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© 2017 by Katarzyna Mortoń

 

Capacity Building

I am a motivated and determined, multidisciplinary professional who humbly contributes to driving change in societies while working on many angles and levels of a complex reality. I truly believe that education and communication are key factors in navigating the well-being of citizens, a group, organisation, movement, country, region or the entire world.

 

I focus on enhancing soft-skills, organisational culture, critical thinking and horizontal relationships between people in each area of my professional activity, having a great attention to detail in terms of execution of tasks, projects or programs and its results. I think holistically and in aspects, naturally moving between these levels, and as a result of this, I develop strategies involving an innovative approach towards the advocacy of democracy, media literacy and open society. 

I am a MA graduate in Political Science, currently active as an Advisory Board Member of the European Youth Press, ''the network with 27 member organisations and several Committees, that reaches more than 60,000 young journalists across Europe, forming a solid volunteer and professional infrastructure''. 

 

Since 2016, I gladly serve as a Plenipotentiary of the Board for International Affairs & Foreign Funding of the Komitet Obrony Demokracji (KOD), a grassroots civic movement founded in 2015 in Warsaw, which organised the biggest mass protests in Poland since the fall of communism in response to the repeatedly infringed Rule of Law by the ruling party. 

 

I am an independent consultant working with the European Union institutions on democracy, active participation of the citizens and strengthening the civil society in Poland.  Involved in many other grass-root and pro-democratic networks or organisations in Poland (including women movements).

Activism for Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights in Poland

After the populist Law and Justice party came to power in Poland, disrespecting the Constitution and the Rule of Law, putting democracy in danger and manipulating the public with a ''refugee-fear'', I decided to get involved in Polish civil society. I hoped to use my experience to contribute at least a bit to the growing resistance among Poles by writing, producing media as well as supporting structures, human dynamics and mostly using my networking and coordination skills to connect the right people, tasks and resources together.

For already over two years, together with many Polish activists, I tried to work with everyone who was willing to join forces on battling the government narrative, but also tried to understand why people chose them and what previous governments have done wrong. Various actions related to protests, education and awareness raising were performed online and ''on the ground'', with diverse formal and informal civil society groups in Poland.

I am a representative of the Executive Board of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy for International Affairs and Foreign Funding. KOD is the biggest, institutionalised grass root movement in the recent history of Europe. I am also a coordinator of KOD International, overviewing KOD's external communication and the image it presents abroad, and participating in high-level, official delegations with various political and civil stakeholders.

 

I supported communication efforts and organisational structure building in Poland. I have co-organised or supported all the Citizen’s Strike demonstrations that happened in Poland. Citizen Strike was a no-logo demonstration format. 

 

I tried to support all the other organisations if that was welcomed and relevant. All the activities were performed together with diverse teams of Polish activists. I was one of the many.

 

The Law and Justice government crossed all lines, by openly pushing by all means for a monotonic, nationalistic society. There's no discussion that they need to be stopped. Nevertheless, they rightly identified some of the problems the modern society of Poland struggles with that need to be addressed. 

 

The contemporary capitalistic world, where people feel they have little power and control over the political decision making process, left many without prosperity and a sense of belonging.  Doubtlessly, this cannot be ignored and Poland needs a better approach to tackle global challenges

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Media capacity building, the right of citizens of having access to accurate information and unbiased media (Europe and Middle East)

I have worked in the field of media and communication for many years. I am a co-founder and a first coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC) that aimed to improve the cooperation between journalists from the MENA region and Europe. In 2012 I became a Board Member of the European Youth Press, and in 2016 I was elected as an Advisory Board Member. 

Within the European Youth Press and MENAC, we have organised plenty of trainings for culturally diverse groups of young journalists, in Belgium, Germany, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Malta, Sweden, Jordan, Brazil or Nigeria that worked on media accuracy, freedom of press, quality reporting, new media, social media reporting or various topics including minority rights, conflict reporting, security of journalists, refugees, women in media, etc. 

 

We organised joint projects with the European Parliament, Council of Europe, European Youth Forum, Minority Rights Group Europe, among others. We delivered capacities to hundreds of media young professionals across the world. Next to conducting projects and trainings for media makers I was mostly focused on EYP's organisational development.

In EYP, I was occasionally active as a journalist and/or the editor-in-chief in different media projects.

I also moderated internal board meetings, general assemblies, conflict-solving sessions and topic-oriented events for the European Youth Press, Inclusive Media, and other organisations. I moderated the closing session of the European Youth Event in 2014 for the European Parliament, for example.

I was an Advisory Board Member of the Centre for the Refugee Solidarity, Intern at the Minority Rights Group Europe, and at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Iran. I also serve in the Advisory Board of the Inclusive Media, that works ''on contextualisation and a creation of active discourse between young journalists from different parts of the world -- and their audiences.''

I strongly advocated for media accuracy in many public appearances, knowing that the way 21st century communication is shaped makes the human mind extremely vulnerable to disinformation, post-truth and fake-news.

I was a public speaker on this topic, sharing the expertise of EYP, MENAC and what I learned recently from the activities of civil society in Poland. I voiced my own opinion, but also common conclusions of young media professionals from all around the world on civil society, media and politics at events by EU institutions, the Council of Europe, conferences in Tunisia, Macedonia and many other places. 

Conducted Trainings and Projects: 

 ''Inclusive Media'', Jordan 2016 (Senior Adviser)

 Orange Magazine for ''African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe“, Austria, 2015 (Reporter)

 ''Rethinking Journalism'', Germany 2014 (Senior Adviser) 
 ''European Youth Media Days 2014'', France (Main Coordinator) 

  Editor in Chief, Orange Magzine for No Hate Speech Movement with the Council of Europe, France (2013)
 ''European Youth Media Days 2013'', Belgium (Core Team)
 ''Women in Media'', Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013, (Supervisor of the Coordinating Team)

 ''Minority Voices'', Hungary 2012, (Main Coordinator)
 ''European Youth Media Days 2012'', Belgium (Main Coordinator)

 ''Media Through the lenses of objectivity'', Malta 2012 (Core Team)

Participant of: 

• "Youth Peacekeeping and Intercultural training for Combating Poverty", Italy (2.2011) 
• “I can, so you can” youth media project, Bulgaria, (8.2010)
• “Media vs. Integration” youth project, Austria (6.2009)
• “Online Media TC” youth project, Macedonia (3.2009)
• “Make News, Make Future” youth project, Latvia (7.2008)
• “European Youth Media Days” European Parliament, Belgium (6.2007)
• “TC on Fundraising and Intercultural Learning”, Czech Republic (11.2006)