More than twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the Czech society finds itself in a condition whose primary characteristics are "historical aimlessness" and disillusion.

By "historical aimlessness" we understand the de facto resignation of social elites on any efforts to describe the starting point and the trajectory of the development of the Czech society, the opportunities and challenges the society faces and what has to be done in order to achieve any sort of a vision, if indeed there has ever been any. Such situation, characterized by growing ideological and normative emptiness of the political space, is starting to polarize the society even more. Despite the fact that we have witnesses a strong development of the civil society in the past two decades, including a number of newly created civil organizations, initiatives and activities, there are still limits that the civil sector faces. Without a thorough critical analysis these limits will remain hardly comprehensive and even less susceptible to overcoming.

When we compare analytical outputs of academic centers that deal with long-term strategic policy planning to real steps taken by the government and public institutions, it is absolutely clear that there is a wide gap between the two. The same could be said about the results of the work of many renowned NGOs that during the last twenty years achieved the level of expertize comparable to academic institutions. Analyses of the public governance in the Czech Republic show that even after twenty years that followed the Velvet Revolution of 1989, public institutions have not been able to develop working mechanisms for consultations of public policies with social partners and the civil society.

The present state of political emptiness and economic reductionism sharply contrasts with ideals and hopes of the majority of the Czech society in 1989. These were the ideals of an open society, participatory democracy and more social justice. That in the 1990s the transformation of the society was reduced to mere economic transformation thanks to the influence of political elites is a fact that has been numerously described and analyzed. This economic reductionism became a hegemonic political discourse, despite the criticism of a small but not negligible part of the society. It must be added that given the election results this state of affairs has been apparently convenient and acceptable not only to the political elites but also to a large part of the public which has found in this ideology a useful shield from unpleasant questions about its own part as well as future. Therefore, the question “who are we, what is our experience and where do we want to go” could be easily answered by “our mutual goal, which overrides all other goals, is prosperity, growth and well-being. In other words: Only at the moment when we would be able to afford it we can debate “luxury” such as environmental protection, health or culture.

Despite that, we want to initiate and (where it exists) strengthen such debate. No only we want to analyze the situation but we aim at consciously and systematically building alliance of relevant actors (stakeholders) and making them a part of the process of creating models for sustainable economic transformation.

The only way how to bring about the transformation of the Czech society is through creating a broad alliance of analysts, academics, private sector, NGOs and new generation of voters who would embrace and carry through a commonly formulated vision and a strategy how to implement this vision. This is our motivation.

What are the goals of the project?


    The project groups personalities, institutions and initiatives (expert, academic, business and not-for-profit) that feel that the absence of common visions, the absence of debates about these visions and the absence of ability to pursue these vision over a long term constitute an obstacle to the development of the Czech society. Our goal is to strengthen the voice of these groups in the society and to strengthen the notion that having a vision is not ridiculous but necessary and right.

    (more about project goals)



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Heinrich Böll Stiftung


Green European Foundation