Meeting in Kojori for plans how to change the system

Kojori, a village some half an hour outside Tbilisi, surrounded by beautiful mountains and with an old medieval fortress at a mountain top in its outskirt. Here, in a half run down house in a Soviet styled structure, members of Georgian Young Greens were summoned to discuss about the future of the organization.

The discussion was mainly centered on how to become a political actor, and in the end, if the future of the organization is to form a political party or not? On the one hand, it was said, that an organizational form as a NGO has the advantage of possibilities to mass mobilization. On the other hand, a political party would be able to push for a more holistic and systemic change in society.

A problem in Georgia is that people in general sees political parties as corrupt and nonchalant. A change to this conception could be to make more people involved in politics, build trustworthy institutions and political systems. To make this become true, some new actor have to enter the political stage, involve people and build trust. This could be a new green party or someone else.

However, the challenge for the Georgian Young Greens is also to build trust, to get people involved and spread its values to grow as a movement. This would be the first step to become a prominent political actor that in the future can aspire for systemic change. This was also one of the topics brought up for discussion, how to grow as an organization, and especially, how to spread its ideas in Tbilisi and to other parts of Georgia.

This was also decided as the focus in the coming years, to build an organizational capacity for growth, strengthening the brand and get more people involved. After all, grassroots are the most important actors in a functional democracy. And as Alla Parunova, the spokesperson of Georgian Young Greens said, that “we are no normal NGO, but a political actor with a holistic and systemic view on the society and politics in general”.

At last, among others, some promising plans for the organization were articulated: 1) Start the work of spreading the organization into regional branches, and if it´s fortunate, create an umbrella organization for the branches to be covered by. 2) Continue the educational activities to strengthen the members. 3) Research for more knowledge based policy. 4) The creation of a wider and more specific political program. 5) Strengthening of the working groups that are going to build the capacity for better knowledge in each specific topics, development of policies and campaigns. 6) And of course, a lot of campaigning to spread the word!

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