Blogs

Citoyenneté - Citizenry

This project is about citizenry and community development and during the last weeks I was researching the image of citizenry in France to better understand the framework in which civic actions takes place.
I talked with a lot of people about civic rights and duties and got confirmed my impression when writing the project: people don't see much possibilities to change politics on a large scale as most of politicians "are living in another world" but many are still trying to change something on a local/regional level.

It was quite surprising for me to realize how formalized civic actions in France are, nearly everything happens under the roof of associations.

The most common understanding of a citizens' right is the right to vote. Today, citizens of about 36.000 communes in France elect new municipal councils (France has by far the most communes in Europe, Germany has about 12.000) and communes are still largely perceived as the base of local democracy and decision-making. Citizens, especially in rural areas, are very attached to their commune and they have always tended to care a great deal about local politics and local democracy.

Consumption patterns

Happy Home Wallet project aims to rediscover sustainable ways of living and to make it practically, we will deliver some workshops about a range of topics covering that aim.
In preparation for our international workshop in Ostrava about "Private consumption patterns and its impact on the local economy" we were researching about consumption patterns and we did a survey in our area to find out how "the average person" behaves.

To balance the family budget, it is probably necessary to rethink our consumption, minimize waste and reorganize our resources.

This turned out to be more complex than thought at the beginning, but very interesting ;-)

Citizenry & Community

We met with our European partners in Bangor University on 27th and 28th November 2013 to kick start our new project CITCOM - Citizenry & Community.

The meeting provided a great opportunity for all partners to introduce themselves and their organizations. We explored and compared ideas of citizenry and community processes in our countries and scheduled a series of workshops to be delivered over the coming two years. The workshops will explore and develop ideas around understanding communities, communication, critical thinking, collaborative management methods, creativity & innovation and building competencies through active citizenry.

Partners are specialists in the different fields and the project will benefit from a European wide approach. We will work with geographical communities as well as communities of interest, different levels of governance and interested individuals. These participants will be invited to take part in local, regional and international workshops and meetings. Here they will gain a better understanding of active participation in decision making, will develop a positive approach to change and skills to initiate changes in their own communities.

Funded under the Grundtvig Multilateral programme, the partners include Bangor University Wales, Kaunas University of Technology, Ecological Club of Transilvania, ALVIT Innovation and Education from Czech Republic and Training2000 of Italy.

For more information please contact us.

Happy Home Wallet

Saving MoneyThe economic crisis that hit Europe in the last five years has inevitably led to changes in people's lives. This crisis impacted concretely on household wallets changing daily choices and lifestyles of millions of Europeans. The cost of living has grown significantly and at the same time, many people have lost their jobs, thus creating a further imbalance between revenues and expenditures in household budgets.

The deterioration of the situation has forced many to face the choice of having to revise their habits even in respect of certain aspects of daily life.

In the European framework of Life Long Learning Program, we start with "Happy Home Wallet" a new project to learn and share best practices for the daily domestic routine when using available resources, but with benefits for home, collective economy and environmental sustainability.

In transnational and national workshops, held by experts on each topic, we'll learn and find new approaches to better develop the family budget under a lot of new perspectives, related to reuse, sparing, environmental sustainability, taking into account social, economic, cultural aspects.

The family business project

Last month we finished a two year European project for small family businesses with up to 9 employees maximum.

Together with partners from Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey and Wales, we wanted to point out the strengths and development potential of such small businesses and thus help to preserve this unique business culture which deeply impacts our local economies. By interviewing businesses representatives and recording their stories we learned about their specialities, problems and needs and also how aware they are of their local markets and clients. We organized case study presentations were business representatives had the possibility to discuss their situation on a European level.
Our business representatives profited most from the informal atmosphere which enabled them to share knowledge and learn from each other. The biggest surprise for them was to realize how much they could profit from each other even though their businesses and business environments are very different.

We also realized that governmental and institutional training offers are very often just adapted from programs for larger companies and do not really target the needs of small businesses nor do they meet their availabilities. In personal interviews we assessed business representatives' needs and wishes and based on these results we developed targeted workshops which were delivered during our transnational meetings.
44 European family businesses participated in the project activities and 34 representatives took the possibility to attend our international project meetings.

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JoomlaDay 2013 in Switzerland

Joomla!Day Schweiz

On 21 September 2013 It's that time again!  After a five year break, Joomla!Day Switzerland is back! Joomla!Club is responsible for the organisation of the event..

We have put the conference program together under the following motto: "Simply Joomla".  It is intended to show the simplicity of the system and its ease of use and extensibility. This theme will be echoed throughout the day as a common thread connecting all elements of the day.

Many renowned speakers have agreed to attend, which has been really great.  Further proposals are welcome at any time - just contact the event organisers.

The event will, as mentioned, be held in the capital of Switzerland, Bern. The team has deliberately chosen a city in the heart of Switzerland,with very good transport links, being one of the most popular destinations in the country.

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Espaces oubliés

RomaniaWhen talking about the garden project with different people in our region, I received an invitation to an event about "Espaces oubliés" (forgotten places) in Perpignan.

It was a really interesting experience, because the presentations from local associations were inspiring and for me a practical lesson on cultural behaviour and thinking. 

The commonalities of all initiatives are: