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The Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) is an international network of mayors, councilors, municipal officials, business people, and representatives of the voluntary and community sector.

The Forum is an initiative of the John Joseph Moakley Chair of Peace and Reconciliation at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The Forum’s official website is http://www.citiesintransition.net and Facebook https://www.facebook.comn
The following principles define the FCT mission:

  • People from divided societies are in the best position to help people in other divided societies. Former protagonists are best equipped to share their difficult journeys to abandon violence whether sectarian, ethnic, racial or religious as the instrument to achieve their political aims and open the gateways to recovery, reconstruction, reconciliation and rejuvenation;

Cities which are or were at the epicenter of the conflicts in their countries are in a special position to assist each other because they are often a micro-representation of their society’s fault lines;

  • securing the initially established peace can be fostered by citizens of divided cities working together;
  • cities on the higher rungs of transition can assist those on the lower rungs, a process that is reciprocal because in helping their sister cities, those on the higher rungs in the transition process are reminded of where they once were, where they are now, and where they hope to go in continuing their own processes of transition and reconciliation─ no FCT city is labelled “post-conflict”
  • Each city/society is in a different stage of transition to “normalcy,” although it might be better to think of them as societies in “recovery,” because if they do not continually address the causes of conflict, if the grievances of war remain unaddressed or inadequately addressed, if processes to nurture reconciliation are not promoted (especially at the community level), if disparities in wealth and income continue to grow
  • among competing groups despite legislation aimed at closing such gaps, if an agreed history of the past cannot be reconciled, if the root causes of what resulted in the conflict cannot be acknowledged by all, then the residual causes of conflict and perceived grievances linger and fester, risking slow accumulation to a critical mass that sees the outbreak of conflict again. Thus, there is a need to put in place mechanisms that minimize this risk.

Agenda for 2019 Meeting in Partnership with International Communities Organization

About International Communities Organisation

International Communities Organisation (ICO) is a self-determination research and innovation centre, and a not for profit organisation based in London. Guided by its vision of self-determination and the values of development and human rights, ICO aims to empower communities. It strives to fosters an environment where organisations within these communities can overcome the barriers they face, allowing them to fulfil their potential, develop and create positive change for their local communities through local collaboration, decision making and action.

Through ICO activities, we are establishing various regional units to advocate and support the dissemination of guidelines, and encourage public engagements to facilitate self-determination claims such as:

  1. Funding local institutions at town, country, city or regional level
  2. The inclusion of all segments of society
  3. Investing in local businesses and rural job creation
  4. Education and training at community, business, non-profit bodies and local political leaders including next generations
  5. Identification of techniques for negotiations processes

For more information, please visit our websites or contact us.

Website: www.internationalcommunities.org

Facebook: @internationalcommunitiesorg

Twitter: @ICOcommunities

Email: [email protected]

ICO Vienna Institute and FCT Partnership

International Communities Organisation (ICO) is ready to open its doors to a brand-new institute in Austria. We secured funding for the development of an ICO Institute with an artistic style and understanding of human and environment friendly buildings. The target is to build the ICO into a major global institution in affiliation with the United Nations and working for the self-determination of peoples throughout the world.

The Purpose of the Project: This ICO project is a home for the ICO mission and vision; embrace its projects on interdisciplinary human rights research and practice, especially on self-determination; welcome innovative ideas for reconciliation, peace and a sustainable future for all. The ICO campus will house a research centre allowing leaders, independence and autonomy movements, and others to research self-determination issues, self-governance, and contemporary issues. Research grants and accommodation can be made available. The Research Centre will also award grants, scholarships and Fellowships to international academics who wish to develop new ideas and strategies for tackling self- determination, minority rights and the large number of conflicts worldwide these issues trigger.

O’Malley Center: This building is named to honour Padraig O’Malley who is the John Joseph Moakley Distinguished Professor of Peace and Reconciliation at UMass Boston’s John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and author on topics related to divided societies. Born in Dublin, Ireland, O’Malley is an award-winning author and expert on democratic transitions and divided societies, with special expertise on Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Iraq. The Peace Abbey recently honoured Padraig O’Malley with the Courage of Conscience Award.

This building will carry on activities of the Forum for Cities in Transition, Northern Ireland Foundation, and GAME.

The Institute of Local Government Innovation: will be about policy and not politics. It will be non-party political and will champion and celebrate local innovation and the use of local government as incubators to try out new ideas. As well as thru seminars, it will have a discussion forum online, a space to have case studies of good local policies online with an online publishing arm for papers on local government innovation.

Training: A private University which is supported by public universities will be on the campus too and will offer degree, diploma and certificate courses to young and emerging leaders from minority communities around the world who are committed to developing their community, region or city and seek to be leaders in their field. Training and executive courses for existing leaders and representatives. Sharing of good practice and experiences.

Mentoring: Advice from constitutional lawyers and academics to advise and support on status, autonomy, rights, routes to greater autonomy as an alternative to independence and violence. Advice and support from former diplomats on negotiating skills and advice on the right approach and the right arguments to use and develop. Diplomatic service will broker and host meetings between minority groups and the UN Ambassadors in Vienna if they wish to meet to put their case and win support for peaceful solutions.

Humanitarian Impact: The vision is the building of the International Communities Organisation (ICO) into a major global institution in affiliation with the United Nations and working for the self-determination of peoples throughout the world. The proposed Austrian campus of the ICO will give minority people’s a voice at the United Nations, access to professional advice and support in negotiations including from constitutional and human rights lawyers, academics and former diplomats working to achieve better self-determination, human and civil rights and life opportunities by negotiation and advocacy with government, donors, the UN and other international agencies. The meetings and negotiations will have been enabled by the training, mentoring and advice our centre gives them, the policy ideas and solutions we help them develop and which are most likely to gain support from their government and the international community and our platform for them can actually lead to improved human rights, enhanced self-government with the extra focus on their people and their issues this brings and an alternative to violence.

Green University: The project includes a greener infrastructure with solar power energy systems and greener practices from recycle to reuse for the reduction of its CO2 emissions.

Giving Back to local Community: A Public Policy Centre will assist community, regional and City leaders to develop policy ideas to learn about and share good practice and to be guided academics and practitioners including political leaders and diplomats in developing an agenda for their people and community.


FCT Network fund, partly run under the ICO and controlled and audited by the Northern Ireland Foundation is a means of providing practical assistance for FCT member cities to work together and deliver outcome pledged at global events of the forum for cities in Transition.

Eligibility: Member cities of the Forum for Cities in Transition, whether as an incorporated body or through an agreed lead organisation within the city.

Grant or loan?

The fund will provide grant payments for agreed work, which will not be paid back. Payments may be for costs to facilitate administrative work of an FCT city group and/or its FCT projects. This may include work undertaken by the FCT Secretariat for the benefit of an FCT city group.

Who receives the money?

The incorporated body or agreed lead organisation of an FCT city group and/or the FCT Secretariat, as appropriate (and where eligible to receive funds, under UK law)

Campaign targets

• $25K per city for innovative learning and sharing

• $50K per city for youth training in mediation and conflict mitigation

• $100K per city for development work to marry social, political and economic cohesion, and embed the progress made so far.

Management International University Services

MIU courses, partly run under the ICO, equip individuals with the relevant business and life skills to make tangible contributions to their communities. Every programme is underpinned by practical and business-driven research, which ensures that we are providing job-oriented courses. Courses are also designed to be flexible, therefore students should be able to study part-time.

• Business, human rights law, corporate social responsibility – 30 credit
• Entrepreneurship: experience and perspective – 15 credit
• An Introduction to Business Management – 60 credit


• Access to education without the traditional infrastructural costs needed for formal classrooms

• Enriching workplace environments with complementary training courses to increase the skill set of the labour force

• Improvements in efficiency and productivity by shortening the time needed to adopt new ideas and techniques

• E-learning tools can also dramatically improve retention with the use of creative videos, slideshows and games

• Facilitates the access to information by pooling together the most important material to reach attainment more efficiently

MIU Invites Students to Register! MIU is looking for students who are driven, enthusiastic and have the necessary skills to complete the courses but most importantly have a commitment to make a difference both within their communities and across community boundaries.

Students with:

– a proficiency in English

– access to computer and working broadband network

– drive and enthusiasm

– literacy and numeracy skills

– successful completion of secondary education

FCT – IMPETUS Impact Investment Services

Impetus Impact Investment, partly run under the ICO, serves the dual purpose of providing investors a concentrated spread of profitable investments in high growth emerging markets and establishing a long-lasting impact to the economic ecosystem in these fragile and emerging markets.

Why invest in SMEs in emerging economies Developing countries faced with a high population growth and rising unemployment are looking at SMEs to fuel growth and provide the much-needed jobs for the growing population.

What do SMEs need to succeed?

Flexible capital structured to fit the needs of each SME;

Market linkages to supply chains to ensure SMEs have an adequate access to market opportunities;

Post investment technical support in project management, financial management and strategic management;

Typically, there is a gap in the market for funding between $50k and $250 which is too large for micro financial institutions and too small for the main banks

Benefits of investing

– Growth and higher returns

– Reduction of risk by diversification

– The last bastion of growth

– Growing demographics

Rigorous selection criteria ensure that only those businesses with the potential to grow in sales revenue and/or asset value, create jobs and contribute to the stabilisation of their fragile society that are selected for funding. Companies are chosen based on proven track records, with competent management teams and scalability in the growth phase of business development.

Impetus is looking for:

• Need capital between £ 100 K – £ 250,000

• Minimum Revenue of 200K GBP p.a.

• Are for-profit corporate legal entity with strong independent governance system

• Require working capital investment (not Capex)

• Exposure to large percentage of foreign currency income

• Successfully met the expectations of the first round of funding and are looking to enter the growth stage

• Have displayed strong revenue generation potential measured by its past experience (At least 2 years of audited financials)

• Engaged in high potential and impact creating businesses like technology, agribusiness and green energy to name a few

• Engaged in businesses which are scalable to meet international as well as domestic demand

Investees benefit from our team’s diversified experience in the investment sectors which involves project management, technical expertise, financials and accounting as well as strategy and governance along with the Investment Committee’s expertise. Our vision is about ensuring businesses are well positioned to realise their growth and social impact to create a long-lasting impact to the economic ecosystem they operate in.

The Networking Institute have developed a series of online training programmes that cover the following areas:

Diaspora Engagement. This course includes over 50 videos as well as extensive written material on why and how countries can engage their Diasporas. There are now over 100 countries, regions and cities and organisations that have developed strategies to connect with their Diasporas. The training course also includes access to the Global Diaspora Strategies Toolkit as well as profiles of 100 Diaspora Engagement initiatives in over 50 countries. The course covers key factors for success, why Diaspora initiatives sometimes fail and why Diaspora Engagement is now more important than ever. This course will be available from May 31st.

Networking. This 15-module online training course and accompanying material looks at how to become an effective Networker and what are the attitude changes, shifts in behaviour and key skills needed to become world class. It includes sections on handling change, building social capital, characteristics of great Networkers, the myth of individualism, funnels of serendipity, the power of attention and building hour personal brand. It explains how a key soft skill can have hard impacts – a skill that everyone says is critically

Philanthropy and Fundraising. Based on the experience of raising over a quarter of a billion philanthropic dollars in 6 countries this online training course is a roadmap for people and organisations who want to develop and improve their fundraising abilities and capacity. It is based on a belief that we are entering a new period of philanthropy driven by the massive intergenerational transfer of wealth. It is also based on a belief that fundraising is neither an art or a science but a process. The course looks at the mechanics of running a capital fundraising campaign and the 4-step process of Research, Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship. This course is available now.

Speaking and Presenting. This online training course is about how to become an effective and compelling public speaker. It starts from the premise that speaking in public is one of people’s greatest fears. At the same time, it is a key part of leadership. People who are persuasive public speakers are accorded great attention and influence. The course will help you research, structure, prepare and practice how to create and present a great speech and will pass on lessons from public speaking in many countries and being a TED talker. This course is available now.

The 7th gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition:





0900-0930 Welcomes







Report of the 7th gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition: