Civic-Driven Change and Advocacy

Seriti TALKS is a local (Johannesburg-based) civil society discussion initiative. It is a regular feature of the Seriti Institute calendar, which provides a space for practitioners, industry specialists and public servants to meet and discuss policy and social impact insights.

Seriti TALKS covers issues across the following broad categories, including, agriculture; civic innovation; community development; project design; rural development; small business; and technology solutions. Seriti TALKS aspires to achieve seven objectives.

  • Collaboration. By bringing relevant parties together around common areas of interest and helping to coalesce mutual understanding and partnership, the TALKS aim to support local activity and innovation systems.

  • Advocacy. The TALKS satisfy a gap in civil society by providing participatory leadership. By supporting linkages between organisations working in similar fields, the TALKS promote networking, knowledge sharing and help civil society to envision a time when the sector can speak with a common voice.

  • Civic Driven Change. Lessons learnt are a key component of the TALKS narrative. By spearheading the integration of implementation experience into future project designs and influencing policy through, public sector representation, media coverage, OpEds and research synthesis the TALKS can support bottom-up representation. Thus, insights from the field can be transmitted through practitioner presentations to a wider audience.

  • Raising the Seriti Profile by convening the event and informing a broader network of various communities of practice about who Seriti is and what the organisation does – especially through the regular lessons learnt feature.

  • Policy Development by providing an opportunity for different stakeholders (particularly those in civil society) to organise around common priorities/problems and provide a forum through which to contribute inputs to policy process.

  • Knowledge and Education by allowing a space for good practices in community development, and other development areas, to be identified and shared, including strategies and principles for success.

  • Participation and Inclusion by inviting people from a wide cross-section of society to engage in civil society discussion through Seriti TALKS.

Seriti TALKS brings participants from diverse communities of practice together to draw on synergies and create a greater mutual understanding among civil society organisations to better equip them to act as a collective and align intervention strategies. This has the power to bring communities closer together, and improve the longitudinal impact of social investment.


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