New report on cultural spillovers by European Research Partnership on Creative and Cultural Spillovers - with four case studies.Read More
Earlier this summer we announced the 2017 R&D grantees – the 25 Idea Makers, participants of the Idea Camp in Madrid, who received a grant to develop their idea into a project. Some of them will be traveling to complete residencies at Subtopia, one of the Connected Action for the Commons hubs, and Medialab Prado, 2016 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture laureate. In the upcoming months, ECF introduces you to the projects and grantees who are participating in this programme. We are starting the series with Volunteer Palestine and Share on Bazaar who will be working at Subtopia.
Firstly we asked both initiatives to explain their idea. Mustafa Dar Alaraj kicks off: “Volunteer Palestine is an awareness raising grassroots volunteer travel organization established by locals. The founders of the program are refugees from Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem who wanted to find a way to assist the local community where resources are limited. We wanted to come up with a way that would engage the international community with the Palestinian culture while also providing much needed resources to local organizations and families. We figured the best way to do is to invite you to come live, volunteer and socialize with us to discover what we are all about.”
Nina Martin explains on Share on Bazaar: “It is an initiative dedicated to promoting cross-cultural skill sharing through in-person and eye-level dialogue. Our long term vision is to allow people to add value to their professional outlook as newcomers – even when lacking written proof of talent. Peer-learning and peer-reviewing are to play a major role in the sharing economy as it expands to cover the HR industry, entrepreneurship and other areas as well.” Just as her newly launched Anti-Café, Share on Bazaar explores the meaning of time in shaping one’s own experiences and a sense of belonging to a community. “Additionally we host regular community events in Berlin. For spring 2018 we plan a Share Fest where time-banking, skill sharing and our Berlin-wide network come together in a festival for locals and newcomers.”
Naturally, we wanted to know how participation in the Idea Camp helped in transforming an idea into an effective project proposal? The open source methodology designed to guide this process – developed by Platoniq and others - is still available online, by the way.
Mustafa Dar Alaraj: “My experience talking with the Idea Makers throughout the weekend made me understand the extent of the integration issues for refugees in Europe. Our program offers an excellent opportunity to collect data - given that many of our projects take place in refugee camps - to discover where negative perceptions of refugees come from and what can be done to confront these attitudes. We plan to publish this collection next summer.”
Nina Martin: “The Idea Camp has some very obvious benefits that I, like any other participant, reaped during the week in Madrid: a growing network of international changemakers, feedback and inspiration for one’s idea and time to think through various aspects of said idea. However I found that the Idea Camp, unlike other similar workshops, has helped me greatly in advancing my project due to two things: the very clear framework designed for the days as a group that ensured we acted process- and impact-oriented and could take materials home to our teams and secondly the curiosity of the organisers as well as their and all the experts’ willingness to take on feedback and keep on improving their own process over the years that the Idea Camp is being hosted. This instilled monumental motivation in me to keep acting according to the user-centric beliefs I hold.”
Looking forward now, we wanted to know what difficulties Dar Alaraj and Martin face in implementing their project? What do they perceive as the main obstacles? And how do they think the upcoming residency at Subtopia will be helpful in overcoming those difficulties?
Volunteer Palestine: “We are currently operating on a small scale in the southern West Bank and we are facing difficulties in that we lack capacity to expand our project throughout all of Palestine. There is a stigma attached to coming to Palestine as many people are afraid to come because of the conflict. We are still trying to break through the perception that Palestine is a war zone. Although there is of course still difficulties in Palestine, there is a beautiful culture and people to see too. We believe that the expertise is available at the residency at Subtopia to learn how to expand operations with limited resources. We also want to build our networks and partnerships to encourage more people to come to Palestine.”
Share on Bazaar: “Funnily enough, since we utilise time banking, time is our biggest obstacle. Luckily we have been granted basic funding and many volunteers approached us so that we can have the necessary manpower to be successfully impactful. We are aware though that a clear team and project management structure needs to be in place for this to occur. This will be my focus this year as I feel everything else will follow. I am already convinced that the time at Subtopia will be of tremendous help in overcoming the aforementioned obstacles. First of all it will give me the luxury of spending a whole week focused on Share on Bazaar’s project idea. Additionally the structural yet creative approach, taking into account business model thinking, throughout the residency makes me trust in the capabilities of the residency staff and my motivation to take on the same approach. And last but not least I am thrilled to be spending the residency with inspiring Palestinian changemaker Mustafa who I can learn a lot from in terms of community building and engagement. With a roundtable for 2018 Berlin Sharefest potential stakeholders taking place right after returning from Subtopia, I expect to arrive with a much clearer plan. This will mean being able to set milestones, responsibilities and deadlines in order to successfully turn our idea into a reality. Additionally I dream of becoming a more efficient project and team manager who everyone involved can benefit from!”
You can now download a PDF version of the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy from our Library. Developed by the Council of Europe in partnership with the Hertie School of Governance and ECF, this publication investigates the link between culture and a democratic, open and trusting society.Read More
Idea Camp R&D grantee Laura Pana's Migrationlab social impact 2016 report is now available online. You can find out how they improved the social relationships between migrant, refugee and local communities in The Netherlands; what were the challenges they faced and what they learned along the way.Read More
Meet the fifty Idea Makers who have been selected to participate in the Idea Camp: read their short biographies and have a glance at the ideas they will be working on during the Idea Camp.Read More
Dans cet entretien, nous discutons avec Fatin Farhat (Palestine) – contributrice à la base de donnée World CP et une figure clé de la culture dans la région MENA, au sujet de son travail, de ses ambitions, des défis auxquels elle fait face ainsi que de sa vision de la politique culturelle comme un processus collaboratif qui peut aider à tisser de nouveaux partenariats en Palestine.Read More
Warsaw-based landscape architect Izabela Zalewska-Kantek from the foundation Virid’OR took part in ECF's first Idea Camp in Marseille in 2014. She presented, GERMINATION FOR THE FUTURE - Education gardens for children in small and medium cities in Poland, a project that was subsequently awarded an ECF Research and Development grant. We caught up with Izabela and her project partner Kamila and captured their thoughts and experiences from the grant period on video. Watch now.Read More
Earlier this summer, we shared an open call for this unique training programme for developing leadership in international cultural collaboration has been designed as part of a new global Cultural Diplomacy Platform. Together with our partners, we are very happy to announce that 40 participants have been selected.Read More
Gerry Proctor of EngageLiverpool was in Amsterdam to part take in the Public Space meetup series. The 2015 ECF R&D grantee spoke about the ‘Liverpool Air Project’ and ensuing ‘VENT! Liverpool Air Quality Festival’ which took place in Spring 2016. We took this opportunity to catch up with Gerry on his projects.Read More
Throughout the summer we accompany the launch of our new Idea Camp call with highlights on the works of former Idea Camp participants showing the depth and breadth of our grantees’ networks (you can apply for the 2017 Idea Camp until 20 September 2016). We now talk to Bea Varnai, from UrbaMonde in France.Read More
On 23 June 2016, we have been part of the Boekmanlezing 2016 on the "Cultural Dimension in the City of the Future", a debate and lecture with Hans Mommaas, Karolina Spaic (ZID Theater), Kristian Koreman (Bureau ZUS, Zones Urbaines Sensibles) and Kajsa Ollongren (alderman Amsterdam Municipality, a.o. for Economy and Culture). Read the report (in Dutch).Read More
Last year, we featured Engin Önder, 2014 Idea Camp participant and R&D Grantee. He told us about the origins of his citizen journalism initiative 140Journos. In this piece, Engin follows-up on our last conversation, highlighting the transformative power of new media, how the network has been growing across the country, the role the R&D grant played in this endeavour and tells us about a new exciting partnership with Twitter.Read More