"If we dare to come closer to our fellow human beings, we will be able to see and understand them better."
Kjell Magne Bondevik
About 60 perticipants from ten different countries gathered from 1st to 2nd December in Latvia's capital Riga for the 9th annual conference of the Innovation Cirlce Network. The hot topic of this year's event was transport - corridors, railways, roads and their importance for rural Europe.
The Young Eyes project was implemented according to project guidelines elaborated in cooperation beween the project management team and professor Cliff Hague who drafted the guidelines. These guidelines are free to be used by anyone who would like to work with youth participation, community development and town planning.
Here you can also find some more short information about the Young Project.
The Young Eyes Project became a succesfull story. Youths and leaders from 4 municipalities in 3 countries cooperated with experts from PAS in Scotland and Innovation Circle Network. The Erasmus+ project resulted in local action plans which were presented to local councils. A short list of action was elaborated within each place project group. 4 mirror workshops where youths and leaders visited each other were conducted in Suwalki(Poland), Rauna and Jelgava (Latvia) and Robertsfor (Sweden). The project was summarized and concluded in Oslo, August 2016. An evaluation report was elaborated by PAS(Scotland).
Recentliy the ICN board and Young Eyes project leaders met in Riga. While the board discussed about a possible conference on migration the Young Eyes leaders made up an interims balance and planned further projects actions.
"In a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Tallinn on 5 January, the partners state that the economic area formed by the capital cities and their deepening integration improve the global competitiveness and economic development of both Estonia and Finland", according the City of Helsinki. Number of passengers are estimated to 8 mill./year. EU is expected to contribute with 40% of the 9-13 bill. euro project.
More than 40 members and friends of the Innovation Circle Network spent two days in Germany's capital to share experiences and make plans for the future of their home regions in northern rural Europe. Two days full of ideas, discussions, brain storming and fun made one thing clear: ICN is full of people who care for a better Europe for all and who are willing to take action.
With the financial support from European Economic Area Financial Mechanism program „Conservation and revitalization of cultural and natural heritage” Jelgava Local Municipality is restoring Tea house in Eleja Manor park and stone fence, which both until recent were in extremely poor condition.
The 8th annual conference of the Innovation Circle Network will take place in Berlin from 28th to 30th of October. "Resilient communities in action and transformation" is the heading for the topics to be presented and discussed. The program will focus on how sustainable growth and entrepreneurship can be fostered and stimulated. Several ongoing projects and intiatives will be presented and new ideas will be unlocked for upcoming projects.
Innovation Circle and partners from Scotland, Sweden, Poland and Latvia gathered in Rauna 10-14 August to explore identitity in Rauna and to work with the concept on a general basis for all participating communities. Young people aged from 14-25 studied Rauna and gave their proposals for improvements. The Rauna municipality is a rural municipality at the Latvian countryside close to the cities Valmiera and Cesis.
I have been in Ramallah, leading a small group of experienced planners who have been asked by UN-Habitat to review the planning of the rural area of Palestine. The West Bank of the River Jordan has been occupied by Israel since the war in 1967.