Hivos Open for Change event

September 4, 2013

Three days of international social innovation from 10 to12 October 2013 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The Open Society
The world around us is changing, and so is Hivos. Change cannot be controlled, and times of transition can be challenging. Hivos embraces this opportunity for change. We will take up the challenge through organic cooperation and open collaboration with different sectors and social innovators. Departing from a position as development organisation, Hivos is moving towards becoming a global incubator for social innovators and an advocate for the open society.

The Open for Change event
The Open for Change event will be guided by the principles of challenging and reinventing existing social, cultural and political structures. It brings together change makers from around the world to share their stories, experiences and tools for mobilising social energy to change current systems that perpetuate oppression, inequality and injustice.

Why this event?
Hivos is organising ‘Open for Change’ to share our insights into and experiences of the dark side of the open society. Openness, freedom of expression and democratic institutions are indispensable for prosperous societies, yet no guarantee in themselves for equality, dignity and social cohesion. While openness in itself would be of great benefit to those suffering from social taboos, such as in the sphere of sexuality, dividing lines continue to exist and need to be addressed differently. Deep divisions between secularists and Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, which could not be solved through democratic reforms, are just one example in this regard.

New innovative approaches are not only necessary, they do exist, too. By bringing together change makers from around the world, Hivos will plant seeds for future collaborations. Participants will be able to develop new ideas and establish connections with fellow activists and social innovators as well as donors, investors and policy makers.

When and where?
Open for Change is a three-day event that starts in the afternoon of Thursday October 10, when we kick off with an ‘Ignite evening’ open to everyone. Attendance is free of charge, and there will be food and drinks. On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 October, we will exchange, explore and experiment around the theme of the Open Society. A ticket is required to attend this part of the event.

Who is invited?
Many of our insights stem from the Hivos Pluralism Knowledge Programme, an academic-activist collaboration in India, Indonesia, Uganda, South Africa and the Netherlands. In addition to this specific network, Hivos will actively connect change makers from around the world and from diverse backgrounds.

Are you:

  • an activist or social innovator?
  • a thinker on social change, especially in the realm of gender, sexuality and religion?
  • a donor or policy maker who supports social change?
  • an entrepreneur or investor looking for opportunities to boost your social mission?
  • a so-called ‘intrapreneur’ or ‘corporate pirate’ from a large organisation, government or business?

If so, go to, think with us about how to further shape the programme, register and join!