Over 65 participants representing 16 European countries joined The Brussels Binder team for the 2-day #BBBeyond workshop on the 8-9 July 2019. The purpose of the workshop was to foster a community of European women expert databases, like-minded organisations and think-tanks for the common purpose of building a solution-focused environment for best practices and knowledge transfer to promote women’s voices in European public debates.
Women from different sectors coming from Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, UK and so many more arrived on Monday morning where they took part in a series of networking activities. The group then participated in an appreciative inquiry exercise which enabled them to reflect on their own experiences in the area of women empowerment, events convening, to discuss local contexts and to build a collective vision for the future.
Participants were then divided into groups to take part in the Pro-Action Café where they brainstormed on the creation of toolkits covering a wide variety of topics that aim to empower women experts as well as assist event organisers and journalists on how to prevent all-male panels. The collective expertise in the room from women who work in foreign policy, gender equality, security, academia, law, trade, etc. ensured a diverse discussion but also highlighted common gender related obstacles experienced across sectors.
After an evening reception, participants reassembled the next day for parallel Knowledge Café sessions where both Brussels Binder representatives and other workshop participants co-presented skills and knowledge in fundraising, communications, the tech set-up of databases, network development, sustainable management, as well as monitoring and evaluation. Each session then opened itself up for participants to share their own knowledge and come away with new ideas to bring back to their home countries.
For the last activity of the workshop, participants were grouped into geographical regions where they then got arts and crafty by creating unique collages of words and images that represent them as powerful women and the strength of the wider group. As a final act, participants were then asked to commit to at least one action to take-away from the workshop – whether it was to join a toolkit working group, to become a mentor/mentee or to sign-up as a #BBBeyond Network moderator – the energy and motivation to co-create this network of women ensured many did.
The BBBeyond core-team and the wider Brussels Binder community would like to thank everyone that attended the workshop. Every single participant contributed to the founding of the #BBBeyond Network and provided valuable insight for the way forward.
If you are working for a European database of women experts and you want to take part in the future developments of the BBBeyond Network, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BBBeyond project is funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).