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After three years the European social innovation project SEiSMiC came to an end with a final two-day forum in Brussels. The 10 national networks took part in what was both an end and a new start as the JPI Urban Europe Stakeholder Involvement Platform (SIP) was introduced.
At Factory Forty in Brussels the SEiSMiC community met for a last time to summarize the work and what legacy SEiSMiC will have when it’s taken up in the JPI Urban Europe Stakeholder Involvement Platform (SIP). The background and the aim of the project to promote citizens’ creativity as a part of the development of urban solutions was presented. In SEiSMiC, there have been different kinds of learning and “trying by doing”, which include filming of events, sketches by artists, performances and a lot of experimentation with the aim to involve stakeholders in reflecting on urgent topics and identify policy and research priorities. Looking at the results, possibly one of the more important legacies of SEiSMiC is the way it has influenced the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of JPI Urban Europe, presented in 2015.
SEiSMiC has been successful working across sector boundaries and different levels of governance within the European and urban frame works for urban development. The network has helped to increase understanding among local stakeholders of the work in the European Commission and European institutions on urban matters and has established a good base for developing platforms for co-creation. The project has strived for an environment where cities and citizens can learn from each other and has held workshops around Europe involving different stakeholders. At the final event experiences and lessons learned by the national networks during the past years were shared and reflected upon in group discussions and panels.
– The openness and creativity of the national networks I hope will remain as we now hand it over to JPI Urban Europe. One final conclusion is that there is reason to continue with even more increased strength and that the SEiSMiC story can serve as a model for others, Koos van Dijken (Netherlands) concluded in his presentation of the SEiSMiC journey.
One important contribution from SEiSMiC are the papers and books that have been produced to summarize the knowledge and lessons learned. The full work of SEiSMiC is being presented in the book SEiSMiC: Enabling social innovation in European cities which was presented at the conference. – The legacy is rich and manifold with a direct impact on JPI Urban Europe and the SRIA and indirectly influencing EU policy and research. SEiSMiC also established new communities and networks and had social innovators taking part in SEiSMiC forums, Katarina Schylberg (Sweden) stated while presenting the practice-based guide to establishing national stakeholder networks for urban challenges. All SEiSMiC material will be available on the SEiSMiC web page until end of 2018.
The new platform
Some of the SEiSMiC activities now continues in the framework of the new stakeholder involvement platform (SIP) within JPI Urban Europe. Most of the national networks are to be a part of the new platform. Jonas Bylund from the JPI Urban Europe Management Board presented the platform, that will facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, help reach out to new countries, new urban actors and continue the co-creative approach in SEiSMiC. The platform will foster continued experimentation with different kinds of tools, test ways to co-operate, mobilize different actors and give reflections on urban practices. A forum will be held each year inviting stakeholders from national networks and and members from a core team with experts and distinguished urban practitioners that will act as sparring partner to the JPI Urban Europe management board.
The participants at the SEiSMiC final event were happy to see that the work of SEiSMiC will have a continuation and be further developed within JPI Urban Europe. The upcoming start of the platform is anticipated with the clear message on the conference: stay informed and connected!
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.