Summit 2012: Celebrating Civil Society Solidarity

15—17 November 2012
Indian Social Institute, 24 Benson Road, Benson Town, Bangalore

In the context of decreasing space for citizens, citizens initiatives and the increasing militarisation of society, where violence becomes the first and most preferred response of the state, institutions, and individuals, it is time to demonstrate that there is a better way in a joint celebration by the various efforts of today—of peoples movements, civil society organisations and of communities—together in celebration, in the firm belief that opportunities for sharing bring out the best in people and communities.

The freedom struggle is not over on the midnight of 14 August 1947. The struggle for freedom from hunger, poverty, discrimination and oppression is still going on. For more than 70% of our population this freedom struggle is a real challenge. It will include those who want to demonstrate their solidarity with the struggle of the masses, and those who are part of the struggle for freedom. We want to proclaim that such people are truly freedom fighters of today. This summit will honour such freedom fighters.

The civil society summit is a self-organised, knowledge and networking event of civil society in India. Its primary goal is to bring together leading thinkers and practitioners in development and human rights with their counterparts in different sectors. We will celebrate our unity and strength in a series of round table discussions, cultural programmes and plenaries.

Inspired by the success of two civil society summits is this third initiative to celebrate solidarity, share knowledge, and honour present day freedom fighters in this event, that will include all those who will come to build their solidarity with each other and strengthen the struggle for freedom.

This civil society summit belongs to the people in more than one sense. It is a summit where the people who gather will share their resources. They will have an opportunity to share their experience, insights, and ideas. They will share their freedom struggle with the people gathered. The summit members will be encouraged to contribute to the expenses of the summit, but to ensure that the summit belongs to all and all experience a sense of ownership and equality there will be an upper limit for the contribution from individuals and institutions. Those unable to financially contribute will not be less honourable members of the summit.

Given the nature of the Summit ‘everyone is an organiser’. Everyone can contribute their energy and volunteer to share the different responsibilities. These decisions are taken in the preparatory meetings and the summit egroup in a participatory manner.

CEOs, national or state conveners of networks and those being groomed to be in leadership positions will benefit best from the summit.

There needs to be a broad perspective and respect for different opinions since there will be leaders from different sectors--from politics, business and art to science, technology and human rights to theoreticians, practitioners and managers.

All shades of opinion are welcome, provided human rights are respected.


REGISTRATION: While the summit is an open event, participation is by prior registration only due to logistics reasons.
DEADLINE: 9 November 2012, but the earlier the better.

To ensure that money is not a barrier to participation, there is no registration fees. However, if you would like to contribute, this is the MAXimum contribution possible:
Individuals Rs 1000
Organisations Rs 10,000
State/regional networks Rs 15,000
National Networks Rs 25,000
Stalls Rs 5,000

Boarding and accommodation will need to be paid directly, but can be blocked / arranged.
To take part in the design and planning of the programme, please join the organising egroup by sending a mail to

Programme schedule
15 November 2012
1400 Registration
1600 Inaugural
- Civil society and peoples movements
- Civil society and national development
- Civil society in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society
1900 Informal get-togethers, networking and sharing

16 November 2012
0900 Registration
0930 Conversation 1 Civil Society, Governance and rule of law
1100 Conversation 2 Civil Society and National Security
1230 lunch
1400 Conversation 3 Civil society , energy security and climate change- Veena
1500 Conversation 4 Civil society and cultural action, dissent and freedom of expression- Guru Kiran , Akkai Padmashali
1600 Conversation 5 Civil society and media / information technology / communication
1730 Conversation 6 Civil Society and Engagement with Corporate Sector and Markets
1900 Informal get-togethers, networking and sharing

17 November 2012
0930 Conversation 7 Child sensitive, responsive, accountable governance
1100 Conversation 8 Youth leadership for social justice
1230 Lunch
1400 Valedictory
1400 Solidarity presentations
1430 India and the world
1500 Awards (Young Achievers, Freedom Fighters)
1545 Remembrances
1615 Declaration
1645 Song and Pledge
1700 Close