The power of alliances at second sight

Back on Track with Verena Ringler

Join us for a train ride with Verena Ringler, director of European Commons and curator of the Tipping Point Talks 2019. She helps prepare the ground for the next EU and proposes to do things differently to do different things. In the third episode she explains why we need to harness the wisdom of the crowd to tackle our challenges on climate, technology, and society.

“In 2019, I co-authored a report for the next European Union decision makers. It’s called “Refocus the European Union – Planet, Lifetime, Technology”. There are three priorities we have to tackle now: the climate transition and with it the economics transition, technology governance, and everything surrounding social affairs and our demographic development. But how can we do that? How can we develop the roadmaps and reforms we now need when even top EU strategists tell us that they don’t have mechanisms yet to pick up the very weak signals from European societies? And who can do that, if those who often have the answers and have the approaches, the seismographs on climate, tech and social issues, are far out there?”

“They are activists in the streets, they are practitioners in the villages, they are designers and coders in the private sector, they are cities and urban administrations. The EU needs to start three large alliances, on climate, on technology and on social affairs, and mix them. So have the state and the non-state actors in the same room from the beginning: the farmers and filmmakers, the bankers and bee-keepers, the activists and architects. These alliances seem unthinkable today. But hey, one man’s citizen activist is another man’s policy adviser. The first step to the governance problems of our time are alliances at second sight.”


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This text and video is published under the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name of the author/rights holder should be mentioned as followed. Author: Jovana Trifunovic and Igor Bararon / Cover picture: Verena Ringler, film still. Photo: Igor Bararon /

Back on Track

As our world is facing major geopolitical shifts and challenges, from the rise of nationalism to increased demands for privacy, from balancing growing human needs with environmental limits, there is undoubtedly space for major improvements. We see civil society as the key driving force in this process and have therefore launched the video series Back on Track about social engagement and activism as a clear sign of support to the dedicated change makers in our societies.

The power of alliances at second sight is the third episode of the second season of Back on Track.

Europe’s power starts at home.

We need a SWOT Europe thinking!

Europe needs a civic CERN!

NATO’s lesson for civic activists

“Witnessing war to learn for peace.”

“Proletarians of all countries, who washes your socks?”

“Time to rethink growth”

“It’s elites who turn against democracy, not the people.”

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