Eutropian colleagues, Giovanni Pagano and Lukács Hayes, travelled to Wroclaw, Poland last week to participate at the most recent EUARENAS consortium meeting organised by our partners from the University Wroclaw and the SWPS University.
The four-day programme consisted of a site visit to one of the local NGOs working with the homeless in the city of Wroclaw, two days of workshops and progress presentations for EUARENAS consortium partners and a public conference related to the focus of EUARENAS: the study and development of participative democracy mechanisms and tools.
MiserArt emerged as a haven for individuals grappling with homelessness in Wroclaw, offering them a sanctuary to unearth, nurture, and chase their passions and interests.
It has since evolved into the epicentre of a micro-system of support for those experiencing street homelessness, working with a unique methodology which builds on co-creation and aims to empower the very individuals it serves. Within this vibrant community, each member contributes their own vision for an initiative or project, forging extraordinary relationships along the way. One of the most poignant facets of MiserArt is the transformation where those who once sought assistance are now extending their hands to aid others. Here, the paths of diverse people and social groups converge.
Individuals navigating the trials of homelessness collaborate with children, students, and artists, conjuring captivating projects. Consortium members visited the facilities of MiserArt as the first, facultative event of the programme where they learned about the NGO’s crucial work in helping and reintegrating unhoused people.
During the consortium meeting Giovanni and Lukács gave two presentations on the progress and the data collected for the Participatory Toolbox. Lukács presented the types of data that is being collected for the toolbox on the second day of the meeting, which is mainly based on qualitative interviews. On the third day, Giovanni and Lukács both presented qualitative findings of the toolbox research by presenting three developed tools/cases. Each case corresponds to participatory process of a pilot city (Gdansk, Reggio Emilia and Voru) to inspire them.
The fourth day was dedicated to the “Radical Side of Participation” conference organised by the EUARENAS consortium, open to anyone interested in the topic. Some of the most stimulating and fiery discussions, presentations and debates included “Local participatory policy issues”, “Participation on the margins of modern societies”, “Radical participation as a theoretical problem and a practical challenge” and on the “Radical forms of participatory budgeting”.
EUARENAS is a Horizon2020 project. It looks at different ways and means to include citizens into municipality-level decision making through the use of different participatory mechanisms and tools, tackling contemporary challenges of cities. The project includes municipalities from four pilot cities: Voru, Gdansk, and Reggio Emilia, as well as a number of organisations and universities from other European countries.
For more information visit the project website.