Second SCP workshop
The second Sustainable Communities Programme workshop took place in Brussels on September 23rd and 24th 2019. It was supported by a small grant from FundAction, and timed to coincide with follow-up events to the European Day of Sustainable Communities and kick-off meeting for the Ecovillage transition in action project. It was attended by around 30 in-person participants.
The workshop began with a mapping exercise based on the Berkana Institute's two loops model, facilitated by Davie Philip.
Insights from Existing Initiatives
A fishbowl discussion began with reports from key actors in several existing cases of transformative regional initiatives: the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Programme, the Bioregional Learning Centre, the Living in Sustainable Villages project and Moray ecovillage development. Further discussion, also involving other participants, identified key challenges and success factors.
Key Patterns Observed
- Collaboration with local government is often key. Green parties can be important catalysts (as was the case in Freiburg)
- Participatory budgeting can be a great activator, and help make resources available
- The value of long-term continuity: for example 10 years for the Sustainable Neighbourhoods in Brussels, enabled by working with local authorities
- The importance of stories of place - really sinking into where we are and the richness of relationships - and the art of building that undestanding of place through listening
- The importance peer to peer inspiration
- The need for people with a clear sense of vision
- Concern about replicability in contexts beyond Northern Europe, where public funding (a key ingredient in all successful projects) might be less avalable
- Build on what’s there already