Networking upwards, networking downwards

From Barcelona to Madrid, during the last few days we continued our efforts to link up with institutions with potential interest in our projects, which could contribute to them providing resources, expertise, relations…

ON FRIDAY we participated in the CAPs InfoDay.

This workshop, organized in Barcelona by the UPC, presented in Spain one of the most innovative EU initiatives in the ICT field, the  “Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPs)”. As part of the CAPs initiative 2,55 millions of euros will be used to fund small innovation projects in the next two years. Something that we, at the Symbiotic Cities Association, have been requesting as necessary during the last years (eg 1, eg 2 and eg 3).

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-president in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe, has realized that current European funding mechanisms are failing to promote innovation in the socio-digital field. Two weeks ago she requested a “radical shift” in the way the EU supports ICT innovation and research. The CAPs initiative is one of the pilot programmes that will experiment with the new innovation support instruments.

Our association wishes that this initiative is successful, and for this reason we went to Barcelona, to share with Fabrizio Sestini, the scientific officer responsible for CAPs, our warm disposition and our perspectives and projects.

Here you can see our three-slides presentation:

ON SATURDAY, however, we went to the Slaughterhouse.

The Regional Federation of Neighbourhood Associations organized a big Event there, and we took the opportunity to meet Tomás R. Villasante, emeritus professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid who participated in a panel on “Participatory Budgeting”.

Tomás coordinates the Cimas Network and is recognized as an authority in the field of social transformation and participatory methodologies, particularly on “Participatory Action-Research”. After a lifetime dedicated to researching and creating social transformations, Tomás has accumulated invaluable experience and wisdom. In recent times he is trying to support social movements like the 15M in their maturation process. He is now reflecting -as we do- how to use the Internet to strengthen these movements.

We also met with Javi Santos, a young political scientist, member of the Association for Research and Social Intervention (AIS-Redes), which is very much involved with the Madrid neighborhood movement. Till now we had communicated just by e-mail, and this way our relationship got personal. Now we both “have a face and a voice” for the other.

In the coming months we will strengthen our cooperation both with Tomás and Javi, and all the groups and networks they are linked to. The involvement of these networks will be essential to make sure that the Kyopol System satisfies the needs of our neighbourhoods and cities.

Update: a few days later we travelled to Donostia to participate in the Proiektuen Azoka #03, an event on social innovaton where we could finally meet face to face with people from  Paisaje Transversal and with other friends of our association. Here is a short video about the event:

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