Soros Foundation - Latvia changes its name
The world around us is changing. After 20 years promoting change in Latvia, we too are changing. In the future The Soros Foundation – Latvia will be known as the Foundation for an Open Society DOTS (Foundation DOTS). Foundation DOTS will continue to support and develop open society in Latvia.
We present to you not only a new name, but a new face. As of September, Ieva Morica is the new director of Foundation DOTS. Ieva joined the Soros Foundation - Latvia 12 years ago as the director of the Baltic American Partnership Programme, and has spearheaded the sustainable development, energy policy and social entrepreneurship programs at the foundation.
Why Foundation DOTS?
Our new name is symbolic.” Dots” is a Latvian word with a dual meaning - that which has been given, and that which will still be given. Foundation DOTS is proud to build on a strong legacy: the substantial investment of over 90 million USD by the Soros Foundation – Latvia in the development of Latvia as a democratic, just, open society. DOTS respects this legacy and will continue to support an enabling environment and knowledge base for strengthening open society in Latvia. In English “’Dots” is quite literally a group of points. For us each one of these dots represents an individual or organization working together towards a common goal.
Why the new name?
The Soros Foundation – Latvia was established in 1992 by the philanthropist George Soros as part of his Open Society Foundations network spanning Europe, Africa and Asia. After the East European countries joined the European Union, the family of developed democratic nations, George Soros chose to redirect his resources to open society development needs in Africa and Asia. In 2011 a decision was made to separate the European foundations from the network, which in turn necessitated a name change by the close of 2014.
Open society is at the core of the Foundation DOTS value system, underpinning our choices about where to direct our efforts. Foundation DOTS promotes an active and diverse civil society, the rule of law, respect for minorities and vulnerable groups and their opinions. We envision a society where critical thinking, mutual respect and a strong sense of accountability are the norm in public life for average citizens and decision-makers alike.
Our Issue Areas
The Foundation DOTS has identified three priority issues:
- Participatory Democracy. Strengthening the quality of democracy in Latvia by supporting innovative and substantive new forms of civic engagement in public life and political decision-making.
- Sustainability:Quality of life, individual initiative and solidarity, equitable development. Promoting social entrepreneurship and the sharing economy, which is at the core of a sustainable economy.
- Inclusive society. Promoting a sense of belonging and civic pride in all of Latvia’s inhabitants. Ethnic and linguistic diversity and the diversity of opinions is an added value for Latvia. It should not be divisive and should not be used as a convenient excuse to legitimize authoritarian tendencies.
In October, the Foundation DOTS will undergo a strategy development process. The process will be open and inclusive, inviting broad public participation. Details about how to participate will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Our modus operandi
The Foundation DOTS will no longer be a grant-maker, but will be pursuing new forms of cooperation. We see ourselves as a hub for individuals, organizations and ideas, as a source of inspiration, as a catalyst for change, as an activist working in cooperation with diverse partners.
The Foundation DOTS has transformed its office space in to the DOTS Home – a co-working and event space. Our home is now your home: we welcome free thinkers, enthusiastic activists and innovators. DOTS Home offers 10 workspaces for like-minded individuals who find working in a cafe atmosphere unproductive, yet are not prepared to invest in permanent office space. DOTS Home also offers meeting and event space.