International Bank Campaigners Gathering
Join us at the Bank Campaigners Gathering
It's official; to mark our 20th anniversary, BankTrack is organising the International Bank Campaigners Gathering (‘the Gathering’), taking place from Tuesday evening, October 17, until Saturday, October 21, in the beautiful ancient town of Maastricht, in the South of the Netherlands.
With this event, we seek to bring together campaigners from all over the world that are working on commercial banks. To learn from each other, to reflect on where we are with our joint efforts to hold banks to account, to strategise together and to plot new campaigns. But we also want to create an opportunity for bank campaigners to finally meet in person rather than on Zoom, to get to know each other and to become friends and, well, comrades!
Why a gathering?
We invite you to a gathering, and not a 'meeting' with a fixed agenda and predetermined outcome, because our gathering will be an open space where you as participants co-shape the programme. You are invited to contribute your workshops, presentations, film showings, trainings, strategy meetings etc to the event. We can fit in any event, provided it has a clear focus on commercial banks. This is your chance to organise something that will automatically attract a good international audience of fellow campaigners.
But next to the programme, it is also very much the informal get togethers and social activities that count, all accomodated by a well stocked bar and restaurant and plenty of opportunities to do things together rather than just talk all day.
We hope to gather many of you, but we understand that two things will determine your decision to come: what will be the programme, and who else is coming?
The programme will slowly shape up in the next few months, based on suggestions and proposals for activities that we receive from you, using this form. Please submit proposals as soon as possible, so we can proceed with planning, but no later than Sunday, October 1st. The only condition is that your proposed event is focused on commercial banks, since that is our core businesss (which does not exclude also paying attention to other financial institutions).
The general outline of the programme is as follows:
Tuesday, October 17: Arrival of participants in Maastricht. In the evening, dinner and drinks to get to know eachother. Preparation of presentation posters.
Wednesday, October 18: In the morning, space for preparation meetings, or to explore 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’; trainings and presentations by, and dialogue with bankers, so that you can learn first hand how things actually work in a bank, how our campaigns impact on those banks, and how bankers see their own sustainability initiatives. In evening; cultural programme.
Thursday, October 19: Day one of workshops and meetings organised by BankTrack and participating organisations (no bankers allowed). In the evening: BankTrack’s 20th Anniversary Party!
Friday, October 20: Day two of workshops and meetings, with the formal end of the meeting at the end of the afternoon. Free evening to explore Maastricht nightlife for those who still stick around.
Saturday, October 21: All day excursion on foot into the beautiful hill country around Maastricht. Exploring these hills will for sure change your idea of what 'the Netherlands' looks like.
(As we are shaping up the programme we will no longer publicly display the programme here but participants have access)
The gathering is open for anyone who considers themselves a 'bank campaigner' (or wants to become one) and who is keen to meet other campaigners working on commercial banks, whether this work is related to climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, human rights, pandemics, financial regulation, et cetera. There is no approval process, you are simply welcome when you want to come, but in the application form we do like to hear your motivation for coming and what you wish to offer to the programme (if anything, not obliged).
Venue and costs
The Campaigners Gathering will take place at the Maastricht Stayokay hostel, a modern funky, social and sustainable place that offers very affordable accommodation in 6-person dormitories, but also has some two- and four-person rooms available. Count on around 160 euros for 3 nights in a dorm, including breakfast. You can check prices (and reserve a bed) here.
The hostel offers decent, sustainable food options for all tastes so do not forget to also book your dinner for the evenings you will be present. Low cost lunch will be arranged separately for all participants.
The venue/hostel is right in the centre of Maastricht so if you prefer to stay in another nearby hotel that is also perfectly possible (but will be more expensive). There will be no participants fee for the gathering itself so your only costs are your travel and accommodation.
Important: to attend the gathering you must register your attendance with us, using the form below and also make your own reservation directly with the Stayokay hostel (or another hotel if you prefer). When booking at the Stayokay, indicate that you will attend the BankTrack gathering. Note that you can still cancel your reservation until one day before the meeting starts.
There is no unlimited supply of beds at the Stayokay so the sooner you register the better.
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to apply for sponsored attendance.
Maastricht is easy to reach by train and bus from all corners of Europe, so we very much encourage participants from Europe to travel to the gathering with minimal impact on the environment. Should you come by plane, from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) it is a frequent, two hour train ride to Maastricht. Other airports close by are Maastricht Aachen (MST), Eindhoven (EIN), Luik (GGL), Duesseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA) and Brussels (BRU). It is a lovely 20 minute walk from Maastricht train station to the meeting venue.
- To check wether you need a visa to enter the Netherlands, go here.
- To compensate for the climate impact of your travel we recommend Trees for All (We will also make sure that the entire event is CO2 neutral).
What are you waiting for?
We know from past experience that these gatherings really help to strengthen our global bank campaigner’s movement and are also good fun, so you don't want to miss it! BankTrack will not be selecting who will come but there is a limit to the number of beds available at the meeting venue, so it pays to book your stay and register your attendance as soon as possible.
So, wait no longer and let us know that you will be coming, by filling in the form below (also if you already pre-registered, this is a different form!).
We can't wait to see you all in Maastricht.
All the best from the BankTrack team