“Start-Up! Activities and Idea Labs Against Hate Speech” is a national project that began in October 2014.
“Start-Up” is a lab and collaborative space to develop initiatives in the field of human rights and multiculturalism, as well as to face social challenges regarding (non-)compliance with standards in this area, especially concerning hate speech. Responding to local needs and problems, Humanity in Action Poland focuses on grassroots initiatives, which are an opportunity to exchange views and ideas with activists from other parts of Poland. By creating their own local chapters of “Start-Up,” project participants have the opportunity to develop their leadership potential and to implement innovative activities based on principles of partnership and collaboration with others.
In the first stage of the project, participants—who represent all 16 administrative regions of Poland—took part in training e-courses and workshops in order to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to act against hate speech. Then, on the basis of these experiences, local leaders collaborated with experts to create concepts of their own “Start-Up” ideas and to implement responsive strategies in their local communities.
In October 2015, creators of the best and most innovative ideas in the fight against hate speech were selected to receive seed money for their projects. Since then, “Start-up” leaders have worked to implement their award-winning ideas in their respective regions. In 2016, there were two regional conferences to conclude the project, during which the “Start-Up” leaders shared their experiences and ideas with their peers.