In July 2018 CETIP and Institute of Forest Ecology SAS undertaken field research of SIMRA project to ancient isolated rural settlement VIDOVICI in Adriatic Island CRES.
After turbulent times over the past 5 centuries and as the response to global crises of early 20s, in particular de-population and land degradation Vidovici area is facing reconfiguration of community practices. Today this charming village located on the top of the hill with spectacular view around the Adriatic coast and in the neighbourhood of UNESCO Word heritage site is witnessing transition to sustainable rural life.
SIMRA partners and members of the Scientific Advisory Board gathered in Padova from 12th to 14th June 2018 for a productive annual project meeting and the second General Assembly, hosted by the University of Padova. Halfway through the project, and having already completed the first periodic reporting, the meeting was an opportunity to reflect on achievements and progress thus far, and to plan our next steps.
The Smart Villages concept aims to “help local communities address issues of inadequate broadband connectivity, employment opportunities and service provision in a clear and comprehensive manner”. It also aims to improve the attractiveness and well-being of inhabitants in rural areas. Social innovation can play a key role in the development of the full potential of rural areas. By working together and through social innovation, some communities have taken leadership of the provision of key rural services such as health, education, energy, mobility and other social services of key importance in rural, mountainous and remote areas where such services were of poor quality and often in decline. How can we capture their success in social innovation in marginalised rural areas and use it as an inspiration for all? How can we best support social innovation and Smart Villages in the future programming period?
Social agriculture is defined by the National Forum for Social Farming (FNAS) as an innovative, inclusive, participatory and generative model of agricultural practices that deliver recreational, educational and assistance services. It aims at the social and labor inclusion of disadvantaged people, which through social agricultural practices are able to contribute to food and agricultural production (Di Iacovo, O’ Connor, 2009). According to the recently published Report on Social Agriculture in Italy (Giarè 2018), social agriculture experiences have the characteristics of being a generativewelfare, as they aim at developing practices for a transversal development of the territory, supporting growth, skills and professionalism of those people who are at risk of social exclusion. Social agriculture provides the tools for the creation of cohesive, intelligent and competitive communities able to provide meaningful responses to population’s needs and to the productive industry.
On Thursday 7 June 2018, a workshop on how to enhance innovation in Scottish rural areas was organised and hosted by the Scottish Representation to the European Union in Brussels and in which SIMRA partners Euromontana and James Hutton Institute participated. The focus was on examining the Scottish perspective on Rural Innovation and looking forward with the recent launch of the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) – a Scottish Rural Network initiative. This workshop offered a follow-up to the 11th OECD Rural Development Conference in Edinburgh in April.
What is social innovation? How does it emerge? And can we evaluate the process and impacts of social innovation in marginalised rural areas? Take a look at this video, produced by SIMRA’s WP4 team, composed by the University of Padova and ETIFOR.
SIMRA has just released its third brochure collecting examples of social innovation in marginalised rural areas in the Balkan peninsula.
The focus of the SIMRA project is on the European Union and the Mediterranean area, including the Balkan Peninsula in South-East Europe which includes both countries which are Member States of the EU along with some of those identified in the EU Western Balkans Strategy.
With the support of SIMRA, Euromontana is co-organising with MEP Franc Bogovič (EPP) a RUMRA breakfast on “How can social innovation help villages become smarter?”.
The Breakfast, organised within the framework of the European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas (RUMRA), will be held at the European Parliament, in Brussels, on 27 June 2018 and will focus on the new concept of “Smart Villages”.
Do you live around Belluno, Alpago or Feltre (in the Province of Belluno, Northern Italy) and have an idea or desire to start an innovative business/entrepreneurial activity?
This invitation brought about 60 local people from all sectors – politicians, students, farmers, architects, volunteers, cooperatives and associations among others-, to the inaugural meeting held in Belluno on May 8th.
During the opening meeting of the Innovation Action, the Local Action Group (LAG) Prealpi e Dolomiti, the University of Padova and Etifor, introduced the program by contextualising it within the geographical area of Prealpi and Dolomiti, providing a brief overview of the present situation, its characteristics and trends. The director of the LAG discussed how the topic of youth entrepreneurship was relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically linking the program to SDG n. 8 (decent work and economic growth).
In fields as diverse as community land ownership, social care, social housing provision, cultural services and environmental projects, social innovation is driving place-based rural development. In the context of the SIMRA research project, the James Hutton Institute is researching how social innovation arises, what drives its success and how it can address challenges in marginal rural areas. Come, discuss and network with a community of practitioners working on social innovation.