Community development, Civic engagement, glocal approach

Let's go G-local

Co-designing European initiatives to empower civic deserts


Who is behind this?

Gianluca Rossino

Europiamo ETS


Who is joining forces?

Generazione Lucana ETS


Salento Job


Cantiere Giovani


We look forward to reinforce our partnership with the direct involvement of local and regional administrations and we will define in summer 2020 a partnership agreement.


Idea pitch

Civic deserts characterize several rural areas in Italy. Citizens there have limited opportunities to express their creativity and engage in community initiatives. Through a participatory approach we will establish youth-led local hotspots where citizens can co-design European projects and civic initiatives, with the support of Europiamo network.
This project will than foster "Open civic Labs" around Italy, creating the working conditions to re-start with ambition after the Covid19 pandemic.

Where will your project idea take place?

It will take place in 3 local communities in the South of Italy in Campania, Basilicata and Puglia.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Rural communities in the South of Italy are clear examples of civic deserts, where democratic engagement is not foreseen and societal cohesion is crumbling.
We look forward to establishing a space where all citizens, beyond their age, passions, backgrounds and competences, will co-design civic initiatives and introduce new resources in their community, stimulating a virtuous circle of engagement and learning opportunities. We will implement these "Open Civic Labs" through a European framework, right in those areas where Europe is often seen with distrust.
The main challenges faced are:
- an increasing inter-generational gap
- the lack of civic spaces to co-design participated activities
- the limited ability of rural communities in the South of Italy to attract and catch EU funds.

Who are you doing it for?

Young people born in the south of Italy face many challenges: geographical obstacles and an obsolete public transportation system force them to commute long distance just to attend school. The dearth of opportunities to engage meaningfully in their community or to get a job has led many to emigrate; those who remain can hardly achieve their full capabilities and be active citizens, as they feel left alone and disconnected from society.
This project wants to strongly empower the youths in these areas while creating a physical place where all the citizens can walk to express needs, proposals and realise community solutions, to unleash the power of participation and the network effect.

10 youths manage the civic labs
25 youths and 50 adults participate in the co-design

How do you plan to get there?

In the first month we will meet the partners to outline in detail the plan for the project. The next two months will be devoted to building the capacity of the 10 selected young people to be community champions. Over 4 trainings, the participants will be given the tools and competences to manage the hotspots, organise the participatory civic initiatives and in general support each other as a team to achieve a common goal by stimulating their communities.
The implementation will last for 8 months. Each hotspot will create a participatory process with the local residents and it will be open at least once a week for citizens to present ideas or needs for community initiatives.
Europiamo will act as a support platform for the youths offering know-how, expertise, and connections.

What are the expected results?

In one year, we aim to have an impact on different levels: on one hand, we will have given local youth the instruments to handle and respond to the issues of their territory and to improve their competencies within European Funds’ framework in order to create initiatives promoting a positive change. On the other hand, we will have enriched these communities creating a relational space to continue fostering associative dynamics at local level, promoting volunteering as a fundamental instrument to reach real and shared civic processes. Finally, we will develop a better understanding of the local strengths thus facing as much as possible the emptying of small villages through the offer of challenges and learning opportunities. For us, success means open doors so others can walk through them.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our HotSpot will become a landmark in the community as we expect to create it where social fabric, solidarity and citizens’ participation are not a reality yet and where dialogue between generations is a clash. We aim to create and disseminate knowledge through informative contents and accessible capacity-building even where the ground seems dry. Youth will play a significant role and we will contribute on giving proper care to the planning and development of activities in terms of objectives, availability and impact encouraging initiatives to mobilise citizens and to provide responses to social needs. Our HotSpot will highlight the importance of participatory processes that lead away from the exclusion experienced by different categories, building a stronger and more democratic community.

Why is this idea important to you?

Southern Italy suffers a longstanding lack of social capital that affects society economically and socially. Low levels of trust and cooperation result in social dispersion, inefficiency and inequality. As young people and non-profit organisations involved in youth participation initiatives, we are committed to share our knowledge and our strategic tools with the aim of promoting a positive change in local and regional communities, around Italy and beyond.
With this idea we will create a common ground to face controversial social issues and we will strongly empower citizens to develop and improve needed civic dynamics.

€ 49000,-

Total budget

€ 49000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Organisational support for the preparation phase (online and on-site): 8500 euros
Project management and coordination: 5000 euros
Implementation phase (events, materials) 30000 euros - (10000 per each Civic Lab)
Visibility and digital dissemination: 1500 euros
Office expenses (1 laptop per civic lab + internet connection): 1500 euros
Coaching and mentoring for project applications: 2500 euros

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Do you feel that a multi-level approach can represent the key factor to empower civic deserts? We would be glad to cooperate and multiply the impact of these initiatives all around Italy and Europe.







Idea created on May 16, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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