Not content with sitting around watching politicians drive our democratic systems into the ground, a few European students had had enough and decided to act. Their aim is the stuff made of dreams – not unlike the one Martin Luther King was inspired to share many years ago in the US. And not unlike the recent ones such as En Marche and Podemos have now emboldened in a new generation of French and Spanish citizens to revolutionize traditional politics.
So, in their own words: ‘Volt is a pan-european, progressive movement aiming to revolutionize the way politics is done across Europe.’
In essence, this is the first real attempt to create a one single party across our continent. The stats below give a rough idea of how far they have come from their humble ideological chats a mere few months ago.
The founders of this new progressive movement include Andrea Venzon and a group of young visionary Europeans who currently reside and drive the whole operation from Berlin. Here in Bologna, Ivan Butina is ‘Organising Leader for Volt Europa,’ which is ‘the beating heart of our movement – coordinates national and regional activities, explores new countries and regions, and supports the growth of Volt.’
A few days ago, the Bolognese squad met in Castenaso – the second official meet-up – to discuss strategy. In fact, Volt have ascribed three phases to their overall strategy. The first phase is naturally a recruitment drive. In only a few short months they have grown to 500+ members all around Europe. There are approximately 22 Bolognese volunteers, ready, enthusiastic and very much eager to take on this monumental goal to transform the European political world.
The second phase is to build up their infrastructure and capacity to become a serious entity. Make no mistake though, while nobody thinks this is by any means easy, one must remember that En Marche – the political party that stormed Europe in 2017 was only founded in 2015. Likewise, Podemos launched in 2014 and it too, experienced an incredible growth and eventual success in Spain.
The third phase, which is definitely the most exciting and ‘proof of concept’ includes hitting the campaign trail in time for the 2019 EU elections. Volt Italia is shooting for the stars in this respect. They are aiming for 2 MEP’s for the north-eastern region.
Who is he?
According to Harvard College web site, he ‘found a “calling” as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and, in the fall of 1965, joined Cesar Chavez in his effort to unionize California farm workers…During the 1980s, he worked with grassroots groups to develop new organizing programs and designed innovative voter mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns. In 1991, in order to deepen his intellectual understanding of his work, he returned to Harvard College and, after a 28-year “leave of absence,” completed his undergraduate degree in history and government.’
Against this background 16 members of Volt Europa have been invited to join his online course since he is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. It’s an executive program about how to be a change leader. And many successful leaders and movements across the globe have greatly benefited from this course. They teach ‘community organizing and leadership practices in social movements, electoral campaigns, community organizing, classroom instruction, workshops, lectures and writing.’
Butina is one of those chosen to learn from the course and one he is very confident that it will give him the leadership capabilities to take Volt on to higher, bigger and brighter things in future. “I’m really looking forward to learning as much as possible,” he recounted. “At Volt Italia, we are confident of making a real contribution to politics and we want to encourage as many of our peers to join our movement. This is about being proud of being European and so we want to create an environment of real change.”
This is one of the fastest growing movements now in Europe. We are young, energetic dreamers who will fight to change European politics for the better.
We believe in a united Europe where all its citizens have equal opportunities to reach their fullest potential. We will challenge the traditional political world and want to inspire citizens to dream of and fight for a better, fairer future. We welcome all those passionate, energetic Europeans who dare to change the status quo. We’re a young progressive pan-European movement.
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