We from ERSTE Foundation work with different groups of interacting people who all live in some kind of proximity (e.g. in space, time, certain kind of relationship etc.) towards each other. We deeply believe that different communities should help each other, especially in times when geographical limitations are being easily overcome, and where people also gather online, to share common socio-economic challenges and interests regardless of their location or heritage.
In times like these it becomes necessary to redefine the different types of human interaction and to reflect upon our individual relationships toward the social environment we live and work in. From the basic meaning of communitas – where being together is seen as a gift (latin cum/together + munus/gift) – to a much broader term for fellowship and human association, we perceive this kind of meetings as a joint basis for the collaboration with our project partners as a tight and coherent social entity, marked with a common unity of will to change our societies to the better.
Therefore, we started to organize Community Meetings every year, in order to build up a network and share mutual understanding about the different topics our partners work with. We try to motivate this group of people every year anew since our belief that, if communities do live, both freedom and security may exist as well.
If our Community takes a life of its own, with a sense of being bonded as a real network, we believe that it will turn out to be our broad contribution to one of the core principals of modern society – a much valued social capital, seen as a collective value and affection that arises from the basic human need to do good things for each other.