Gathering Online 2020

19 to 23 October 2020
Online

During the week of 19-23 October 2020, the Gathering Online explored what is at stake for LGBTI people and the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central at the moment, and identified ways forward for us as individuals, as organisations, and as communities.

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What is the Gathering Online 2020?

What is the Gathering Online 2020?

This year, the ILGA-Europe Gathering Online 2020 will provide an opportunity for the European and Central Asian LGBTI movement to engage, regroup and be empowered in times of turbulence.

Currently our team is working hard to build a programme around the theme ‘Protect, Adapt, Rally’.

The aim of the event is to offer a space where LGBTI activists and their allies can come together to reflect on the larger issues currently affecting the LGBTI movement and shaping the realities of our communities in Europe and Central Asia: the COVID-19 pandemic, widening socioeconomic inequalities, further backsliding of democracy and attacks on human rights, reckoning of structural racism and other inequalities, and more.

What can you expect?

The Gathering Online will be made up of live sessions with panels and more interactive break-out sessions during which we want to foster information sharing, peer learning and strategic discussions. Most of the spaces will be open for LGBTI activists and our close allies (other NGOs, institutions and governments, funders) and a few plenary sessions will be open to a wider public with external guests. We are aiming to create as much interaction as possible on an online platform.

It is important for us to be honest with everyone. With the Gathering Online, we will not be able to replicate the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference. It is very difficult to recreate the community and bonding feel that takes place at in-person events. Organising a large event online for the first time is definitely challenging for our team, as we need to learn how to organise a large scale event online for the first time, while implementing our ongoing work in constantly changing circumstances. Whilst we will not be able to meet everybody’s expectations, we count on you to make most out of it together and use this opportunity to connect and reflect.

It is our sincere hope that in 2021, we will be in a position to again organise an event with an extensive and diverse workshop programme, with research presentations and consultation spaces, with a rich social programme, and of course lots of space of in-person networking with many new people and new actors. These things will however not be part of the Gathering Online 2020. Having said all this, the platform on which we will host our Gathering Online will provide you with opportunities to connect with each other from your own home. Organising it online offers us features that will help us to connect in different ways. We are confident that as such, we will also be offering new possibilities!

Programme

The Gathering Online will be made up of live sessions with panels and more interactive break-out sessions during which we want to foster information sharing, peer learning and strategic discussions.

We know that sitting behind a screen for five consecutive days may be tiring. This is why the programme will be made up of maximum of two sessions of 90 minutes per day. These sessions will take place from 11.30-13.00 and from 14.30-16.00 CET each day.

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
11.30-13.00Opening sessionBreak-out sessions – where are we at?Plenary session – where are we at? Break-out sessions – the way forwardPlenary session – the way forward
14.30-16.00Break-out sessions – where are we at?Break-out sessions – where are we at?Break-out sessions – the way forward Closing session

We are very mindful of screen fatigue and care about your wellbeing! So we are building the programme in way that it will not be necessary to participate in each session to follow the conversation during the week.

We actually encourage you to prioritise the break-out sessions where you have the most to learn from or contribute to. And don’t worry, there will be more ways to catch up: video recordings, visuals, and reflections during plenary sessions.

Participants can explore networking and connecting with other participants, outside of the plenary and break-out sessions. 

Plenary sessions

We had three sessions during The Gathering Online 2020 that was open to members of the public who were not registered to be at the entire event.

Setting The Stage (Opening plenary session)

ILGA-Europe opened up our week-long Gathering Online with a public session of discussion, featuring inspiring speakers who offered their perspective on the world around us and helped us articulate questions the LGBTI movement should be asking ourselves at this unprecedented moment in time. This is among three sessions during The Gathering Online that was open to members of the public who were not registered to be at the entire event.

What are the larger trends impacting our community and our movement? Amidst challenging times, how do we continue to move forward, seize opportunities that do exist, continue to make positive change happen and empower people? 

The panel explore such questions, with space for exchange with participants. The session also features words of welcome from ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, Evelyne Paradis.

Speakers:

  • Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Europe
  • zohra moosa, Executive Director of Mama Cash
  • Maksym Eristavi, journalist and managing board member of Kyiv Pride
  • Catherine Naughton, Director of the European Disability Forum

Taking Stock (Mid-way plenary session)

Mid-way through the week-long Gathering, this session was about taking stock of the discussions from the first two days, and feeding into the conversations that would continue on Wednesday and Thursday on concrete ways forward for LGBTI activism.

A panel of activists reflects on key takeaways emerging from the collective mapping of needs, challenges and opportunities, and exchanges on priorities and important questions our movement needs to ask itself at this moment in time. Through this panel, we hope to create a sense of connectedness and collective understanding what we need to think about together, so that the LGBTI movement in Europe and Central Asia continues to move forward.

Speakers:

  • Joëlle Sambi Nzeba, Co-chair ELC Eurocentralasian Lesbian Community
  • Audrey Aegerter, Board Member OII Europe
  • Mari Kurtanizdze, Board Member IGLYO
  • Luca Stevenson, Coordination ICRSE
  • Moderated by: Marame Kane, Board Member ILGA-Europe

Ways Forward with European Institutions (Closing plenary session)

ILGA-Europe closed our week-long Gathering Online with a public session of discussion with representatives from the main European institutions to engage with us. This was the last of three sessions during The Gathering Online that will be open to members of the public who are not registered to be at the entire event.

We discuss how we can continue to make positive change happen in our societies, and how we can ensure that those with decision-making power push through the changes needed to achieve equality, human rights and social justice. 

We also welcomed a surprise guest with words of inspiration.

Speakers:

  • Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality 
  • Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Sophie int ‘t Veld, MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup