Satire competing with reality

During the 5th session, people from Njuz.net and New Bar, two satirical media projects from Croatia and Serbia, were “fighting” about who is funnier. The verdict was impossible to give. Absurdity is the second thing they compete in – the absurdity of politics in their countries. ”We have the most ridiculous government ever. Every day they … Continued

Solidarity is important!

“Technology changed the entire face of this crisis. I am absolutely sure that without the use of the internet and technology, this would have been an even bigger catastrophe… In every way, technology helps the refugees, it helps us volunteers, the organizations working in the field…” said Tim Clancy, a volunteer from Sarajevo who began … Continued

A platform for women, by women

A group of organizations from Kosovo developed an open platform “I Walk Freely” aimed at fighting sexual harassment through gathering data about the incidents and reporting it to the local authorities.   Blerta Thaci (Girls Coding Kosova) and George Labreche (Open Data Kosovo) explained that the idea was to raise awareness of this problem and … Continued

Creating public pressure

Smari McCarthy and Damir Dajanović presented two different, but similar approaches to promotion of civic engagement – one from Iceland and one from Bosnia. Smari spoke about his experience of creating online platforms for citizens engagement in Iceland, starting from 2007. The aim was to create space for public debate and find ways to engage … Continued

True motivating stories coming from youth in the Balkans

The third day of the Point Conference 2016 started with six very motivating stories from the Balkans. All six stories are about young people and the way they are trying to be active and influence changes in their societies. Dea Mulolli from Kosovo presented her organization Peer Educators Network. The Network aims to make young … Continued

When internet becomes the only court

First speaker on this session was Yuri Lisovsky from OPORA, Ukraine. Ukraine has been subjected to a lot of changes in the past few years and they have reflected on the election process. First of all, occupied territories always voted for pro-russian parts so the occupation changed the parliament structure positively. Other positive changes include giving more … Continued

Turning serious investigation into a fun application

During this session, BIRN’s journalist from Macedonia, Riste Zmejkoski, presented an application Skopje 2014. Originally, “Skopje 2014” was a project of the Macedonian government. Its main objective was to remake the face of Skopje by creating new architectural structures (monuments, buildings) but in the end it proved to be only a huge waste of public … Continued

Georgia: Once the most corrupt, today the most reformed

Speakers from Georgia presented the reform of social services conducted in their country. As Margarita Akhvlediani from Go Group Media noted, Georgia was once the most corrupt country in the region and, with time, it transformed into the most reformed one. The session focused on the trademark reform of the Georgian government: a successful reform … Continued

How some papers from Panama became a story

Smari McCarthy and Michal Andrzej Wozniak presented the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a network of 24 organizations in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia. It is a network dedicated to investigative journalism and specializing mostly in large scale, crossboard investigations – such as the recent case of “Panama Papers”. Their investigations … Continued

U.S. election: The Trump phenomenon

Moderated by Ivana Cvetković Bajrović from NED, the session was dedicated to the elections in the U.S. and most of all was an attempt to understand how come has Donald Trump made it that far during the primaries and how his candidature can influence world politics. As Ian Schuler from Development Seed said, only a … Continued

Democracy in crisis: Stories from the region

All of the fourth panel’s participants agreed that the interest in the elections in the regions is, perhaps, at an all-time record low, and we are talking about a general crisis of the participatory democracy. Jovana Đurbabić from CRTA, Serbia, said that a decreasing turnout at the elections is a result of the fact that citizens do not … Continued

TechSoup Balkans – A bridge between CSO and software donor

During the second session we were presented TechSoup Balkans that calls itself “a bridge between CSO and software donor”. The organization’s role is to provide NGO’s with technology, services and consultancy at low or no cost. This should make CSO job easier and more efficient. As the speakers Sanela Lulić (Mozaik Foundation, BiH) and Adrijana … Continued

Accountability and Transparency in a region are on a low level

The second day of POINT 5.0 conference started with introductory remarks from Darko Brkan from Citizens Association “Why not?” and a short footage commemorating Michael Bauer.  Brkan presented some of the main topics of the Conference. Compared to the previous POINTs, this year’s conference is by far the one with the most guests, speakers and … Continued