“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

Research has shown that effectiveness of nonviolent movements depends on the scale of people’s mobilization and participation and this, in turn, is influenced by the degree to which a movement is able to maintain nonviolent disciplineviolence limits a movement’s effectiveness. So how can ordinary people come and work together to win rights, democratic reforms, and social justice without resorting to violence? What are creative nonviolent actions that movements deploy to achieve their goals? How can lobbying, litigation, and elections (when available) be combined with powerful, nonviolent civil resistance strategies and tactics for maximum effect?

The Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action offers both practitioners and academics access to global knowledge and experience in the theory, history, and practice of effecting needed political change through nonviolent means.

This course is designed for those unwilling to tolerate injustice and human rights violations who are committed to finding evermore effective nonviolent strategies for change. It is meant for activists, scholars, and professionals who want to better understand how to change their communities, cities, countries, and even the world.

If you want to make history, the Institute on the Study and Practice of Strategic Nonviolent Action will help you use the power of strategic nonviolent action campaigns to counter outrage and fight for truth, democracy and liberty.

In six days you will learn:

How strategic nonviolent action works – and its theories of power and change

Why nonviolent civil resistance campaigns either succeed or fail

The record of civil resistance compared to armed struggle and movements with organized violent flanks

Innovative nonviolent strategies and tactics and how they can be used to reach your goals

Key lessons from a wide range of cases of civil resistance movements and campaigns from Eastern Europe and around the world.

September 15 – September 20

Kyiv, Ukraine

Number of participants

Institute Language: This is a tri-lingual institute with simultaneous interpretation in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.


The organizers cover the full cost of participation, accommodation, meals and logistics of the 35 strongest candidates. These participants will only need to pay $50 before the event, to confirm and secure their participation. Participants are responsible for their own travel costs to and from the event.

If you are not selected as a sponsored participant the cost of participation is $150 plus logistic costs.

Deadline for applications is 23:59 (Kyiv time), July 5th, 2019.

Who Should Apply
Those of you who study or are engaged in civil resistance and activism, representatives of civil society organizations, specialists from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, journalists, and all concerned citizens who are curious about how nonviolent civil resistance movements and campaigns are especially welcome to apply.

In case you have any questions, please write an e-mail to actioninstitute2019@gmail.com.


The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide. The purpose of ICNC is to develop and share knowledge related to nonviolent civil resistance and its practice with interested recipients throughout the world. This includes citizens and activists living under conditions of repression, injustice and corruption, and also educators, nongovernmental organizations, media professionals and members of the policy community.

The Taurida National Vernadsky University is the leading higher educational and scientific institution in Crimea, founded in 1918. In 2014, the university was evacuated from the territory of the annexed Crimea to the Ukrainian capital, together with a significant portion of its students and teachers.

Free Russia House in Kyiv is an independent and open platform for dialogue and research on modern Russia and its influence on the international community, Russian-Ukrainian relations, the conflict in the Donbass, and the annexation of Crimea.

The Laboratory of Democratic Transformations is a Ukrainian NGO whose mission is the development of a society of responsible citizens and accountable authority in Ukraine.

Action Institute Trainers

Steve Chase, Manager of Academic Initiatives, ICNC

Steve Chase, a long-time activist, educator, and writer, is ICNC’s Manager of Academic Initiatives and a Regular Contributor to «Minds of the Movement». blog. His work supports academic research, curriculum development, classroom and online learning, and other educational efforts, with the aim of connecting practitioners and scholars.

During his doctorate work at Antioch University, Steve completed a curriculum action research dissertation entitled, Activist Training in the Academy: Developing a Master’s Program in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing. The dissertation served as the conceptual blueprint for Antioch University’s master’s program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability and inspired the five-point curriculum framework of The Change Agency, a national nonviolent activist training network in Australia.

As a result of this research, Steve served as the founding Program Director of Antioch University’s Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s program for twelve years. He taught blended online/on-campus courses in Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns; Leadership for Change; Political Economy and Sustainability; Corporate Power and Democracy; Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion; as well as several all-online classes in Nonprofit Leadership.

Ivan Marovic

Ivan Marovic was one of the leaders of Otpor, the student resistance movement that played an important role in the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia through rallies and marches.

Marovic became Otpor’s representative in the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition where he took part in planning and preparations for elections and protests that took place after Milosevic attempted to falsify ballots.

After the successful democratic transition in Serbia, Marovic began consulting with various pro-democracy groups worldwide and became one of the leading practitioners in the field of strategic nonviolent conflict. He helped produce two video games that teach people how to use civil resistance in their struggle for social change: A Force More Powerful (2006) and People Power (2010), both supported by ICNC.

Marovic holds a BSc in Process Engineering from Belgrade University and an MA in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya, with his wife and son.

Mariam Azeem is an activist and civil resistance trainer from Pakistan.

She is passionate about nonviolent conflict, transformational leadership, human rights education and creating participatory and accountable citizenship and democracy.

Inclusiveness and celebration of diversity, transparency, and resilience are her core values of life. She believes in letting the voices of many be collectively heard and used to bring positive and sustainable transformations in communities.

Jonathan Pinckney is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and an external associate at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo.

He is the author of two scholarly monographs on civil resistance from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, and scholarly articles on nonviolent resistance published in the Journal of Peace Research and Conflict Management and Peace Science. He received his PhD from the University of Denver in 2018.