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„Emerging communties“ in Mantova

From 14th to 16th of May 2022 we held our interim („half-time“) meeting in Mantova (Italy) in the frame of our project „Emerging communities“

After our very successfull joint-staff-meeting in Athens (Greece) in March, we have held our interim meeting in Mantova (northern Italy) middle of May 2022. Meeting was hosted by our dear friends from the association Italia che Cambia (Italy in Change).

The Project „Emerging Communities: Empowerment for social engagement, self-organization and development of local solutions“ gathers 8 partners from 6 European countries: INWOLE (Potsdam, Germany), Im Wandel (Berlin, Germany), Ethos NGO (Odensee, Denmark), Communitism (Athens, Greece), GKP (Novi Sad, Serbia), Italia che Cambia (Torino, Italy), Open cultural center (Barcelona, Spain) and Ethos – Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece).

At the core of our project is empowerment for social engagement and citizens participation in relation to the development of sustainable communities, neighborhood initiatives and local spaces and networks. This includes the ability to take active roles in the political, social and urban-development processes relevant for the local community, develop cooperative models of social welfare and housing and solidary economy designs that generate income and financial sustainability, as well as to find solutions relevant in the sense of ecological sustainability.

Within 3 days of programme in Mantova, we had an opportunity to be introduced with working model and methodology of Italia che Cambia, as well as its topics, goals and plans, partnerships and networks. Our host is a independent media which covers and promotes the general topic of sustainable development, by documenting and promoting diverse examples of good practices in Italy. By promoting positive stories and good examples – as opposite to the mainstream media – they have created a vast network of associations, initiatives, enterprises, cooperatives and individuals, all dedicated to ideas of practicing models of sustainable development in their everyday life, with a far reaching educational impact!

Especially appreciated were many opportunities to discuss everything in detail with other participants and members of the host organization, compare experiences and good practices, and possibilities for further development of our concepts and their impact on other stakeholders, both in civil society and beyond.

We have used strong network of Italia che Cambia to visit some of their local partners, such as the amazing co-working project of Multifactory R84 and impressive local initiative called „La Macchina Fissa“.

Meeting in Mantova was a great opportunity to have one more informal, but very intensive exchange and transfer of knowledge, skills and good practices.

Frame of this meeting we have also used to make our first evaluation of the project activities so far. Although it was only our 3rd meeting withing the project, we find ourselves already at the half-time of our project. But general feeling among participants was more than positive: Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the project activities were postponed, but step by step since October 2021 we have managed to get back on track. And everybody had a feeling, we´re witnessing one true „organic development“ of our partnership, which inspires everybody not just to take part in ongoing activities, but to brainstorm about diverse possibilities for follow-up projects with great enthusiasm!

It´s really great to be part of this story!

Project activities continue in September 2022: Next time we meet in Novi Sad, Serbia!

Project „Emerging communities“ is funded through Erasmus+ Program for adult education of European Union.


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