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The future of civil society organisations

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The Future is unwritten. Yet, the current challenges and opportunities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic call for a conversation over the transformations we want to see in society, and in the humanitarian, social justice and environmental sector.

In this publication, a group of leaders of civil society networks and platforms share their observations and thoughts, identifying possible directions that civil society organisations may want to go. Not everyone we wanted in the publication was able to contribute, but we will use this as a conversation starter bringing in yet more diversity of perspectives over the coming months.

You will read their views on how the ways we work and organise, need to be adapted and made more agile to keep pace with people’s expectations. It is about shifting power, bridging divides and transforming society with a sense of acceleration, caused by the current crisis.

What you will read is both challenging and exciting.

The COVID-19 pandemic can re-energise the demands of civil society organisations to put people at the heart of the changes we need: to protect the planet from degradation, to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives, that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature and fosters peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

As conveners of influential networks and platforms, jointly we represent thousands of civil society organisations which work with, and on behalf of millions of people who are being marginalised and deprived of their human and civic rights. We are determined to mobilize and lead collectively, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the rights of those left furthest behind.

Wolfgang Jamann and Ignacio Packer