Join the REVOLUTIONALE – International Round Table Conference 2023!

Leipzig/Germany, October 9th-13th 2023

For the fifth time, the Foundation of the Peaceful Revolution along with its partners invites human rights defenders, NGO representatives and academics – in short, experts from practice and research – from Europe and around the world to Leipzig for the next Conference on Democracy and Human Rights: the REVOLUTIONALE – International Round Table Conference 2023 (IRT23). The IRT23 offers a platform and a safe space that allows for an exchange about shared values, the discussion of current and structural issues, and an opportunity to network beyond regional contexts. IRT23 invites participants from Europe and beyond including individuals and organizations acting in exile.

Guiding themes 2023:

The idea for the International Round Table Conference arose from the question of how the memory of the successful Peaceful Revolution in the GDR can be transformed into a positive impulse for our present and future commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights in Europe and the world. Questions about the impact of memory on present and future engagement have thus traditionally played an important role at the International Round Table Conferences. The IRT23 conference theme “Telling Stories” refers to this, among other things.​​​​​​​

Furthermore, the scope of discussions will include the following questions:

  • ​​​​​​Maneuvering between Democracy and Authoritarianism: How does the confrontation between democratic and authoritarian currents happen, and what possibilities for action are available to democratic initiatives within different political and social settings?
  • Justice and Law – a Complicated Relation: What does justice mean in the context of democracy and human rights activism? How can law strengthen and protect those who advocate for justice? What can we do to counter the misuse of law against activists?
  • Achieving Equality: What do universal human rights mean in diverse societies? How can equal rights become real equal treatment? How can we strengthen social cohesion and at the same time allow for plural worldviews? What solidarity do marginalized groups need to defend themselves against discrimination?
  • How War Changes Everything: What challenges does war – especially, but not exclusively the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine – raise for human rights and democracy advocacy? How can NGOs contribute to the prosecution of war crimes? What can civil society do in terms of post-conflict management? How do wars and armed conflicts affect surrounding states and societies, and what are the risks and opportunities for democratic movements there?
  • The Power of Telling Stories: How can we use “Storytelling” as a tool to make the cause of our commitment more accessible for others and campaigning more successful? How can we navigate the risks of misrepresentation and inaccuracy? What are the dangers of populist and authoritarian stories? How can we recognize and deconstruct these narrations

The round table discussion fill feature these questions and more, while also taking the participants’ fields of work and interests into account. The IRT23 program will be complemented by keynote lectures, workshops, artistic interventions and public events. There will also be open spaces for participants to share their own ideas and needs for exchange.

The conference language is English.


If you are interested in participating, please send us a letter of motivation (1 page max.), a short CV, and a short information on your home organization (if applicable).

Please send your application until June 22nd to

The organizers will cover the costs of accommodation and meals during the conference for accepted participants. Depending on our funding, we aim to reimburse travel expenses for participants who are not able to cover travel costs through their organization/institution.

For further questions, do not hesitate to get in touch via

About Us

On October 9th, 1989, the Peaceful Revolution in the GDR saw its decisive moment: in Leipzig, seventy thousand people demonstrated for change: “For an open country with free people”. They followed the call of independent environmental, peace and human rights groups, who had already been committed to freedom and democracy for years despite state repression. Every year on October 9th, Germany and Leipzig commemorate this moment. Since 2017, the Foundation of the Peaceful Revolution has accompanied this commemoration with the biannual REVOLUTIONALE International Round Table Conference. Its objective is to turn the memory of the Peaceful Revolution into support for those who stand up for democracy and human rights today, for open societies with free people.
Find more information on the past Round Table Conferences here.
The Foundation of the Peaceful Revolution is a private and independent foundation founded in 2009 by citizens from East and West Germany. Find the website here.

Partners and Sponsors of the IRT23 (by May 30th 2023)

Sächsisches Staatsministerium der Justiz, für Demokratie, Europa und Gleichstellung / Saxon State Ministry of Justice, Democracy, European Affairs and Gender Equality

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / German Federal Agency for Civic Education

Europejskie Centrum Solidarności, Gdańsk / European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk

Stiftung Forum Recht, Leipzig / Law Forum Foundation, Leipzig

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, Leipzig

Stadt Leipzig / City of Leipzig

Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig

FernUniversität Hagen, Leipzig Campus / University of Hagen, Leipzig Campus

Europäische Stiftung der Rahn Dittrich Group für Bildung und Kultur, Leipzig / European Foundation of Rahn Dittrich Group for Education and Culture, Leipzig

Download as PDF:

Call for Participants_REVOLUTIONALE IRT23