Berlin – ESI workshop on advocacy for students of the Centre International de Formation Européenne
ESI’s Gerald Knaus gave a workshop on “Powerful words – writing and advocacy for impact" for students taking the European Integration and Global Studies course at the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE).
Gerald emphasised the pivotal role of language in advocacy, underscoring its power to unite people around shared concerns and goals. Through words, we can craft compelling narratives, anchoring them in tangible facts or hooks that resonate with our audience’s existing knowledge. Additionally, it’s crucial to imbue our messages with emotional resonance, creating impactful and motivational content. This approach enables the writing of reports that are not only informative but also memorable.
In addition, Gerald encouraged the students to read widely about the practice of writing and use as many images, physical places, and feelings as possible to guide readers through their texts. The goal is to ensure that your advocacy is clear and comprehensible to everyone aged 15 and above.
Gerald also argued that effective advocacy is not just about having pleasant meetings, but above all about producing quality reports, a good presentation of your findings, a dissemination network, and the ability to persuade critics. This requires motivation, patience, and the right timing.
Using concrete examples of ESI’s work on migration, Ukraine, the Council of Europe, and EU enlargement, Gerald showed how ESI’s small team has been able to achieve impact in policy debates across Europe.