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Alternative Camps is a program that promotes frugal innovation in the post-pandemic society. It brings together groups of citizens (especially with a migrant background), institutions and local entrepreneurs to explore problems and challenges from a common perspective and experiment new models of touristic sustainable economic initiatives, able to grow with limited resources, with a low environmental impact, grounded in creativity, inclusivity, and participation.
Alternative Camps will take place in the city and province of Rimini, Emilia Romagna Region, Italy
In the last decades, Rimini has evolved from a small town with an economy mainly based on agriculture and handicraft, to European capital of summer seaside tourism, attracting great numbers of young citizens, frequently with a migrant background, looking for job.
The seasonality of tourism has determined fluctuations of revenues, employment and the under - or over-utilization of infrastructures and resources. As the tourism sector is affected more than others by current pandemic, vulnerable groups within the sector are among the hardest hit. The civic fabric of the city has become extremely vulnerable to socio-economic disruptions and less inclined to get to know new-comers (immigration represents one of the main social conflict factors in the city of Rimini) and try sustainable models.
Today, Rimini finds itself to face important conflicts. The local economy, mainly based on mass tourism, hasn’t developed a shared and sustainable strategy for the future of its communities, and it has to face one of the most challenging crises ever, due to Covid. Communities that depends on this economy are largely represented by young citizens, locals and with a migrant background (the 10,7% of residents have foreign origins. Rimini represents an entry point for migrants looking for employment and better life conditions). The already fragile economic situation, characterized by high unemployment rates seems to offer an unstable future for new generations.
The recovery of the sector presents a golden opportunity to include vulnerable and marginalized groups in the redesign of its future.
Phase 1: Community Council (M1)
The leading organisation will build a “founding council” to nurture and support the program and its participants. The group will be formed by citizens, PA, entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, seasonal workers and young innovators.
Phase 2: Challenges (M2-M3)
The Council will be responsible for identifying 3 major challenges for the tourism sector related to a) food, health & wellbeing, b) environment, c) arts & culture. Each one will be the core focus of one camp.
Phase 3: Camps (M3-M5)
Each camp will run in parallel for 3 months and engage the community in the explorations and design of alternative solutions with the principles of frugal innovation
Phase 4: Experiments (M6-M12)
Integration of the solutions
The project invests in the idea that democratic and participatory approaches to economic systems are necessary and valuable.
We expect to have a concrete impact on:
- Educating citizens in making informed decisions
- Helping local, public institutions and entrepreneurs exploring and understanding citizens needs and values
- Promoting transparency and shared responsibility when investing limited local resources that belong to everyone
- Empowering communities with new skills that will increase community resilience and ability to innovate in a creative and sustainable way with limited resources
- Experimenting with a set of good practices able to shift the usual profit-driven perspective of the entrepreneurs and encourage them to integrate community needs
The financial crack of 2008 has increased the need to rethink, in the first place, our local economies. This project builds on shared responsibility and action opportunities, creating legitimacy and space for everyone’s voice to create a better future. Entrepreneurs, civic and public organizations, citizens (from different backgrounds), institutions will join forces to offer shared visions and practical solutions to a pressing and real issue: the future of the tourism sector in the local area after Covid19. The process will make emerge: a) views of local communities towards tourism industry in the area, b) roles (old and new) of people (especially with migrant background) in the community in tourism development.
We deeply believe that civic engagement is a necessary factor in order to build a social and sustainable economy in every economic sector and/or social initiative.
This idea is extremely important to our organization and network because we believe that the travel industry can be a key resource in the post Covid recovery plan and to catch the opportunity to rebuild a more inclusive society. Tourism embodies development opportunities and promotes collaboration and understanding across borders. For this reason, it’s crucial to think about a new civic role for tourism operators, workers, and the communities involved.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
- 1 design, project & comms manager (X 12 Months): 16.000€
- 2 facilitators (x 12 months): 8.000€
- Web comms (visual identity, web page): 5.000€
- Comms materials: 3.000€
- PR: 1.000€
- Travel expenses (field explorations for the three camps): 1.000
- Materials for workshops (for the three camps): 1.000€
- Grants for implementation of the solutions: 15.000€
We’d love having feedback about the methodology and if anyone else have experienced experimental community approaches to reimagine the wellbeing of communities and new opportunities to enrich the social fabric of our ecosystems.