International Civic Forum

Since 2016, the International Civic Forum (ICF) convenes leaders from civil society, media, philanthropy, government and business who are at the forefront of protecting and advancing civic space around the globe. It is the annual civic space platform to network, build trust and identify opportunities for collaboration.

ICF 2022

In a first-ever cross-over event the Centre’s futures-focused Scanning the Horizon future trends community and its civic space Solidarity Action Network (SANE) community will come together to jointly explore how civil society organisations can improve their capacity to anticipate how future ‘crisis’, in a climate action world, may affect organised civil society in the future. Civil society futurists and civic space experts will focus on how (international) civil society organisations ((I)CSOs) can get in front of the challenges this will cause in their operational and civic space.

Earlier editions

In 2021, convened in partnership with the Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS), the International Civic Forum shed light on “Anti-rights groups on the rise: How can we jointly address this challenge?” Discussions provided inspiration and insights on how to prepare for attacks from anti-rights groups and how to stand better in solidarity with those who’ve long faced the brunt of these attacks.

In 2020, the International Civic Forum focused on how to counter misinformation and disinformation that target civil society organisations and the communities they serve. Participants discussed risks that mis- and disinformation pose, exchanged on ways of countering them, looked at useful tools and strategies, and explored new models of addressing mis- and disinformation.

In 2019, the International Civic Forum assessed existing and new solidarity response mechanisms that come into effect when there is a moment of systematic clampdown on civil society organisations (CSOs). The ICF 2019 kicked off the process of developing a global solidarity playbook and network that informs and helps to improve the solidarity mechanisms.

In 2018, the International Civic Forum  took place within the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) and was co-hosted by Transparency International, Charities Aid Foundation, CIVICUS, The B Team, and the Open Government Partnership. The Forum highlighted the importance of bringing together a diverse set of civil society activists and organisations on the topic of civic space. While they all may focus on different areas (such as anti-corruption, human rights, environmental issues, and LGBTI rights), the Forum gave participants a space to explore the connectedness of these issues.