From 14th to 18th of October 2021 in Berlin we held the kick-off meeting of our project „Emerging communities“
„Emerging communties“ started in december 2020, but due to postponement in regard to Covid-19 Pandemic, we were limited only to digital forms of cooperation. In the course of first 9 months we´ve held several digital meetings and 4 short digital seminars. But in October we finally met each other at our kick-off meeting in Berlin!
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.
During our Kick-off meeting in Berlin, which was hosted by Association Im Wandel, we get to know each other better and discussed and defined various aspects of the project itself. One relevant segment of our work were various study visits, such as visit to citizen´s initiatives based at the former Airport Tempelhofer Feld, discussions and visits to initiatives SoliOli and Schnittstelle, as well as guided city walks in Berlin and Potsdam with focus on (un)sustainable urban development, gentrification and political conflicts in urban space.
It was great just to have a possibility to finally meet representatives of all partner groups live and not only over the screen. Although digital meetings have their positive sides, it became once more obvious to all of us, that digital forms can´t replace live events. Because it´s not only about content and knowledge transfer, but also about diverse experiences: such meetings and study visits provide many opportunities for informal exchanges and talks, spontaneous brainstormings and discussions. They bring participants closer together, enable them to get to know each other better and think and talk about various ideas and possibilities for cooperations. It was a great feeling to have this experience once more, after a long and weary „keep-the-distance-and-see-you-at-the-zoom“ year!
Kick-off meeting in Berlin is just a start of one very promissing project cooperation! Our next event is joint-staff-meeting in Athens in March 2022. So see you very soon: καλησπέρα!
Project „Emerging communities“ is funded through Erasmus+ Program for adult education of European Union.