The three day conference gathered sixty participants from fourteen countries in a moderately isolated conference setting in the outskirts of Kyiv. Participants were mostly from liberal parties, while some represented civil society organizations. The Forum’s ambition was to strengthen the capacity of liberal organizations in terms of structure, communication, policy-making and policy-implementation. The program consisted of a mixture of workshops and lectures. A fair amount of breaks and free time was accounted for in the schedule, as networking between participants was one of the key aspects of the event. The event is constructed on the premise that liberals in tough situations can learn a lot from each other, even if the specific issues at hand may vary between countries. The topics of the sessions were all designed to in one way or the other strengthen the capacities and networks of the participants from liberal parties.
The Forum gave special room to discuss the current situation of our hosts (the Power of People Political Party) in Ukraine. SILC organized sessions on a variety of themes, such as gender equality, coalition politics and mobilization after election failure. ELF members and co-organizers FNF oversaw Saturday afternoon which was dedicated to the principal political challenge in today’s Ukraine, corruption, with a panel and an anti-corruption tour in central Kyiv.
We have yet to review the evaluation forms, but the impressions voiced to us so far have all been positive. Our own reflections in essence tells us the event was a success, we’ve seen participants share their experiences and express gratitude towards the organizers. We’ve noted social media presence from participants, where especially the colorful promotional t-shirts seem to have fulfilled their purpose.