International Bank Campaigners Gathering
October 17-21, 2023 - Maastricht, Netherlands
Register your interest by filling in the pre-registration form below.
Breaking news: this meeting will proceed as planned!
Dear friends and colleagues,
This year in October, BankTrack will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary. While we can look back upon a proud history of bank campaigning, we are very keen to celebrate this moment by looking into the future, together with our colleagues and partners from all over the world, to see how we can further strengthen our work in holding the global commercial banking sector to account.
And what better way to do so than by organising an International Bank Campaigners Gathering (‘the Gathering’), taking place from Tuesday evening, October 17, until Saturday, October 21, in the beautiful town of Maastricht, the Netherlands.
This will be our first Gathering since 2018, and for those of you who remember previous editions, what we have planned this year is similar. We seek to create an opportunity for campaigners working on commercial banks to get together in an informal and inspiring setting, where we can learn from each other, strategize together and plot new plans and campaigns, but also have a great time to get to know each other and become friends, as that is how successful movements are build.
The entire event will be a joint undertaking, in the sense that we seek you to not only attend but also contribute to the programme, by organising your own workshops, trainings and strategy meetings. This is your opportunity to schedule your in-person strategy meetings and be assured of a good international attendance!
To help plan the gathering, we are scoping how many people would be interested in attending. This is why we very much want you to register your interest, by filling in the form below. Once we hear from you and your proposals for workshops or suggestions for the programme, we will further shape the agenda. The rough outline of the entire event will be as follows:
Tuesday evening, October 17: Arrival in Maastricht, informal get to know each other at the venue.
Wednesday, October 18: Early morning walk to get to know Maastricht, while we await the arrival of more participants. End of morning, formal opening of the meeting, followed by an afternoon of ‘Meet the Bankers’. We aim for an afternoon of training by, and dialogue with bankers, so that you can learn first hand how things work in a bank, what impact our campaign work has on banks, and how things are developing within the industry.
Thursday, October 19: First day of workshops and meetings organised by BankTrack and participating organisations (no bankers allowed). In the evening: BankTrack’s 20th anniversary party!
Friday, October 20: Second day of workshops and meetings, with the formal end of the meeting at the end of the afternoon. Free evening.
Saturday, October 21: All day excursion on foot into the beautiful hill country side around Maastricht.
Who should come?
Anyone who is a bank campaigner and wants to meet other campaigners working on commercial banks, whether it is related to climate, nature, human rights, pandemics, corruption, regulation, et cetera. As long as there is a direct link with commercial banks.
What to expect?
Given BankTrack’s mission, the focus of the gathering will be on commercial banks but there is also space for sessions on other parts of the private finacial sector.
We hope to convene at least 40 people, from all the leading organisations working on banks, but more are welcome. This should create maximum synergy and ensure the meeting will be of real help in forging ties and bonds between campaigners from all over the world. If things work out as we envision, there will be several simultaneous workshops and events, many organised by you as participants, catering for everyone's specific needs and interests. Think of it as a marketplace of ideas and initiatives for you to promote and seek allies.
But next to all this hard work, there will also be enough time to just have fun together and to explore the beautiful city and natural surroundings of Maastricht. We’ll go out and explore its many bars and café's in the evenings, we will celebrate BankTracks 20th anniversary on Thursday evening and on Saturday we will organise a full-day walk into the hill country around town.
While we hope that you will come for the entire event, if you are pressed for time you can also attend part of the gathering, depending on the program elements you are interested in. A more detailed agenda will be shared in due time.
Venue and costs
The Campaigners Gathering will take place at the Maastricht Stayokay hostel, which offers very affordable youth hostel style accommodation but also two- and four-person rooms. The hostel is situated right in the centre of Maastricht so if you prefer to stay in another hotel that is also perfectly possible.
BankTrack is not in the position to cover the costs of travel and accommodation of participants, so in principle everybody must cover their own costs. Once the meeting is fully confirmed (see below), we will ask you to book your own bed in the hostel or a nearby hotel.
We are currently looking for a funder that is willing to sponsor this gathering and make a travel budget available for participants that cannot afford to attend otherwise. If we succeed in finding such a sponsor, we will be able to sponsor the attendance of campaigners by partially covering their costs. We will also be seeking solidarity payments of organisations that can afford to send their own representatives while also supporting others. More details on this will follow soon.
We know from experience that these gatherings have been very important in the shaping of our global bank campaigner’s movement and this event will be no different, provided enough people and also the right people decide to come. We will soon start the official registration process but it still helps us if you preregister using the form below. We will then soon get back to you with more details on how we will proceed.
See you in Maastricht!
All the best from the BankTrack team