ICAN Austria at Aspire

On Friday, 14th and Saturday, 15th November, the ICAN Austria Team were represented at the 4th Aspire Conference in Vienna. On Friday, our director Nadja Schmidt held a fascinating talk on the role of Civil Society in the Global Governance structure, providing the activities of ICAN and ICAN Austria as an example.

On the Saturday, Nadja, aided by Cristina Siserman and Peter Berry, facilitated an interactive workshop on structuring a campaign. After a brief introduction to our work, we ran through a simulation of our ‘Don’t Bank on the Bomb’ campaign. This campaign, which we had organised during the previous week, aimed to draw attention to the fact that the Erste Bank has invested in a nuclear weapons-producing company. During the workshop, we split the group into two, with one half looking at the legal aspects of the case and formulating our arguments. The second group developed a social media strategy in order to promote the campaign. The results were presented to the group, and we compared the proposals from the workshop with those ICAN Austria had actually used.

Both Nadja’s talk and the workshop received very positive feedback, with the interactive nature of the workshop coming in for particular praise. It was fascinating for the participants to experience how a civil society organisation functions, and we hope that the lessons learned will help them when they undertake similar campaigns.

We would like to express our gratitude to the entire Aspire team for the invitation and for the efficient organisation of the conference. In particular, Virginia Ottolina, who accompanied us for both our sessions as part of the “Global Governance” track, deserves a special thank you!