Every two years since October 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America, civil society organizations from Iberoamerican countries have been coming together to share experiences and ideas but mainly to recognize, analyse and reflect on hopes and possibilities for accomplishing social development in their countries.
These Iberoamerican Civil Society Meetings are led by a board of directors representing the broad range of countries involved. Over time, these meetings have turned into an expanding forum in which civil society organizations from countries with a similar culture – Latin America, Spain and Portugal – come together to create new possibilities, in a movement which campaigns for greater participation in civil society.
This year the XII Iberoamerican Civil Society Meeting, ‘New Roles and Expressions of Civil Society’, hosted by Cemefi, will take place in Puebla, Mexico, from 13 to 15 October. The main topics under discussion include philanthropy, philanthrocapitalism, and for-profit approaches such as new ventures and social enterprises; networks, partnerships and alliances – their roles and implications; sustainability, new ways of fundraising, crowdfunding and the role of technology; fiscal and legal frameworks; how civil society can influence public policy; social movements that support communities to voice their concerns; corporations and governments roles; volunteerism, the limits to civil society, and the implications of these limits.