Open for Change


At the Open for Change event, Hivos brought together change makers from around the world to share their stories, experiences and tools.

logo-open for change

 The first day and the second day of the event



Participants attempted to uncover unusual perspectives and reflect on what has worked – and what hasn’t – to mobilize people to play part in the change they want to see.Social change towards justice and prosperity cannot do without openness. Yet openness and democratic institutions are no guarantee in themselves for equality and social cohesion. Issues of identity, societal norms and the question of whose voice counts characterize deep polarizations in our societies, whether in the South or the North. While openness in itself would be of great benefit to those suffering from social taboos, such as in the sphere of sexuality, dividing lines continue to exist and need to be addressed differently.

Innovative approaches are not only necessary, they do exist, too. Have a look at the initiatives and speakers within the different tracks: Triggers for Change, Test the Tools, Tough dilemma’s and Trial and Error for your shot of inspiration! And do get in touch with us if you have an idea, a project or an initiative that contributes to the open society – ‘a society that fully embraces its own imperfections and unexplored opportunities’.


On 10 October 2013, the Ignite event took place and it was a great success. You can visit the event’s web page for the photos.


Back-to-back with the two-day Open for Change event, an Ignite event took place in the afternoon of October 10th, 2013, in the Van Nelle factory, Rotterdam. Fifteen speakers presented daring perspectives and inspiring thoughts on how people all over the world are actively shaping their societies. These stories in part came from the city of Rotterdam as well as the far away places where Hivos works, such as India, Central America and Uganda. Rotterdam, World Port World City, is a young, dynamic, international city which keeps reinventing itself at a rapid pace; redefining and expanding its identity on a daily basis. We exchanged stories of social innovation, heard about new strategies and methods and critically reflected on all this during the two following days. The question to what extent these initiatives trigger social change at large were also further explored during the Open for Change event on 11 and 12 October.

what happened?

The event featured lightning talks, in-depth dialogues, creative labs, workshops, playgrounds and spaces for reflection and facilitated special encounters.

role of 56SPACES

56SPACES took the photos of this three days long event and in every 3 hours some new photos were online to share it with the rest of the world.