Concept, Mission And VALUES
The Common Action Forum (CAF) is a transnational, non-profit organization established in Madrid, Spain in 2015. It acts as a global network, bringing together prominent and emerging experts from diverse backgrounds, including academia, politics, journalism and activism.
CAF’s mission is to establish and encourage independent platforms of cooperation, research, innovation and advisory in order to shape alternative solutions and empower citizens to address today’s challenges, such as the rise of neo-fascist politics, the increase of economic inequalities, the social impacts of technology and the environmental limits of the planet.
The Foundation advocates for the collective design of strategies and new frameworks that champion progressive values.
Since its creation in 2015, CAF organizes its Forum each year. In 2019, CAF launched a new format consisting of two annual events, gathering experts and relevant actors to engage in a series of discussions that can give fruit to further progressive initiatives that move CAF’s mission forward. The first event, the OCTAGON, takes place in Madrid in November. All members of the Foundation convene and participate in a series of round-tables, closed sessions and meetings. The second annual event, CAF’s Annual Forum, is open to the public, and between 2019-2024 will be hosted in Mexico.
COMMON ACTION FORUM ANNUAL REPORTS
PROJECTS AND COLLABORATIONS
The Forum supports long term projects as a strategy to develop a solid platform for digital citizenship and research, which also provides the opportunity to build collaborative relationships with several organisations worldwide.
These projects thrive thanks to the participation and/or support of the United Nations, the European Commission, the Spanish National Research Council, University Carlos III of Madrid, ANUDI, European Alternatives, Google Labs, BBC News Labs, the Technical University of Madrid, Berkeley University and others.
MEET OUR TEAM
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
COMMON ACTION FORUM | Directors.
Chairman & Co-founder
Wadah Khanfar is the Co-Founder and Chairman of CAF. Former Director-General of the Al Jazeera Network, he was named one of the ’Young Global Leaders’ in the 2008’s World Economic Forum and was first in Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011.
CEO & Co-founder
Rafael Heiber is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Common Action Forum. Geographer and Climatologist with a PhD in Sociology, his expertise includes the political links between technology, territory and citizenship. He advises journalists, provides commentary and publishes in the international media.
Thembisa Fakude is a Researcher at the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies as well as a contributor and analyst for several newspapers. He is former Bureau Chief of the Channel’s Media Network in Southern Africa and former Chairperson of the Foreign Correspondents Association of Southern Africa (FCSA).
Member of the board
Arlene Clemesha is a renowned academic, TV commentator and professor at the Centre of Arab Studies at São Paulo University. She has written several books on the Middle East and is a member of the Coordination Committee of the UN International Coordinating Network on Palestine (ICNP-UN).
Member of the board
Bilaal Hoosein is current Director of Programmes for Al Jazeera English. With a background in political science, he has nearly two decades of experience as a journalist, producer and an international broadcast market sales and acquisitions expert.
Member of the board
Renata Ávila is a human rights lawyer and digital rights advocate. Avila sits on the International Board of Creative Commons, is a Steering Committee Member of the Information Society Advisory Council for the OECD and is a Coordinating Collective Member of Diem25.
Member of the board
Sami Zeidan is an award-winning Senior Presenter with Al Jazeera English. He has worked with a number of the largest broadcasters in the world, interviewing several legendary world leaders, including Nelson Mandela, as well as reporting high-profile events.
Secretary of the board
Fernando Ron-Martín Fernando Ron-Martin has been practicing law in Madrid since 1989, leading his firm in civil rights defense, including obtaining a UN Resolution condemning Spain for violation of the economic, cultural and social right to housing.
CAF enjoys the support of an accomplished Advisory Board, with members including renowned leaders hailing from various regions and fields.
COMMON ACTION FORUM | Advisors.
Ayo Obe is a legal practitioner and partner in the Lagos-based law firm, OgunsolaShonibare. Ms. Obe chairs the Board of Trustees of the Gorée Institute (Senegal) and is Co-Vice Chair of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
Celso Amorim is a former Minister of Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. He served on panels of the UN Security Council and was named the “world’s best foreign minister” by Foreign Policy magazine.
Eduardo Barcesat is a constitutionalist lawyer, professor at the University of Buenos Aires, Advisor to the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation and Human Rights Advisor of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO).
Emad Shahin is Dean of the College of Islamic Studies (CIS), Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation and a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University. He formerly served as Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics.
Guillaume Long is a French-Ecuatorian politician and academic, who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, as well as Minister of Culture and Heritage and Coordinating Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent under the Correa government.
Herta Däubler-Gmelin is a German lawyer, academic and Social Democratic politician who served as Germany’s Minister of Justice and as a member of the Bundestag. She continues to practice law, as well as teaches political science at the Free University of Berlin.
Javier Solana is a Spanish physicist and former Secretary General of NATO. Solana currently serves as Chairman of the Aspen Institute in Spain, and has held a number of positions in the Spanish government, including Minister of Culture and Minister of Education and Science.
John Ralston Saul is an award-winning essayist and novelist. A long-time champion of freedom of expression, he served as President of PEN International and has written extensively, with his most renowned work considered to be “The Unconscious Civilization.”
COMMON ACTION FORUM | Committee chairs.
Andrés holds degrees in Journalism and Literary Theory, as well as a PhD in Sociology. He is a philosophy professor whose publications include Ficcionologia (2016), El Periodista de partículas (2017), Rescoldos Mentales (2018) and the script of the awarded short-movie Psicopolis. He is also a regular contributor at Huffington Post.
Colleen Boland holds a PhD in Sociology of Migration at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. She formerly worked as a Managing Editor of an international public health quarterly at Johns Hopkins University, USA. She obtained her MA in Middle East Politics from SOAS, University of London.
Fernanda Ribeiro is a Chevening Fellow and international civil servant currently working for the United Nations in Genève. She holds an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College London and an MA in International Public Law and Administration from the École Nationale d’Administration.
Gaspard Estrada is Director of the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean at Sciences Po, France. His research focuses on political communication and electoral campaigns. In addition to academic publication, he is a regular contributor in the international press.
Media arts &
Mi You is a curator and academic staff at Academy of Media Arts Cologne (Germany), where she lectures on media theory with a social-political perspective. PhD in Art and Media Studies, she is Fellow of Zentrum Paul Klee (Switzerland) and Independent Curators International (New York). Mi is also a member of the Academy of Arts of the World.
Patricio Cabello is Researcher at the Center for Advanced Research in Education at the University of Chile. He holds his PhD and MAs in Anthropology and Social Research Methods. Leading several projects, he has consulted for UNESCO and UNICEF.
Rafael Heiber is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Common Action Forum. Geographer and climatologist with a PhD in Sociology, his expertise includes the political links between technology, territory and citizenship. He advises journalists, provides commentary and publishes in the international media.
Renata Ávila is a lawyer and activist specializing in technology and intellectual property, with particular focus on the intersections with human rights. She currently serves as Executive Director of the NGO Ciudadanía Inteligente, as well as on the Creative Commons Board and as a member of Diem25.
COMMON ACTION FORUM | Executive members.