For a future beyond the nation-state

The School of Transnational Activism is a reflective and action-oriented space, both physical and digital, gathering citizens and activists across disciplines to learn and explore how to collaborate beyond the nation-state.

Debates about populism, the crisis of democracy and the backlash against globalisation are all raging. But very few people seem to be asking two essential groups of questions: in what ways is the nation-state changing and in what ways has it been surpassed? And what are the most effective political forms to find civic agency in this new context?

Nation-states are not disappearing as some globalisation theorists may have suggested in other decades, but neither are they the best political forms for our future. Fearing our collective incapacity to solve global challenges, citizens retract to the known container of the nation-state; but this only makes the problem worse. What comes after nation-states and how do we get there?

European Alternatives is collaborating with a group of leading thinkers and activists to launch the School for Transnational Activism, a reflective and action-oriented space, gathering participants across disciplines to experiment and explore how to articulate and enact a radically democratic vision of politics beyond the nation-state.

The School takes inspiration from systemic, citizens-led alternatives and movements for social justice, democratic participation and economic transformation. It seeks to support the next generation of activists to embark on an empowering learning journey to act for a progressive and people-centred EuropeThe new generation of activists journeying through the School learn how to inject disruptive and practice-based ideas in the public debate across Europe and inspire others to join local and transnational initiatives.

Goals

Articulate progressive visions and ideas for a Europe beyond the nation state and support their dissemination in the public sphere

Connect the narrative for a genuine transnational democracy from below with people’s social and economic realities and make it tangible for citizens in Europe and beyond

Incubate and experiment transnational actions for creating civic and political agency within and outside places of power

Activities

Knowledge production | the School produces practice-oriented research and ideas, that can gain recognition in policy, activist and academic contexts.

Trainings and workshops | the School offers both offline and online trainings. The trainings and workshops are planned to be run on a cycle of one year engaging activists in a learning journey to gather and produce knowledge, develop transnational public narratives and learn how to implement and translate the narrative in practice.

Faculty

The Faculty of the School of Transnational Activism brings together lead activists, academics, trainers, and thought leaders from Europe and beyond whose task is to develop the School's strategy, purpose and fundraising, produce knowledge stimulating critical reflection among the transnational progressive movement and engage with participants through study sessions, workshops and webinars.

Igors Štiks
Writer, novelist and researcher

Igor earned his PhD at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and Northwestern University and later worked and taught at the University of Edinburgh and the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade. He is the author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav States: One Hundred Years of Citizenship (Bloomsbury, 2015). Together with Jo Shaw he edited the collections Citizenship after Yugoslavia (Routledge, 2013) and Citizenship Rights (Ashgate, 2013), and, with Srećko Horvat, Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism: Radical Politics after Yugoslavia (Verso, 2015). He is also the author of two novels, A Castle in Romagna and The Judgment of Richard Richter (originally published as Elijah’s Chair), which have won numerous awards and have been translated into 15 languages. He was honored with the prestigious French distinction Chevalier des arts et des lettres for his literary and intellectual achievements.

Zoe Gardner
Policy Advisor, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Zoe is a researcher and dedicated campaigner for the rights of all migrants and refugees in the UK and across Europe. Since January, she is a Policy Advisor at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), one of the leading organisations representing migrant rights in the UK. She brings expertise on migration issues to her campaigning with the left-wing anti-Brexit group Another Europe is Possible and the UK Stop Trump Coalition.

Previously, she has carried out research and volunteered extensively with grassroots movements assisting migrants and refugees in Athens and Lesvos. Her previous jobs include communications and policy posts at Asylum Aid and the Race Equality Foundation in London and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in Brussels.

Particular areas of current interest include, routes to regularisation and inclusion of undocumented migrants in the UK; the impact of Brexit and the end of EU Freedom of Movement on British migration policy; and the role of the UK and the EU on the global level of migration management accords and influence.

Lorenzo Marsili
Founder, European Alternatives

Lorenzo is the founding director of transnational organisation European Alternatives and one of the initiators of pan-European movement DiEM25. He has previously worked in publishing and was founding editor of the cultural quarterly Naked Punch. He is an active commentator and public speaker internationally. Lorenzo is also co-author of the book, Citizens of Nowhere.

Ulrike Guérot
Founder, European Democracy Lab
Esra Kücük
Director, Allianz Cultural Foundation

Esra is Managing Director of the non-profit Allianz Kulturstiftung (Allianz Cultural Foundation), a cultural foundation that initiates and promotes multilateral art, culture and education projects in Europe and the Mediterranean region. The Hamburg-born political scientist deals with the future issues of a changing society and was most recently a member of the board of directors of the Maxim Gorki Theater and previously founder of the Young Islam Conference.

Niccolò Milanese
Founder, European Alternatives

Niccolò is a philosopher and poet. He is a director of European Alternatives, and co-author of ‘Citizens of Nowhere: How to save Europe from itself’ telling the story of 10 years of activism throughout Europe (Zedbooks, London 2018). He is trustee of ECIT Foundation for European Citizenship in Brussels, and a director of INSTAR: Hannah Arendt Institute of Artivism in Havana, Cuba. Between 2018-20 he is a Marie Curie visiting fellow at PUC-Rio De Janeiro and UNAM Mexico. He is part of the advisory board of the NECE network of civic educators, and has been involved in establishing civil society, cultural and political organisations on each side of the Mediterranean in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings.

Daphne Büllesbach
Director, European Alternatives

Daphne is the Executive Director at European Alternatives and a member of the Transnational Board. She coordinates and oversees the work program and annual events of EA, the Transeuropa Festival and the Campus of European Alternatives, alternating each year. In 2012 she founded the Berlin office. She is a member of the board of the European Democracy Lab and of the German think tank Institut Solidarische Moderne. In 2017, she co-edited the book Shifting Baselines of Europe: New perspectives beyond Neoliberalism and Nationalism published by transcript.

Tobita Chow
Director, Justice is Global

Tobita has been organizing campaigns for corporate accountability and racial and economic justice in Chicago since 2009. He was a key leader in bringing Moral Mondays to Illinois,  served as Chair of the Board of Directors of The People's Lobby, and has led trainings on the global economy and globalization on 3 continents. He co-founded Justice Is Global. He holds a Master’s in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a Master’s of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Igor Stokfiszewski
Researcher, activist and journalist, Krytyka Polityczna

Igor is a researcher, activist, journalist and artist. He was a participant and initiator of social theatre, community theatre and politically engaged art activities. He cooperated, among others, with the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (Pontedera, Italy), the German Rimini Protokoll collective, and with the artists: Artur Żmijewski, Paweł Althamer and Jaśmina Wójcik. Co-curator of artistic and social activities in post-industrial spaces: Zakłady. Ursus 2014 [Factory. Ursus 2014] and Ursus – spacer w czasie [Ursus – a Stroll in Time] (2015). He was one of the team members at the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2012). Author of the book Zwrot polityczny [Political Turn] (2009) and co-editor of, among others, the volumes: Built the City. Perspectives on Commons and Culture (2015) and Jerzy Grotowski – Teksty zebrane [Jerzy Grotowski Collected Texts] (2012). Member of the Krytyka Polityczna team (political organisation operating within Poland and Ukraine) and of the “Pracownicy Sztuki” [“Art Workers”] Commission of the Inicjatywa Pracownicza [“Workers’ Initiative”] Trade Union. He’s active in a field of urban and workers’ movements in Poland as well as he participates in transnational activities of social movements on European level. He’s a lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
Journalist, author
Ron Salaj
Transdisciplinary activist and campaigner

Ron is a transdisciplinary activist and campaigner working at the intersection of advocacy and campaigning, human rights, media technology and critical theory. I have co-founded Science for Change Kosovo Movement – a radical youth-led environmental movement. Between 2010-2016, I worked as digital lead at UNICEF's Innovations Lab Kosovo, a unit of UNICEF Kosovo, where they look across sectors and fields to identify methods and technologies that promise to serve children and youth. I worked with various organisations promoting human rights, including Council of Europe, UNDP, etc.

You Mi
Curator, researcher, and academic

Mi is a curator, researcher, and academic on the staff at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). Her long-term research and curatorial project takes the Silk Road as a figuration for deep-time, deep-space, decentralised, and nomadic imageries. Under this rubric, she has curated a series of performative programs at the Asian Culture Center Theater in Gwangju, South Korea, and at the inaugural Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival, Mongolia (2016). Her academic interests are in performance philosophy, science and technology studies, as well as the philosophy of immanence in Eastern and Western traditions. She serves as Director of Arthub in Shanghai and as advisor to the Institute for Provocation in Beijing.

David Adler
DiEM25, Policy Coordinator

David is the DiEM25 policy coordinator, based in Athens, Greece. His work focuses on the politics of internationalism: how social movements coordinate across borders, and how international institutions aid or impede those efforts. Previously, he was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and a Fulbright Scholar at the Colegio de México. His research and writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post, among others. He is the editor of a new volume from Eris Press, A Vision for Europe.

Organized by

The School of Transnational Activism is coordinated by the European Alternatives team based in Berlin, Rome and Paris.

Supported by