SPK, Strategic Project Organisation Kempen
Imagine yourself sitting around a table: fellow citizens of all generations and from all walks of life are speaking and listening to each other. Enter the world of possibilities and co-create new initiatives around participation and social innovation in Europe. Yes: we are Wiser Together!
Ruhr area, Germany, Flanders, Belgium, digital realm
After the recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, Europe needs to foster new ways of living together. Emerging trust between individuals, between estranged communities, between nation states – is a foundation for a New Story for Europe. With this project, we plant seeds: seeds of reconciliation, of “United in Diversity”. The societal challenges we are facing (such as: racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination of minorities, radicalisation, gap between citizens and institutions) ask us to join forces. The beauty of exploring collective wisdom is: it can happen everywhere. Art. 11, 2 of the Lisbon Treaty about open, transparent and regular dialogue with civil society needs to be approached with innovative ideas, using participatory processes.
A year after the kick-off event for CONNECT FOR CHANGE, citizens all across Europe share stories about World Cafés they hosted in their own communities on questions that matter most to them. Resilient communities are being built and strengthened, one conversation at a time. Diversity is embraced as an enriching part of life. Communities and individuals who were often excluded in important conversations (e.g. immigrants; members of faith and ethnic minorities; unemployed; poor; refugees) are now included. New connections between “surprise” partners thrive in an environment that creates space for authentic dialogue and cross-pollination. The Playbook is translated into several languages. Civil society organisations have joined forces to organize a training in participatory methods.
Timeline: July 2015 – July 2016. Part 1: co-designing and co-hosting Wiser Together Cafés with local partners, in diverse settings. Numbers of participants can range from 20 to hundreds. A series of Cafés take place in the Ruhr region, in cooperation with Terry Reintke (Member of European Parliament) and her local team. With our Belgian partner SPK: Cafés in Flanders and in Brussels. “European première”: Cafés in the Ruhr region and in Flanders tailored for the needs of deaf AND hearing participants (visual arts, no-sound communication, sign language). Part 2: Two Online Cafés. Part 3: Creating the Playbook. Part 4: Further development of online platform: best practices, resources (www.wiser-together.com). Part 5: Counselling for civil society organisations on participatory practices.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
This platform is a great space for being wiser together. We are very interested in your questions regarding our proposal. We are also looking forward to hearing from other projects about their experiences with multi-generational participatory gatherings.