Tag Archives: Europe

Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research

Thirteenth International Conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10 July  – 13 July 2018

Conference Theme:
Democracy and Legitimacy:  The Role of the Third Sector in a Globalizing World


Conference organizers are keenly interested in a wide range of submissions, especially on topics related to democracy and legitimacy. In addition, ISTR is also interested in research which advances our understanding of theory, policy, and practice of third sector organizations. Conference themes include:

  • Democracy and Civil Society Organizations
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Advocacy by NGOs and Nonprofits
  • Governance, Management, Adaptation and Sustainability of Third Sector Organizations
  • Hybridity, Legitimacy and the Third Sector
  • New Models of Philanthropy and Voluntarism
  • Active Citizenship and Activism
  • The Third Sector and Development
  • Social Innovation and the Third Sector
  • Research on Teaching Third Sector Studies
  • Emerging Areas of Theory and Practice

Abstract Submissions
Contributions may take the form of a paper, a panel, a roundtable, or a poster.  The abstract must be less than 400 words in length.

Full details regarding submission specifications are found in the Call for Contributions.

Submissions for Panels, Papers and Posters
All panel, papers and poster proposals for the Conference must be submitted using ISTR’s online submission service. To submit your paper or poster abstract using this service, go to the ISTR website – www.istr.org/Amsterdam – and follow the link for ‘Submit a Proposal.’

In the EU? Want to become an EU Aid Volunteers sending organization?

eu aid volunteersIf your organization or initiative is based in Europe, in a country that is a part of the European Union, and is also working in humanitarian action or civil protection or volunteer engagement, you can take a free online course to explore becoming an EU Aid Volunteers sending organization. The course will run from 2-29 May 2016, with participants logging on for approximately 3 hours per week for lessons, webinars and discussions. There is a limit of one participant per organization. Space is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis!

This E-Learning course was created by the consortium formed by Volonteurope,
Alianzapor la Solidaridad, GVC Onlus and Hungarian Baptist Aid in partnership with Instituto de Estudios Sobre Conflictos y Acción Humanitaria (IECAH). At the end of the course participants will acquire:

  1. The ability to describe how the EU Aid Volunteers programme provides a central framework for strengthening local capacity and resilience in disaster-affected communities; and
  2. The ability to explain the principles and values of Humanitarian Action along with other key aspects of humanitarian work.

The course ultimately “seeks to provide flexible, practical and up-to-date training on the value of volunteers in humanitarian action.”

Every participant will have the chance to communicate with facilitators and other participants to discuss questions, problems, and opinions. The main forum will be used for introductions, general discussion, and debates, and to “really take advantage” of the course, regular participation in the forums is considered fundamental.

If you participate in this online course, I would LOVE to hear from you – about what you learned, how you liked it, what you hope to do with your knowledge, etc.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is managed by the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). I was involved in creating the virtual volunteering strategy for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative as a consultant. Here is more information about my consulting experience.

volunteer engagement to promote social cohesion, prevent extremism?

social cohesionThere will be a conference in Brussels, Belgium on 13 October 2016 regarding the possible role of volunteer engagement in promoting inclusion and preventing extremism.

Examples from across Europe and beyond, such as from South Africa, Colombia and Algeria, will be reviewed to explore ways that volunteerism has contributed to building trust and social cohesion. The conference will also discuss elements and factors that are essential for success in such endeavors. The examples will be included in a publication that “will offer analysis of the challenges faced in Europe concerning social inclusion and the risks of extremism from different belief groups and explain how the volunteer projects contribute to addressing these issues.”

The conference is being promoted by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV), supported by the European Commission. The event will be organised in the framework of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union and with the support of London House and Team London (European Volunteering Capital 2016).

There are lots of ways for an organization that involves volunteers to be thinking about inclusiveness in its volunteer engagement, even if social cohesion or community building isn’t explicitly stated in its mission. For instance:

Also see these related resources:

Call for papers for FOSDEM: Free & Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting

Call for papers for the Conference: FOSDEM 2015 Conference, which will be held in February 2015 in Brussels, Belgium
Paper deadline: 1 December 2014

FOSDEM is a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Developers’ European Meeting, a free and non-commercial two-day weekend event that offers open source contributors a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate. This year, there will be a design devroom at FOSDEM: a full day of talks around design work on free, libre and open source projects. The Open Source Design devroom will be Sunday, February 1st.

“We mean ‘design’ in the broadest sense, from user research, to interface and interaction design, typography, and usability testing – all in the context of open source projects, which we believe introduces unique challenges.”

It is quite likely that the talks in the Open Source Design devroom will be audio and video recorded. By submitting a proposal you consent to be recorded and agree to license the content of your talk under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Submissions should be for a 30-minute presentation, with 15 minutes for questions and discussion. All submissions are made in the Pentabarf event planning tool. When submitting your talk in Pentabarf, make sure to select the ‘Open source design devroom’ as the ‘Track’. If you already have a Pentabarf account from a previous year, please reuse it: create an account if, and only if, you don’t have one from a previous year. If you have any issues with Pentabarf, do not despair: contact belenbarrospena at gmail dot com

ICTs, Employability & Social Inclusion in the EU

In my last blog, I talked about how, at long last, my paperInternet-mediated Volunteering in the EU:  Its history, prevalence, and approaches and how it relates to employability and social inclusion, had been published. My research was for the ICT4EMPL Future Work project undertaken by the Information Society Unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

The ICT4EMPL Future Work project aims to inform policy of new forms of work and pathways to employability in the European Union mediated by ICTs – Information and Communications Technologies. The ICT4EMPL research project is in the context of of implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe. For more information, see Skills & Jobs, Digital Agenda for Europe.

The ICT4EMPL Future Work project developed, produced overview reports on the state of play of crowd-sourced labour, crowdfunding, internet-mediated volunteering and internet-mediated work exchange (timebanks and complementary currency). These activities were explored in relation to key themes of opportunities for entrepreneurship and self employment, skills and social inclusion, and transition from education to employment for young people.

In addition to my paper, here are other papers published as part of the ICT4EMPL Future Work project, and almost all of them talk about volunteering in some way:

Wish they had a way people could comment on the papers. Online discussions about these topics would further our learning about them.

Me in Europe in Fall 2014

Happy New Year! (and Happy birthday, Elvis!)

I’ll be in Germany in the Fall of 2014 for a visit of a few weeks. I’ll make a trip to Barcelona, Spain as well for a long weekend in that time. I’m not sure if this will be in September or October.

I would love to combine my trip with presenting or consulting! I’m willing to go wherever German wings or any discount airline flies from Cologne (Köln) or Frankfurt Am Rhein, or wherever I can take a train in 5 hours or less, provided your organization covers airfare/train fare and accommodations. That means I’m willing to travel just about anywhere in Europe: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria – and more!

I will do an onsite consultation or presentation pro bono, provided your organization covers all travel and accommodation expenses! 

Right now, my dates are flexible; if an organization really wants me to come in October then that’s when I would come to Germany.  My flexibility will change, however, around April 2014, when I have to make a decision about my dates.

More about me.

More about my consulting services.

More about my training areas.

Interested? Email me at jc @ coyotecommunications.com with what you have in mind.

What I learned from researching virtual volunteering in Europe

As I’ve blogged about 7 times already (and now, 8!): Since early April 2013, I’ve been researching Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, online mentoring, etc.) in European Union (EU) countries. This research is for the ICT4EMPL Future Work project being undertaken by the Information Society Unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. As part of this project, I created a wiki of all of the various resources I used for my research, and it includes a list of online volunteering-related recruitment or matching web sites that are either focused on or allow for the recruitment of online volunteers from EU-countries, and a list of more than 60 organisations in EU countries that involve online volunteers in some way, either through a formal virtual volunteering or microvolunteering program, or just as a part of their volunteer engagement, without calling it virtual volunteering or any other associated name.

The research and analysis for this project is pretty much done. The overall ICT4EMPL project is focused on employability and social inclusion, so all of my analysis in the narrative for the EU ties back to those goals. The final paper should be available before the end of the year from the Information Society Unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, and may be published in a journal by the University of Hertfordshire.

But here’s some analysis about what I found in my research that either aren’t in the paper I’ve submitted, but I think they should be out in public for discussion, or, that are in the paper, but I wanted to highlight them in particular for discussion:

  • Virtual volunteering is happening all over Europe. It’s not a new practice in Europe, just as it isn’t in North America. There are thousands of people in Europe that are engaged in virtual volunteering – and as I found 60 organizations involving online volunteers in a very short time, I image there are far, far more that I didn’t find, just because of my lack of skills in languages other than English. True, virtual volunteering still isn’t as widespread in Europe as it is in the USA, but its well-established and seems to be growing.
  • Traditional volunteer centers in Europe are ignoring virtual volunteering. The web sites of volunteer centers in European capitals, as well as most national web sites focused on volunteering in Europe by Europeans, were of little help in this research – they rarely mentioned online volunteers, virtual volunteering, microvolunteering, etc. Also, many of their online search engines for volunteering opportunities offer no way to list virtual opportunities. What is it going to take for this to change?
  • Spain is the European leader regarding virtual volunteering. Organizations involving online volunteers and web sites talking about voluntarios virtualesvoluntarios en línea, voluntarios digitales, voluntarios en red, microvoluntariosvoluntariat virtual, voluntaris digitals, voluntariat virtual abound in Spain. I could have done this report JUST on Spanish virtual volunteering and had 50 pages of narrative! Fundación Hazloposible, an NGO established in 1999 in Spain, launched HacesFalta.org the following year, an online portal for the promotion of volunteerism, including virtual volunteering, and its been growing ever since. Academic articles about this and other online efforts are plentiful. But why did Spain embrace virtual volunteering so early, and why did it spread so quickly, compared to other European countries? I would love to hear your thoughts as to why.
  • Lack of French virtual volunteering efforts. French is spoken by 74 million people, including in 31 francophone countries of Africa. It’s one of the official working languages of the United Nations. And, yet, information about virtual volunteering in French is sparse; even when the France-based France Bénévolat, talks about it, they just mention the phrase and then link to Canadian materials. Why the lack of information in French – and the apparent lack of interest in France regarding virtual volunteering, compared to Spain and England in particular?
  • Where are the online discussion groups for managers of volunteers in European countries? The United Kingdom has the wonderful UKVPMs, which brings together hundreds of people that work with volunteers, regularly discussing everything from legislation to day-to-day challenges in working with volunteers. There’s E-Voluntasun canal para compartir experiencias de intervención e investigación sobre voluntariado. But where are the discussion groups in French, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, German, Czech, Polish, Estonian, Swedish and on and on? In fact, where are the associations of managers of volunteers in these countries – not the volunteer centres, that promote volunteerism, but the associations that talk about effective management and support of volunteers? I found nothing on the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) site nor on the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) about such groups. Without such associations/communities of practice, there’s little chance of volunteering be elevated to the level of importance many of us believe it deserves, far beyond “feel good” activities. What will it take to change this?
  • Where are materials in languages other than English to help organizations involve online volunteers? I don’t mean just the Guía de voluntariado virtual, the translation of the Virtual Volunteering Guidebook I co-authored with Susan Ellis back in the 1990s, or translations of web materials I’ve written. I don’t mean just the UN’s Online Volunteering service English materials translated into French. I mean advice written in Spanish about Spanish experiences for a Spanish audience, or advice written in French about Francophone African experiences for a Francophone African audience, regarding how to identify tasks that might be undertaken by online volunteers, how to screen online candidates for volunteering, how to keep online volunteers motivated, how to supervise and support online volunteers, how to create an online mentoring program, how to create microvolunteering opportunities how to work with virtual teams of online volunteers, and on and on? I am so hungry to read a non-USA perspective about how to create online volunteering tasks, how to support online volunteers, the benefits of such engagement for organizations (not just the volunteers), etc. Are these out there and I’ve missed them? And I am ready to write an impassioned endorsement for anyone who wants to undertake such an endeavor for his or her respective country/region.
  • There are far, far, far more efforts in Europe to promote virtual volunteering, including microvolunteering, to potential volunteers than to volunteer hosting organizations. I found lots of material geared towards potential online volunteers, or talking about online volunteers and how they benefit, but scant information about why organizations in Europe involve volunteers, and why they should. Without focusing much, much more on hosting organizations, Europe is in danger of creating many thousands of disappointed people – people that wanted to volunteer online but couldn’t find tasks to do.

Those are some the findings I think might be of most interest to those that work with volunteers. Would love to hear your thoughts about these findings. 

Survey for EU online volunteers

If your organization is based in the EU and works with volunteers, and any of these volunteers do any of their service online for your organization via their own computer, smart phone, tablet or other networked advice, I hope you will pass on the following survey information to them and encourage them to complete this survey.

If you are a citizen of any EU country and living in the EU, or you are an EU citizen but living outside of Europe, and you have engaged in any form of online volunteering / virtual volunteering / microvolunteering (not receiving any payment for this online work), I hope you will fill out this survey.

If you fill out this survey, your identity will NOT be made public, and will NOT be known by the researchers, if you do not provide your name and email address at the end of this survey (you are NOT required to provide this information!).

This survey takes 15 minutes or less to complete.


This survey is for is a part of research by the ICT4EMPL Future Work project. You can read more about the project at this wiki.

Update on research re: virtual volunteering in the EU

I’ve made LOTS of updates on the wiki for the research project I’m working on, regarding the state of Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering, online volunteering, microvolunteering, crowdsourcing, etc.) in the EU and how such is providing or might be providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and self employment, skills and social inclusion, and transition from education to employment for young people.

In addition to the home page for the blog, here are the contents as of today:

  • More about the overall project & researchers
  • About Internet-mediated volunteering
  • The information we are seeking / How to submit information
  • Challenges to this research (obstacles we’re facing in gathering information)
  • Case studies (Europe focus)
  • Resources and research related to Internet-mediated volunteering
  • Resources related to telecommuting, virtual teams and remote management
  • Resources related to volunteer engagement and volunteerism in EU countries
  • Online work sites for pay (rather than virtual volunteering sites, for no pay) – examples and studies
  • Información en español
  • Informations en français
  • Informationen in Deutsch

Here’s the previous blog about this project (though it’s the wiki that now has the most detailed info).

Huge thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Any help any of you can provide in getting the word out to charities and NGOs in Europe about this research project will be MOST appreciated; the results of this research could lead to more support for online volunteering-related projects in the EU!

To stay updated about this project:

Can virtual volunteering lead to better employability?

Can engaging in virtual volunteering, particularly by individuals in the European Union, lead to better employability for those individuals?

The ICT4EMPL Future Work project is exploring “pathways to employability mediated by ICTs – Information and Communications Technologies.” For the next few months, I am working on part of this project, specifically regarding internet-mediated volunteering or virtual volunteering, including microvolunteering. 

I – and my fellow researchers – are seeking specific information for this project, such as:

  • Individuals, especially those living in Europe, who have volunteered in any way, onsite or online, for charities or NGOs, and believe that, because of this experience, they have improved their inclusion in society or difference communities, had an interview for a paid job, been hired for a paid job (as an employee or a consultant), created an entire career, or become more employable in some way.
  • Organizations, especially those based in Europe, that have used volunteering, onsite or online, as a way to help their clients, volunteers or others gain skills that improve their employability (this does not have to be a primary mission of the organization).
  • Organizations, especially those based in Europe, that help train unemployed or under-employed people in computer and Internet-related skills in order to improve their employability.
  • Organizations that involve volunteers online, in whole or in part, and would be willing to be interviewed for this project, and would be willing to encourage their volunteers to be interviewed for this project as well.
  • Resources and research related to Internet-mediated volunteering (virtual volunteering) that is specific to a European country or Europe in general.
  • Resources related to telecommuting, virtual teams and remote management that is specific to a European country or Europe in general.
  • Any research that relates to any of the aforementioned (it can be USA-centric, or from any country outside of Europe, but it needs to be a resource that will help inform this project for possible applications in Europe).

Update April 12, 2013: I am ALSO looking to connect with individuals / organizations that have:

  • Evaluated a virtual volunteering/Internet-mediated-volunteering-related initiative in a European country and would be willing to share the evaluation with us.
  • Evaluated a volunteering initiative in a European country that related to volunteers developing job skills for paid work or career advancement and would be willing to share the evaluation with us. 
  • Hosted or lead workshops on virtual volunteering/Internet-mediated-volunteering for NGOs, charities and other organizations in a European country, with the goal of these NGOs, charities and other organizations involving volunteers via the Internet in some way (virtual volunteering, crowdsourcing, microvlunteering, etc.) or expanding such involvement.

If you would like to submit information for this project, edit content for the wiki for this project, or ask any questions, send an email to me, Jayne Cravens.

Información en español es aceptable

Informations en français est acceptable

Informationen in Deutsch ist akzeptabel

DEADLINE: I’d prefer to get information before June 1, 2013, if at all possible, but I will continue to accept information through early August, 2013, if I haven’t gathered enough information by that point for the end of my part of the project (actually, I’ll probably always accept information related to this project, since I’m forever identified with virtual volunteering, and am always interested in the subject, particularly outside the USA).

For more information, check out the wiki for “my” part of this project.

The ICT4EMPL research project is in the context of of implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe.