LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Theme: MOVEment: Leading Sustainable Change

Read more about the theme of the Annual Conference in Rīga.

The European LGBTI movement increasingly finds itself at the crossroads of change. Where significant progress is made in some countries, deterioration of human rights of LGBTI people can be witnessed in others. The speed with which progress and wins come, vary considerably. But whether change comes overnight or only after years, change has one important common denominator: it can only be achieved through visionary leadership, endurance and strong partnerships.

How does the movement define successful change? How do we make sure that the change we create is sustainable for the community and deeply anchored in society? What can be done to help speed up reform, to influence public perception and opinion, to stimulate the development of new pieces of legislation and other positive measures? What are the triggers of political and social change? These are all central questions that we seek to answer during ILGA-Europe’s annual conference in Rīga.

We will look at best practices that drive change. We will unpack/explore characteristics of “good” leadership and look at other elements that can drive change at different levels. We will explore what are key factors in mobilising support, both politically, as well as in society. We will look at cases of exemplary leadership and provide stage to people who have been leading change in political arenas, in institutions, civil society, companies or elsewhere. We will reflect on the movement’s successes and failures will the goal to strengthen our approaches. We will ask ourselves how we can foster creativity, think more strategically and achieve new synergies.

All of the above mentioned questions and themes will be discussed during workshops dedicated to specific topics. For example, participants will have the opportunity to interact and to share their experiences in workshops dedicated to LGBTI activism’s strategies for achieving policy changes on national and European level, reflections to past and future changes of LGBTI movement, capacity building for changing public perceptions on LGBTI issues, etc.

Furthermore, change can also come through building effective partnerships. Cooperation can happen at municipal, national and regional level, between great varieties of different stakeholders. This conference will provide the opportunity to evaluate existing partnerships and to create new ones, both during workshops, as well as during the many social events.

Of course, 2014 is the year of elections for the European Parliament. The European movement will be working with new members of Parliament, as well as with new European Commissioners. We will look at what leadership can be expected from Brussels in the year to come.