This is a second post in a series of teasers before our civil society forum  Against the Current: Expanding Civic Spacetakes place in Tirana, Albania, at the end of this week.

After the Step One, when you have identified  the new trends in the ever changing environment and have noted how it influences your functioning and performance, it’s time for Step Two: building new legitimacy.

After the (needed) period of enthusiasm, questions of legitimacy and accountability of civil society organisations are emerging as crucial challenges including social contract and engagement with the communities whose interests they are meant to represent. Far beyond the initial expansion period of civil society in transition countries, its community base and representativeness of public interests seems to be at question.

At this session, we will talk about the mechanisms of civic engagement, expanding constituencies and shaping public discourse through better communications.

We will also explore how the ‘new kids on the block’ – those new CSO actors – are practicing non-traditional, distributed, agile models of communication and functioning, what barriers they face and what can established CSO learn from them.

Come back tomorrow for Step Three, and you are welcome to bring your opinion in the comment section below anytime.