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Community foundations driving change on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Increasing the contribution of European community foundations on the SDGs

How can Community Foundations (CFs) contribute to Agenda 2030? More specifically, what can be the role of CFs in advancing the SDGs, at global, national, and local levels? 

Through this project, we aim to explore how could CFs accelerate progress towards the SDGs by both mobilizing local resources, strengthening local capacities for achieving the Goals, and engaging in national, European, and global debates on the SDGs, while bringing at the table valuable local perspectives, not least of the most vulnerable groups they serve.

Project Duration: 2021 - June 2023

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Adela Rusu, M.A.

Team Project MOTT

Adriana Cârnu

Team Project MOTT

Lev Fejes, Ph.D.

Team Project MOTT

Maria Chirilă

Team Project MOTT

Silvia Fierăscu, Ph.D.

Team Project MOTT

Sorin Cebotari

Team Project MOTT

Ștefan Cibian, Ph.D.

Adela Rusu, M.A.

Adela is an independent expert on development cooperation, management and organizational development of networks in the non-profit sector, with particular interest in sustainability, non-governmental diplomacy and empowering leadership. Adela Rusu holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in European Studies, both from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, Romania and was awarded a scholarship at the University of Verona (Italy). Between 2008 and early 2020, Adela was the executive director at the Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND, being actively involved in monitoring the national and European development policies, ensuring representation at national and European level (both in the NGO community and different institutional settings), fostering regional cooperation among NGOs in the Black Sea region (with focus on enabling environment and building resilience of civil society) and strengthening the capacity of Romanian NGOs in this field.

Adriana Cârnu

Adriana Cârnu – is a Consultant for the World Bank office in Romania, expert in facilitation of community development processes. After pursuing a leadership destiny in AIESEC, the world’s largest student organization, Adriana Cârnu has been investing energy and passion in the field of community development and education since 2004. In 2010 she founded Sigma Association together with her team, a platform that emerged from the intention of having an impact on the social architecture of the rural communities in the South East of Romania. The NGO has initiated and implemented projects and activities that revolved around community development innovation, as well as in the social inclusion policies and education, enriching the area with an absorption of 2,5 million euros for the growth and development of the local region. She has initiated and invested her energy in steering volunteering projects, youth workers development and education, but also research and piloting in the field of education, developing non-formal education enabling instruments for teachers. Her overall experience revolves around project management, grant writing and implementation, learning and development. In terms of processes, her main community mantra is that the well-being of the community should be decided by the entity itself with the agents of change holding space for the dynamics. That is why her passions revolve around process designing, coaching groups, hosting and harvesting group transformation.

Lev Fejes, Ph.D.

Lev holds a doctorate in criminal justice from the School of Criminal Justice within Michigan State University (MSU) and an MA in Nonprofit Organization Management from Babeș-Bolyai University. As the Head of Research at the Association for Community Relations (ARC) he is responsible for coordinating the organization’s research efforts related to philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. He is a founding member of the Initiative for European Democratic Culture (ICDE) think-tank, and a Research Fellow at the Făgaraș Research Institute and Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). An enthusiast of research methods, at ARC he utilizes his research experience developed at the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP) within MSU in designing and implementing studies aimed at furthering the understanding of philanthropic behavior in Romania and at informing decisions with regards to the development needs of Romanian NGOs. In his other capacities, Lev pursues various topics related mainly to urban safety and policing. His area of expertise includes anti-counterfeiting strategies, consumer behavior, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy and public policy. His main academic research interests relate to criminology, product counterfeiting, policing and urban safety. He is also interested in more applied research on the topics of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility and is passionate about turning the world into a better place for each and all.
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Maria Chirilă

Ana-Maria is Assistant Manager at the Făgăraș Research Institute. Also, she is a student at the Department for Biotechnical Systems Engineering, Faculty for Environmental Protection, University of Oradea. Ana-Maria considers that community engagement is an important part of one’s lifestyle, therefore, she is supporting the activity of the Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation and is a member of Carpati.org. Ana-Maria believes that what others do, and their actions, influence us all, therefore it is important that we create and collaborate, as we are sharing life experiences every day. Ana-Maria is passionate about exploring new places and sports, such as endurance biking, swimming, hiking, and gastronomy.
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Silvia Fierăscu, Ph.D.

Dr. Silvia Fierăscu has a PhD in Comparative Politics and Network Science from Central European University. Her research focuses primarily on quality of governance, political-business relations, and statistical analyses of network data. Silvia is involved in various interdisciplinary projects, translating complex problems into real-time applications for organizational management, political communication, and better governance.

Sorin Cebotari

Dr. Sorin Cebotari is a researcher in sustainable development. At the moment, Sorin is a senior research manager at weTHINK. Europe where he coordinates a research team focusing on the energy and construction sectors in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Also, Sorin is an external consultant for European Climate Foundation, where he coordinates the project InfoClima.ro Aiming to improve public discurse on climate change. As a Marie Curie Fellow he researcherd the impact of renewable energies on perypheralyzation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Key areas of interest: sustainable development, circular economy, perypheralyzation and polarization in CEE, regional development, renewable energy.
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  • Sorin, Cebotari, “Romanian electricity market in the light of fast development of renewable energies: General presentation and critical assessment”, Institute for Regional Studies, Center for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Science. Molnar Nyomada Ltd., 2015
  • Sorin, Cebotari; Marius, Cristea; Ciprian, Moldovan; Florin, Zubascu; “Renewable energy's impact on rural development in northwestern Romania”, Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol 37, Feb 2017, pp. 110-123
  • Sorin, Cebotari; Jozsef, Benedek; “Renewable Energy Project as a Source of Innovation in Rural Communities: Lessons from the Periphery”, Sustainability, Vol 9 (4). 509, March 2017.
  • Sorin, Cebotari; Melinda, Mihaly; “Towards a Progressive Local Development Approach-Insights from Local Community Initiatives in Hungary and Romania” in Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarization, by Thilo Lang and Franziska Gormar, Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007/978-981-13-1190- 1_11, Jan 2019.
  • Sorin, Cebotari; Thilo, Lang; Tomas, Hanell; “Translating Scientific Results: Encouraging Reflective Policies as a Chance for Change” in Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarization, by Thilo Lang and Franziska Gormar, Palgrave Macmillan, doi:10.1007/978-981-13- 1190-1_15., Jan 2019.
  • Sorin, Cebotari, “Against All Odds: Community Owned Renewable Energy Projects in North-West Romania”, ACME 18(2), 513-528, May 2019.

Ștefan Cibian, Ph.D.

Dr. Ștefan Cibian is a member of the Board and the executive director of the Făgăraș Research Institute. Stefan is an Academy Associate with Chatham House – The Royal Institute of International Affairs, he is also teaching courses related to international development at Babeș-Bolyai University and manages Cibian Consulting S.R.L. In what concerns teaching and research, Stefan is focused on development and statehood in Sub-Saharan Africa, development policy, development assistance, international organizations, migration, and human rights. Stefan’s core interest in research is focused on international development, community development, Africa-EU relations, development policy, international relations theory, peacebuilding and fragile states, the link between research, policy, and practice, higher education policy and global affairs, including the EU. In terms of geographic focus, Stefan is primarily concerned with Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, the European Union, and transatlantic relations. In his consulting and civil society work, Stefan is focusing on civil society development in CEE, contributing to the development of civil society organizations. Stefan is the President of FOND, the Romanian NGDO Platform, the Treasurer of CONCORD – the European NGO Confederation for Humanitarian Aid and Development. He is also a board member for the following organizations: ARCADIA – The Romanian Association for International Cooperation and Development, Țara Făgărașului Community Foundation (FCTF), UiPath Foundation, and the Foundation for Youth Involvement (FIT). Stefan received his Ph.D. degree in political science and international relations (2012) as well as his M.A. in public policy (2006) from CEU – the Central European University. He also holds a BA in political science (2004, from Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania) and in law (2005, 1st of December 2019 University, Alba Iulia, Romania).
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