Guide to Activism – What is it?

The Guide to Activism is a guide to help you become active! We have drawn from the experiences of over 50 young activists and compiled them into a practical guide. You will find six categories that we consider important for successful activism. We believe that the chances of an activist’s success are not increased by luck, but by method, system, persistence and logic. Passion can make a wonderful idea take off. If you have the desire to make a change, if you want to work with others on something meaningful, we invite you to dive into this guide with us.

To whom is it addressed?

How did we do it?

At the beginning of 2022 a team of experienced activists, social researchers, and young people from the Generation Europe Ambassadors Network was formed and under the coordination of International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) started a process of planning, collecting and adapting material in order to create the Guide to Activism.

We developed a research methodology to collect stories of activism from the Generation Europe Ambassadors Network. More than 40 personal stories of successful activism were collected from young people from 14 different European countries. These stories were analysed and six main categories were found that are important for activism. You will find out more later. After many different feedback and adaptation processes the Guide to Activism was completed in early June 2023 and found its way to you.

How is it working?

We have designed this guide to be unlike anything you’ve seen so far.

One of its special features is that the Guide to Activism has a clear starting point to begin your journey from, but it has no end. The starting point is meant to give a general understanding and we strongly recommend to read it first. It will give you the perspective you need for all the information found in the following six categories and their subcategories.

This is followed by a picture of a circuit where you can find the six categories. Just as a circuit needs all its parts in order to let electricity through and to light the lamp, so all the six categories are needed for activism. You are free to start wherever you think you need to start from. As you move through the various categories and subcategories you will find links that direct you to other categories and subcategories which are also relevant to what you are reading. You can continue following the links or you can go back. Wherever you want to go, find your own way!

In addition to the six categories you will find a space called “Fruit for Thought”. There you can find personal narratives of activism from Ambassadors Network members, and useful links to dive deeper in the topics you are interested in. And then if you like, go back to the Guide.

That is why we say that the Guide to Activism has a starting point but not an end. Instead of representing a line, it actually invites you on a journey in a creative spiral. The end of the journey will always be the actions that change you, your group, your community and the whole world. And, as you will find, action creates more action, hence a need to revisit the Guide.

But enough talk – it’s time to get started!

Who are we?

The Guide to Activism Group is a team of active citizens, youth leaders, artists, and Ambassadors from seven different countries, and we are part of the project Generation Europe – The Academy. We are Andreas Almpanis, Diyar Mazoul, Franzi Eckl, Katia Henrikh, Lena Scholle, Marta Rodriguez, and Rosário Machado, with the support of Anna Édes-Takács, Kuldar Lilleõis, Manuel De Donatis, and Viktoriia Chetverikova.

The Ambassadors Network is an European network of young active people who represent more than 45 local groups of young people around Europe and act as role models for their communities.

Generation Europe – The Academy is an international network of youth work organisations and a funding programme for European cooperation. Our goal is social participation for all. Young people raise their voices and take action: in their local communities and across all boundaries. More then 40 youth organisations from 14 countries work together to create opportunities for participation at local and European level, regardless of origin, parents’ income and previous success in the formal education system.

The International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) is an institutionally and politically independent non-profit organisation based in Dortmund, Germany. We enable socially engaged actors to collaborate across national borders. To involve more people, we develop seminars, trainings, and projects for young people as well as adults. With our activities, we offer opportunities for personal encounters, engagement with history and networking for more sustainability and social justice. IBB sees itself as part of a European civil society that strives for change within its countries as well as across borders. In a changing world with new and old conflicts, we develop perspectives for cooperation and understanding, in order to promote active citizenship and strengthen peaceful living together. 


Idea and Coordination: Franzi Eckl and Lena Scholle

Videos: Penelope Brachou, Viktoria Chetverikova, Lena Scholle

Video Editing: Penelope Brachou

Language editor: Sofia Magnani

Visual artist: Nien Boots

Website: Haptiq Studio, Kuldar Lilleõis, Reili Rebane, and Helen Lang

The Guide to Activism is a result of the KA2 Strategic Partnership No. 2020-3-DE04-KA205-020581 funded by the EU Erasmus+ program. This publication reflects the views of the authors only and the European Commission or other funders cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. The Strategic Partnership is a part of Generation Europe – The Academy.