Where do we originate from?
Shabka was founded in 2013 as a publication network focused on the Arab world by young journalists and academics. One of its early major projects, a book titled “Revolution as a Process”, enabled young authors both from the Arab region and Europe to describe the complexity of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. One of the book project’s key components was a cross-reading by all authors in the centre of Cairo in December 2013 – not far from the fully in swing revolution in Tahir Square. Another early Shabka project was the “Shabka Exchange”, where our Cairo-branch members visited Austria in order to exchange ideas and establish a basis for collaboration.
Since its founding, Shabka’s primary aim has been to raise awareness for global political interrelations through public appearances such as podium discussions, expert talks, workshops or conferences. This has remained unchanged.
What are we doing today?
After an initial focus on journalistic contributions, selected analyses and awareness-raising, Shabka has since developed into a forum for political discussion and a dynamo that translates qualfified knowledge into recommendations for political action. Shabka acts as a connected platform, which consists of formats such as the Future Strategists Hub, the Salon Shabka, the CPD Policy Blog or the Shabka Journal. This enables an intensive and controversial, differentiated and balanced, detailled and contextualised exchange of ideas on several levels as well as supra-instutional collaboration.
A key example of our efforts to turn knowledge into practice is the CPD Policy Blog. Through this platform, Shabka and the University of Graz succeeded to bring together several Austrian institutes and organisations in the field of peace and conflict research and enable a meaningful contribution to politics.
A further example for colletive knowledge-transfer is the Future Strategists Hub, which builds on the vision of forging a European future. This vision was born out of the devastating consequences of two world wars and was led by a central idea: cooperation, not conflict. The tireless construction of our common European house has after 70 years not been completed – contemporary developments are stuck in structures, which are not fit for today’s challenges. The baton that promoted the visionary cooperative idea currently lies on the ground and is waiting to be picked up by young strategists. Rigid approaches and outdated patterns will not solve today’s challenges. Thus, our young generation is required to find strategic answers.
This is precisely what our young format does: we deliver new impulses by shaping our future through innovative ideas. Proactivity is built on the interrelationship between academia and politics.
Where do we go next?
The Future Strategists Hub 2018 was Shabka’s launch as a Strategic Think & Do Tank that is based on two pillars:
Firstly, we analytically produce strategic- and policy-recommendations for policy-makers, business communities and society at large. We stimulate a strategic discourse and shape foreign-, security- and developmental-policy through serious approaches outside the mainstream and integrating young and creative voices. We contribute to policy-making through the ideas and pro-active engagement of talented minds. Sustainable politics can ultimately only come out of such collective efforts.
Secondly, we go beyond formulating policy into implementing it. We are creating a basis for change through the diversity of a civic network, whose collective knowledge and ability we connect with professional consulting.
Knowledge is practical, visible and feasible for us – and definitely oriented toward action. We go there, where ideas are needed. This is our holistic understanding and this is how lend our work actual effective force. Our motto is: Understand. Decide. Act.