Creativity, Inspiration and Commitment of our Freedom Team of FNF ESEE | fnst.org

Creativity, Inspiration and Commitment of our Freedom Team of FNF ESEE

Insights from the Regional Capacity Development Workshop
Message15.08.2017Boryana Atanassova
Regional Workshop FNF ESEE Collage

Creativity, inspiration, commitment, passion, reflection, dreaming, strategizing, planning, learning, action, cooperation, fun- all the words to describe the joint learning of the Freedom Team of East and Southeast Europe (“FNF ESEE”).  The workshop was inspired by the strong belief of the Regional Director of FNF ESEE, Dr Rainer Adam, in investment in individuals.  

Rainer Adam

I strongly believe that an organization like ours, which intends to be an innovation provider and impulse giver in the field of liberal politics and freedom, urgently needs an increased investment in its own people.

Dr Rainer Adam, Regional Director, FNF East and Southeast Europe

The Regional Capacity Development Workshop focused on new strategies and innovative approaches of promoting freedom in East and Southeast Europe for 2017– 2019. The joint learning gathered in Sandanski, Bulgaria, close to 35 FNF representatives from all 7 offices in the region and the Head Office in Germany.  Representatives of the following countries took part in this workshop:  Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Germany.  One of the overall goals was to improve the communication and cooperation between the different offices in the region. The workshop aimed to create a space for staff members to get to know each other better, to reflect upon their personal career development and share experiences in order to promote a deeper sense of collegiality and to further relationships and networks.  In his opening speech, Dr Rainer Adam greeted the Freedom Team of the region with the following statement:

Dr Rainer Adam

You are the backbone of the liberal Foundation in your respective countries and work places. Your ideas and suggestions are highly valued as engine for our mission to strengthen individual freedom and responsibility.

Dr Rainer Adam, Regional Director, FNF East and Southeast Europe

In this capacity development quest the team was supported by Marike Groenewald, an experienced facilitator from South Africa.  Other focal points of the workshop were to explore new target markets and to learn how to connect with the moods and emotions of the target audience better.  Different interactive exercises, world café and appreciative inquiry sessions provided for fruitful grounds for analysis of existing and past activities and conceptualizing of new ideas.  Watch an interview with our facilitator about the goals of the regional learning and sharing.

Marike Groenewald

It is very often a very difficult and lonely task to be a liberal in this region. So, we want for people to feel strong and as part of a family.

Marike Groenewald, Facilitator
Marike Groenewald at Regional FNF ESEE Workshop

Liberals need to cultivate an awareness of the different moods that are prevalent in our time. Liberals need to become really keen observers of their target markets and groups of voters that they work with.

Marike Groenewald, Facilitator

All teams presented what projects they are most proud of in the “Show and Tell” session, which was an embodiment of the creativity and potential of the liberal minded freedom ambassadors.  This would hopefully contribute to a continuous sharing of best practices and innovation across FNF offices in the future.

Furthermore, there were inspirational inputs for best practices from other parts of the world - the political party "Democratic Alliance" from South Africa and the liberal political movement “Operation Libero” from Switzerland.  Stefan Schlegel from "Operation Libero" shared impressive lessons from Switzerland about campaigning for open societies. Learn more about the impactful political movement from the different parts of the interview with Stefan Schlegel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.  In the video below he shares what makes “Operation Libero” unique. 

Marike Groenewald explained how the "Democratic Alliance" Party in South Africa has become a learning organization and gave best case examples. Learn below more about the success factors of a learning organization in the 21st century. 

Another focal point discussed during the workshop was how liberals can become better in winning the hearts, not only the minds of people, especially in the face of rising populism. Watch below the response of the distinguished Dr Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort, Member of the Board of Directors of Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Dr Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort

Populists argument with fakes. One of the best answers to populism would be to answer in facts, facts, and facts.

Dr Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort, Member of the Board of Directors of Friedrich Naumann Foundation

Dr Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort delivered a keynote address to the Freedom Team of East and Southeast Europe. The workshop overlapped with the Regional Directors’ Conference for two days, which Dr Zumpfort attended as well.

In the video below Stefan Schlegel shares how the liberal movement “Operation Libero” manages to achieve political impact and to reframe the political discourse in the face of rising populism.

Stefan Schlegel

Populists appeal to values. You can only fight populists, if you as well speak to those values… And if you are able to evolve the imagery and the language to translate these values into stories.

Stefan Schlegel, Operation Libero, Switzerland

In conclusion, Marike Groenewald summarizes the importance of moods and emotions  as an instrument for being effective in politics.

Please visit our Facebook Album below for more photo impressions from the workshop. 

In the playlist on our FreedomTV Europe channel below you can find insights from the capacity development workshop with Dr Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort (FNF), Marike Groenewald and Stefan Schlegel (Operation Libero, Switzerland).