Future Divercities

The Future DiverCities project is implemented by 13 European partners led by La Friche La Belle de Mai (Marseille) and experimented simultaneously in 9 cities: Berlin, Zagreb, Split, Kuopio, Marseille, Florence, as well as three European Capital of Culture in 2023 and 2027, respectively: Timişoara and Elefsina; Liepaja. The project is the continuation of a first Creative Europe project (2016-2020) implemented successfully by 10 partners in Europe and Canada which has explored new ways to work in challenging urban areas through participatory methodologies and co-designed digital tools. The cultural regeneration route has often led to the establishment of new built spaces, development of infrastructure and creation of landscape fixtures. With major changes in the way we inhabit our cities, it is becoming urgent to address urban cultural regeneration in a more ecological way, as the approach taken to date will not suffice to address the major challenge of building environmentally resilient cities. The partners involved are La Friche, coordinator (lafriche.org) and Seconde Nature (snzn.org) in Marseille (France), ANTI Festival (antifestival.com) in Kuopio (Finland), KONTEJNER (kontejner.org) in Zagreb and Split (Croatia), LAMA Impresa Sociale (agenzialama.eu) in Florence (Italy), Public Art Lab (publicartlab-berlin.de) in Berlin (Germany), BIOS (bios.gr) and European Creative Hubs Network-ECHN (creativehubs.net) in Athens (Elefsina, Greece), the City Council “Culture Department” (liepaja.lv) in Liepaja (Latvia) and PLAI (plai.ro) in Timişoara (Romania). The project also benefits from the expertise of INNOCAMP PL in Poland (Ashoka network) (innocamp.pl), LAMA Impresa Sociale in Italy (agenzialama.eu), Savonia University in Finland (savonia.fi) and Trajna in Slovenia (Krater project) (trajna.com; krater.si).

INNOCAMP PL is in charge of the training and mentoring support for changemakers and their stakeholders engaged in city empty spaces regenerative pilots. The curriculum is based on ASHOKA’s concept of “everyone’s a changemaker” world. Change-maker is a person who is sensitive to human/environmental needs critical of any form of injustice and responds to uncertainties through creative action. Change-making like creativity can be learned. Model social entrepreneurs (e.g. Ashoka Fellows) who engage others in the development of their novel solutions serve at the same time as tutors of disruptive approaches to systemic change, applied creativity, entrepreneurial resourcefulness, impact analyses, courage, and ethical fiber/integrity. To become a change-maker one must experience freedom and intrinsic motivation to create value, be supported with basic resources, wise feedback, and achieve a level of resilience allowing one to face adversity or failure on the way to a successful improvement of life in an ecosystem. The most complex challenges ( like city inclusive transformations) must be handled through collective change-making by a “team of teams” approach in which every stakeholder with a collaborative mindset is a potential expert but needs to find the right community to put her/his resources to the best effect on systems and framework changes. Ashoka’s definition of impact implies all the general social transformations provoked by its beneficiaries rather than only part of the outcomes that can be attributed to the organization’s activities.  

The program assumes the eco-systemic approach to changemaking starting with the inner-developmental work, service leadership skills (personal design) leading to multistakeholder collaborations,  empathy-based co-designing and piloting innovative solutions (project design) to making them sustainable and reaching policy level (ecosystem). 

In module 1, the participants were invited on a self-development journey to critically analyze their resources for changemaking in the context of city regeneration and their role within the Future DiverCities pilots and other project phases. They were recommended to do some reading, reflect on their own past experiences, and (re)design themselves as changemakers. In real-time meetings, they looked at some case studies of selected ASHOKA fellows, interviewed each other, got feedback on their strengths, solved sample divergent problems to explore situations of uncertainty, recorded their learnings in multiple roles, and received feedback based on their electronic portfolios.  

In module 2 the participants will be presented with resources for changemaking in the context of city regeneration and their potential applications within the Future Divercities pilots and other project phases. They will be recommended to do some reading, reflect on their own past experiences and develop innovative strategies for their projects implementation. In real time meetings they will do some case-study of regenerative transformations, create maps of their multiple stakeholders, get feedback on their strategies, record their learnings and receive feedback based on their project electronic portfolios


“Future DiverCities”

Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego pochodzących z Funduszu Promocji Kultury – państwowego funduszu celowego.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Creative Europe. Neither the European Union nor Creative Europe can be held responsible for them.