Photo from the Idea Camp 2015 by Julio Albarrán

Home to many grassroots cultural initiatives creating change in their city, Madrid offers an inspiring context to explore the 2017 thematic focus Moving Communities. Together with 50 Idea Makers from across Europe, international guests and local organisations, we will share experiences and perspectives, learn from each other's practices and explore new democratic alternatives.

Quick links

Join the Lab Culture and Refuge in Europe

We have started a new lab: Culture and Refuge in Europe where you can share your links, pieces of writing, stories, images and thoughts – collecting, connecting and discussing inspiring cultural initiatives and voices from across Europe that explore ways of living alongside each other in these changing times.

What's the Idea Camp?

ECF’s Idea Camp is a three-day collaborative working platform organised within the framework of Connected Action for the Commons, a network and action research programme led by ECF together with six cultural organisations from across Europe.

  • The Idea Camp 2014 took place in Marseille, France and focused on the topic "Connected Action for Public Space". 
  • The Idea Camp 2015 took place in Botkyrka, Sweden under the theme “Build the City”, applying the principles and ethics of the commons. 
  • The Idea Camp 2017 will take place in Madrid on 1-3 March 2017 and will focus on the theme "Moving Communities". 

ECF believes in bold alternatives provided by citizens through their local cultural initiatives. At this time of transition, ECF invests in these local initiatives to help them to become enduring solutions to the challenges facing our continent. Europe as a shifting ‘home’ of changing communities – where people can live together in solidarity, accepting their differences – is an urgent priority in ECF’s focus over the coming years.

Moving Communities

We are living and working in an increasingly complex environment. Across Europe and its neighbouring countries, more and more people are confronted with discrimination and exclusion on a daily basis – whether economically, politically or culturally. As a result, societies are becoming more and more fragmented, extremism is on the rise, and the divisions between people – and between individuals and institutions – are growing ever wider.

Migration, distrust towards traditional institutions and the widening gap between the idea of a democratic Europe and the reality of a divided continent are among the biggest challenges that we are facing at present. These challenges are not new, but they have reached a degree that directly affects existing systems and policies, both at national and European levels.

Entitled “Moving Communities”, ECF's third Idea Camp will focus on the current positive, radical resistance movements that are daring to counteract anti-democratic practices.

Co-hosted by Platoniq and the City of Madrid, the Idea Camp will take place in Madrid from 1 to 3 March 2017 and will bring together 50 participants whose emerging, groundbreaking ideas demonstrate a firm desire to contribute to fostering political imagination, building bridges and effectively contributing to the development of a society with a stronger sense of social justice. Based on the values of sharing, inclusion and openness, the Idea Camp offers Idea Makers a unique opportunity to meet peers from diverse backgrounds and with different visions from across Europe and its neighbouring countries.


Applications are now closed.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted their inspirational ideas for the 2017 Idea Camp: Moving Communities. We are proud to say that we received more than 600 applications from all across Europe and neighbouring countries. We are currently looking through the applications.


  • The 50 selected Ideas will be announced mid-November
  • 1-3 March: Idea Camp in Madrid
  • April: Submission deadline for proposals
  • May: Announcement 25 ideas selected for R&D grants


We have invited applicants to submit an idea that fosters the Europe we believe in: a Europe of solidarity and openness shaped and nurtured by people. An idea that:

  • brings forward voices that are excluded from public debate and decision-making
  • has an open approach to the way people can learn, share and live together
  • applies a critical perspective to what could be a more accessible and inclusive society
  • strengthens the vision and practice of shared communities and coexistence
  • builds bridges across differing perspectives to help counter harmful public discourse
  • contributes to discussions about genuine integration opportunities and people’s rights and accountability.
  • fosters political imagination and promotes social justice, solidarity and equity among various social groups.

Your idea might reflect one or several of the issues aforementioned. 

Following the Call for Ideas, 50 participants will be selected according to the guidelines. ECF will cover travel costs and all expenses related to the stay in Spain during the Idea Camp for a maximum of one representative for each idea.

After the Idea Camp, participants will be invited to submit a concrete plan for further research or investigation of their ideas. A total of 25 proposals will be selected and consequently awarded an R&D Grant, up to a maximum of €10,000 each.