Community Power van is travelling around Philippi Park, a cultural landscape of 8.000 years of history, to empower civil society groups so that they obtain the necessary co-creation and collaboration skills that will lead them to a successful, participatory and sustainable future. 85 civil society groups, 7 workshops, 7 different municipalities and many rural development ideas to come. Hop on our Van!
Municipalities of Kavala, Drama, Doxato, Prosotsani, N. Zichni, Amphipolis and Pangeon, North Greece
Philippi Park (PP) resides at the 11th most impoverished regions in Europe (Eurostat 2020), with a GDP per capita that stands at 45% of the EU average, with an aging community and an unprecedented brain drain, a disrupted development and a low level active citizen participation and trans-municipal cooperation (PP Master Plan 2018).
The low trans-municipal cooperation is based on the lack a) of awareness that we live in a region with common environmental characteristics, cultural landscape, opportunities and problems b) of procedures for trans-community cooperation and c) of established processes on participatory decision-making. This is why we organise 6 local workshops and one trans-local, at the 7 municipalities of PP, to train civil society groups in participatory decision making.
The target audience is local civil society groups (eg NGOs, Associations, etc.) in the region and active citizens, with an emphasis on young people. According to the Philippi Park Master Plan (Scope and Sustainability Study, 2018) there are 72 local rural cultural society groups, 7 NGOs with environmental initiatives and another 7 organizations of various fields.
This local powerforce could be very reinforcing to local rural development if given the culture and tools to cooperate on a local and trans-local level. By raising awareness and educating civil society groups and their youth members, on participatory decision-making tools, citizens discover new ways of collaborating, claiming, proposing, taking responsibility, creating a bottom-up stream.
1.Mapping of Key Stakeholders - contact with stakeholders/key informants - snowball sampling - Final selection of stakeholders
2.Research via questionnaires to the participants on the topics of their work and interests to better design the educational workshops
3.Preparation of the workshops’ methodology and educational material for rural areas, based on research and available collaboration tools. Workshops will include theory, application of selected tools and discussion on local issues.
4.Setting up communication strategy and preparation of printed and online material (Videos, Social Media Campaign, Poster, Branding of the project, educational material, printed material and invitations)
5.Local campaign raising awareness on the project goals (Press releases, Personal meetings and calls, Social Media Campaign, Interviews, door-to-door invitations)
6.Preparation of the Community Power Van
7.Implementation of 6 local participatory 2-day workshops (Kavala, Doxato, Prosotsani, Drama, Amphipolis, Pangeon), travelling with the Community Power Van
8.Implementation of 1 trans-local participatory 4-hour workshop (At agreed site) which will summarize the previous workshops, apply new tools and examine ways of trans-community collaboration and engagement.
9.Website creation entailing the Community Power Van library and a Map of co-decided ideas for local development.
Keeping in mind that the Community’s Power Van goal is capacity building in co-creation and collaboration methods aimed at civil society groups for the sustainable rural development of their region, the expected results are close to this definition:
-Development of a sense of belonging at a very important cultural landscape, named Philippi Park
-Development of a Common language of cooperation and participation forat a regional level to enable rural sustainable development
-Networking of 85 civil society groups during the trans-local workshops
-Capacity building of civil society groups on participatory decision-making tools
-Increasing access to innovative decision-making methods, resulting in a better connection of the detached region to an onwards changing and thriving world.
The Community Power Van is about strengthening active citizenship through local civil society groups. Firstly, it will raise awareness about the common region, the common opportunities and problems. Secondly, it will strengthen out that only by cooperating and actively participating can a region achieve sustainable development. To manage such cooperation and participation, citizens and local stakeholders are trained to use the participatory theory and applied methods and tools. Without the training and the tools, the goal of a collaborative thriving future will remain a dream. During the 7 local and translocal workshops, citizens from civil society groups will engage in dialogue about common environmental, cultural and agricultural issues and will cooperatively pursue solutions.
Since 2015, Opsometha team has been devoted to foster rural development at Philippi Park, an agri-cultural landscape with 8.000 years of history. Our goal is to engage local young scientists and local communities at a collaborative and participatory local rural development under the brand name of Philippi Park.
One of the most crucial actions resulting from the Philippi Park Master Plan (2018), is the suggested project. In order to achieve trans-community and trans-municipal cooperation Opsometha is teaming up with their close collaborators, Place Identity, acting as a catalyst for the development of synergies by engaging local authorities, institutions, civil society and citizens in fruitful discussions for their topos (place).
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Travel and Accommodation 1840
Promotion and Dissemination 7000
Any ideas, advice and comments are welcomed, but mainly we would like to know if you desire to hop on our Community Power Van and go meet the world.