The first Institute took place in Kyiv from August 19-25, 2018.

A look back at Action Institute 2019:

The Action Institute, a five-day training program, took place in Kyiv on August 19-25, 2018. It brought together 40 participants from ten different countries including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Armenia and Hungary. The final participants were selected from over 100 applications we received from the post-Soviet area and Eastern Europe.

The list of trainers of the Institute included Ivan Marovic, one of the founders of the Otpor movement, which played a key role in overthrowing Milosevic’s regime; Yevgeniya Chirikova, a Russian activist and leader of environmental movements; Maciej Bartkowski, Senior Director of Education and Research, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC); Vitaly Shabunin, Ukrainian public figure and head of the Center for Combating Corruption; Mustafa Nayem, Ukrainian politician and journalist; Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Tammasat, Taiwan; and others.

The Institute students created and developed their own public campaigns and discussed them during the program. They were provided in-depth feedback from experts and peers. And, of course, they were given a unique opportunity to see Kyiv with their own eyes and network with local activists and journalists.

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The next Institute will be held September 15-20, 2019 in Kyiv.

ICNC Trainers

Dr. Maciej Bartkowski, Senior Director of Education and Research

Dr. Maciej Bartkowski is Senior Director of Education and Research at ICNC. He joined ICNC in 2009 and prior to that he held managerial and teaching positions at Adelphi University and Bard College.

At ICNC, he directs various academic programs for students, faculty, and educators from around the world to support teaching, research, and study on civil resistance. He is also spearheading ICNC efforts to build infrastructure for and expand distance education and online learning. He is also an editor of the ICNC Monographs and special reports series.

He holds an adjunct faculty position at Krieger School of Arts and Sciences of Johns Hopkins University where he teaches strategic nonviolent resistance. In 2016, he was appointed an adjunct professor at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Dr. Bartkowski is the book editor of Recovering Nonviolent History. Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles published by Lynne Rienner in 2013.

More information about Dr. Bartkowski can be accessed here.

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.

Andrii Kruglashov, Ph.D. in Political Science, Associate Professor at the National Academy for Public Administration.

Andrii Kruglashov led Civil Movement “Chesno”, the watchdog group for the Ukrainian Parliament and Local Councils to filter out over 1000 incumbents with poor attendance, gather the records of over 90,000 candidates for political memory, and set new standards for transparency and accountability with the Follow the Money campaign and voter education products “Why we need a councilor/mayor.”

Mr. Kruglashov took part in protests against election fraud in Russia in 2011, the Orange Revolution in 2004, and “Euromaidan – the Revolution of Dignity” in Ukraine in 2014.

He has advised 15 political parties and has helped hundreds of candidates and thousands of activists in Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan, SXM, Canada and the US. He is speaker of the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) and the European Associations of Political Consultants (EAPC) and judge of the Polaris and Pollie Awards for best advocacy and political campaigns.

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.

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Thammasat University, Thailand, where she teaches violence and nonviolence in politics, peace and conflict studies, international relations theories, and international security.

Her research has focused on the politics of nonviolent action and pro-democracy social movements. Her dissertation-turned-book is Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015). In addition, she has published journal articles in Global Change, Peace & Security, Journal of Peace & Policy, Journal of Resistance Studies, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, and Asian Journal of Peace Building, and several book chapters. She has also published op-eds in Matichon newspaper,,, and The Conversation Global. Currently, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is supporting her research exploring issues such as new civic activism and civic networks against democracy in Thai.

Janjira served as the Co-Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA) from 2014-2017, and she is currently a board committee member for the International Peace Research Foundation (IPRAF). She has been a member of the editorial board for Asian Political & Policy Journal, Journal of Resistance Studies and Journal of South Asian Studies. She was a research fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study and the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in India.