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3 January 2024



The REWIRE incubator aims to help rising civil society leaders from Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria embrace a mindset shift to improve their effectiveness and become better at selling MORE democracy.


Led by Hungarian NGO Unhack Democracy in partnership with the Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law (BCNL), Zofia Lutkiewicz, President of the Polish Political Accountability Foundation (PAF), and Thomas Coombes, formerly deputy head of Communications and Amnesty International and pioneer of hope-based communications, the REWIRE incubator will give 15 participants from across Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria the training and tools needed to build powerful new narratives and create mindset shifts within themselves, their organizations and wider societies. They will form a new cross-border community dedicated to building and supporting hope-based leadership.


Now open for applicants until 16 January 2024, we are looking for 15 rising civil society leaders in the pro-democracy space from Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria, who work on a wide range of issues from elections and human rights to sustainability and civic education. We want a diversity of leadership skills and roles. You could be an effective community organizer of an informal group or communications director at an established civil society organization. You do not need to have a legal entity behind you, but you must demonstrate an ability and desire to impact and influence your community.


Democracy is at a crossroads in Europe. Growing threats to the rule of law and a shrinking civic space across the continent have created an increasingly hostile environment for pro-democracy activists. Constantly countering negative narratives and defending against attacks has had a huge strain on civil society groups. The next two to three years will determine the course of the next few decades for democracy in Europe. There is a narrow window of opportunity to defend the democratic system from the bottom up by improving the way civil society works together, turning hope into action and selling a positive vision of democracy. 


REWIRE is co-funded by the European Union and the Transatlantic Foundation.

This publication contains the views and opinions of the project partners, which do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Under no circumstances can either the European Union or the granting authority be held responsible for the content of this publication.