 

 

 

 

 

Defending democracies under attack

Some nations are under attack with the aim of destroying their existence as democracies. We will hear from people in this situation who are working to maintain a functioning society and economy. The workstream will explore how to support them.

 

Plenary: People-centred economics

This plenary will hear from people developing economic ventures which contribute to creating a planet on which everyone can have a decent life while keeping within ecological limits. It will offer all a chance to understand the challenge and start to discover how they can contribute too.

 

Speakers

Nada Al Nashif

Appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights effective February 2020, Nada Al-Nashif has over 30 years of experience within the United Nations as an economist and development practitioner. Previously, Ms. Al-Nashif served as Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO (Paris), as Assistant Director-General & Regional Director of the International Labour Organization's Regional Office for Arab States (Beirut) and at the United Nations Development Programme in various headquarters (New York) and field assignments. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Balliol, Oxford University and a Master's in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University.

Please note that these workstreams are still subject to change. Stay tuned for the detailed programme coming soon.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

WORKSTREAM COORDINATOR

John Bond

John Bond is the Secretary of Initiatives of Change International. He lives in Oxford, England, and has worked with Initiatives of Change in over 30 countries. For five years he coordinated the Caux Forum for Human Security. Previously he was the Secretary of Australia’s National Sorry Day Committee, which enlisted a million Australians in initiatives to overcome the harm done to Aboriginal Australians by cruel and misguided past policies. For this he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. He is also a writer. His most-recent book, a biography of Professor Jerzy Zubrzycki, known as 'the father of Australian multiculturalism', has been published in English and Polish.

 

 

About the Workstream

The social tensions in our societies have their root causes in violations of human rights, discrimination and poverty. These factors have repeatedly been the focus of the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe, where Initiatives of Change holds Participatory Status. These challenging situations can be addressed by dialogue, which enables all parties to collaborate in finding mutually acceptable solutions, and to share responsibility for their implementation.

This workstream draws on the INGO Dialogue Methodology.  This enables all stakeholders to respond to a blocked or polarized situation that requires sustained and carefully thought-through approaches.

It builds social cohesion, good democratic governance and a human rights-based approach to diversity issues.

 

Target Audience

This workstream invites changemakers wishing to bring constructive change in a challenging situation that they care about and wanting an enabling experience leading to action.
 

Objectives of this Workstream

This workstream is designed to enable each participant to leave with a guide to action according to their own sense of need and commitment, enriched by three afternoons of learning from each other based on the matrix, “Identify your own course of action”. 

 

Workstream Programme

Each afternoon there will be two 90-minute workshops following the INGO Dialogue Methodology. Participants will engage in thematic presentations, small group conversations, personal reflection and story-telling, culminating in a summary sharing session.

The structure of the afternoon workshops comprises three key components aligned to the cross-cutting issues:

  • Exploring Cornerstones and Values for progress while avoiding double standards;
  • Unpacking the methodology of INGO Dialogues, harmonizing the inner and outer development;
  • Identifying your own course of action, recognizing that words and deeds matter.

The INGO Dialogue Toolkit booklet will be available upon arrival at the Caux Democracy Forum for those who register for this workstream.  Each of its eight elements ends with a set of Action Points, to be used in the situation when and where dialogues are being initiated. It also provides dialogue initiators with a variety of useful references and links.

Please note that these workstreams are still subject to change. Stay tuned for the detailed programme coming soon.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

WORKSTREAM COORDINATORS

Christoph Spreng

Christoph Spreng, Switzerland, has been representing Initiatives of Change at the Council of Europe since 2006 and in his role has been entrusted a large variety of specific assignments. He was Vice-President of CINGO until April 2024 and was asked to continue his work at CINGO as Advisor to the Standing Comittee. Christoph is also the coordinator of the INGO Dialogue Toolkit Hub. In June 2017 he was appointed INGO Special Advisor for Human Rights and Business and has been representing CINGO at the CoE North-South Centre since 2018.

At the occasion of 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe, Christoph Spreng has helped his colleagues to organise this 10th edition of World NGO Day as their contribution as representatives from and in Europe to a global event that wants to treasure the civic space and show its potential at a time when this space is so challenged.

 

Laurie Johnston

Dr. theol. Laurie Johnston is a Professor of Social Ethics at Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass. She is also Executive Vice-President of the St. Egidio Foundation for Dialogue and Peace, USA.

 

 

 

 

Workshop inspire

 

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS 

The organisation will leverage the expertise and diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds of members within the Initiatives of Change network, as well as strengthen and cultivate partnerships.

Partnership lies at the heart of the Caux Foundation's endeavors, with a commitment to fostering a collaborative and cooperative mindset that permeates Caux's culture, strategies, and operations.

The Geneva Diplomatic Club is recognised as the official Club of International Geneva by the Swiss Confederation, the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the City of Geneva and the United Nations Office at Geneva. Its mission is to bring the international community together, stimulate links and exchanges, and contribute to the development of relations with the host state. Its 850 members are representative of the diversity of players in International Geneva (diplomats, international civil servants, directors of non-governmental organisations, Swiss personalities and businessmen).

The Caux Initiatives of Change Foundation is a Swiss private charitable foundation with its center for dialogue, the Caux Palace, in Caux, above Montreux, Switzerland. The Caux Palace has become a historic venue bringing together a diverse range of people to address the world’s political, economic and societal challenges together. 

Caux Initiatives of Change mission is to provide a safe and privileged space to inspire, equip and connect individuals, groups and organisations from around the globe to engage effectively and innovatively in the promotion of trust, ethical leadership, sustainable living and human security. 

Initiatives of Change International is a voluntary, donation- and grant-funded nonprofit association of national legal bodies (national teams) and international programmes. Registered in Caux, Switzerland, they coordinate the world-wide Initiatives of Change people’s movement, uniting a community of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.

Initiatives of Change International have special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC), participatory status at the Council of Europe as well as a seat at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

 

More information will be provided in the coming weeks

 

people, community, terrace, Caux Palace, sunset

 

Participation Rates

Full Package with accommodation from 15 -19 July, 2024, including the Opening Ceremony.

  • All inclusive | Accommodation in single occupancy room: CHF 660.-/person
  • All inclusive | Accommodation in shared occupancy room: CHF 540.-/person
  • Children from 6-14 | Accommodation shared with parents: CHF 280.-/person
  • Children from 0-5 | Accommodation shared with parents: CHF.- 0/person

 

Event Package without accommodation

Full event package but accommodation not included: CHF 320;-/person

 

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony Caux Democracy Forum | Includes dinner and concert. No accommodation: CHF 70.-/person

If you wish to attend only the Opening Ceremony of the Caux Democracy Forum (including dinner & concert), please register with the separate registration form.

 

Prices mentioned, for single or shared accommodation, include :

  • Accommodation in either shared or single room at the Caux Palace
  • Participation in the Caux Democracy Forum
  • Materials provided during the event
  • Interpretation service and technical equipment
  • Coffee and tea breaks as well as refreshments
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • VAT & City taxes

The package for participants without accommodation does not include breakfast nor the City Tax.

 

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

The Caux Democracy Forum starts with the Opening Ceremony at the Caux Palace on Monday, 15 July at 16:00 CEST.

Attendees are asked to check in from 14:00pm on the 15 July. For participants who arrive early on 15 July and would like to drop off their luggage at the Caux Palace before official check-in times a luggage room will be available.

On the day of departure (15 July), the Forum will end after lunch. For organisational reasons and to prepare our spaces for other events will kindly request all participants to check out by 10:00 CEST on the day of departure and to leave the site by 14:00 CEST.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

 

QUESTIONS?

For further information, please get in touch BY EMAIL.

 

REGISTER NOW

 

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Initiatives of Change (IofC) is a world-wide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own. Many of the world’s problems – and their solutions – are rooted in human nature. Fear, hate, greed and indifference perpetuate injustice, poverty, conflict and environmental destruction. Yet it is also in human nature to be compassionate, courageous and creative. People can live the change they wish to see. Each person has something unique to contribute to building a just, peaceful and sustainable world. IofC focuses on the vital link between personal change and global change, and aims to inspire, support and equip people to play their part in building a better society.

At their centre for peacebuilding and dialogue, the Caux Palace, the Caux Initiatives of Change Foundation prioritizes environmental responsibility and is committed to conscious handling of CO2 emissions, ensuring a sustainable and eco-friendly experience.

We also uphold a zero-tolerance policy to foster a safe and respectful environment for all attendees, actively working to prevent and address any inappropriate behavior during our events.

 

 


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