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Professor Jon Landa participates in the international research program of Agirre Lehendakaria Center and will develop two projects at Columbia University

Professor Jon Landa participates in the international research program of Agirre Lehendakaria Center and will develop two projects at Columbia University

Within the international research program that Agirre Lehendakaria Center and its Foundation (ALC-ALF) promote and encourage together with the AC4 (Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity) at Columbia University, Professor Jon Landa has just started his research stay in New York.

 

Landa is already working at Columbia University, where he will mainly carry out two tasks.

 

Firstly, to finalize a study of the situation of hate crimes, particularly taking into account a comparison in their design and application in the United States with respect to the trends in European countries. In this regard, one of the similarities that has already been detected is the "deviation" of this type of regulation towards fields outside its historical matrix: that is, using hate crimes not so much to protect historically marginalized and discriminated minorities, but to repress and deal with more ideological phenomena, of extremist tendency, which in the American literature is known as "domestic terrorism". 

 

The second line of research is aimed at collecting the literature and initiating the study of the crime of ecocide as a possible "new" international crime, for which the Earth Institute of Columbia University, in which the AC4 center is integrated, represents an ideal place for an interdisciplinary approach.

 

The research residency also becomes an opportunity for Basque researchers due to the wide network of contacts and high-level interlocutors that Columbia University itself offers. 

 

Jon Landa's profile

Jon-M. Landa is currently Professor of Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law -Bizkaia- of the University of the Basque Country (UVP-EHU) and Director of the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Public Authorities UPV/EHU (http://www.katedraddhh.eus).

 

His main lines of research have to do with racism, xenophobia, discrimination as well as hate crimes, terrorism, crimes against humanity and penology.

 

Landa has been visiting professor or researcher, among others, at the universities of Hamburg (2000 DAAD), Heidelberg (2004 DAAD) and, recently, at the Lauterpatch Centre for International Law of the University of Cambridge (UK, 2010, 2011,2012, 2014), Vienna (2016), Edinburgh (2018) or Berlin (2019, 2022).

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Co-creating on the figure of the community connector: ALC holds a session in Bilbao with specialized agents in this field
ALC - Sesión Bilbao - conector comunitario

Co-creating on the figure of the community connector: ALC holds a session in Bilbao with specialized agents in this field

ALC has developed a day of work and co-creation with regional agents of Euskadi around the figure of the community connector, coming from Matia Fundazioa, Argia Foundation, SSI Group, Gaude Association, Osakidetza - Uribe Kosta health department, EDE Foundation, Bizkaia Gara, Adinberri and Double Smile Foundation.

 

For the past two years, ALC has participated in the co-creation of this role, within the project Mi casa: Una vida en comunidad. This initiative is part of the network of deinstitutionalization experimentation projects promoted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Agenda 2030 since January 2023. As part of the experimentation process, ALC leads the process of co-creation of new community roles to address the challenges of deinstitutionalization and its prevention.


The objective of the co-creation session in Bilbao was to contrast with specialized agents the main key ideas obtained in the process of listening and experimentation in the framework of the Mi Casa project. Based on the innovative solutions that are already being promoted in the Basque Country in the field of care, the participants reflected on how to bring the key elements to the local context and complement the analysis carried out by ALC and Plena Inclusión. In this session, the diversity of scenarios and references could be shared, generating a space for joint learning on new community roles to address complex challenges.

Narrative analysis of new community roles

 

Within the framework of the project Mi casa: una vida en comunidad, ALC has accompanied community connectors from 6 different territories in Spain, where multiple tools have been tested through the mapping and community listening exercise. 

This process has allowed the identification of initial perceptions about the figure that have been contrasted and validated in collaborative spaces of collective interpretation. 

Throughout this process, numerous possibilities have opened up for the figure, reflecting the importance of the figure as an agent of change in social inclusion. These initial stages have resulted in four key ideas that have emerged through joint collaboration and territorial assessment:

 

  1. It is necessary to value the process itself, not just the actions. And we must bear in mind that cultural changes take place over the long term.
  2. The community connector fulfills functions and roles that go beyond being a leisure guide.
  3. Community development transcends the figure of the connector.
  4. There is resistance to change in the sector.

 

Once these four patterns were identified, the objective of the session was to analyze and discuss in the group the characteristics of these narratives. And, from there, to work on a process of co-creation of this figure grounded in the local context.

Joint analysis of profiles

These are some of the issues raised by the specialized agents during the session:

The importance of interconnections

The impact that the role of the community connector can generate is sometimes questioned. And it is essential that this profile be integrated into the community. Each neighborhood and place is different and has a specific reality. The community must also be open to receive and integrate these new roles: "The change of look we are addressing is to the whole community, if the community is not willing to welcome people it is complicated".

 

Some agents consider it essential for the person to have a previous link with the community in which the intervention takes place. In any case, local institutions should facilitate and make available the tools and instruments to support the integration process of the connector.

 

The agents who are already playing this role in the Basque Country pointed out the importance of designing an effective follow-up system for the interventions that are being promoted: "The community does not sustain itself over time. Even if you empower them, you also have to follow up. It will depend on the intensity at each moment, but it has to be given".

The role of institutions

The institutions must be the main guarantors of the figure of the community connector: "This figure, apart from believing in it, must be worked on with the administration; because the processes must be approached in a different way".

 

The way in which projects are managed, financed and evaluated substantially limits the public sector's capacity for experimentation. This requires strategies that incorporate new tools to measure, understand and adapt to complex and rapidly changing environments. "Measuring impact is complex but user perception is essential. And also important is the assessment made by the institutions in terms of the networks that are being created."

Essential role functions: beyond a mere resource connector

 

The connector is beginning to be perceived as a figure that goes beyond a mere "resource connector". The new community figures play a fundamental role in the strengthening and development of the community, which goes beyond the specific issues of deinstitutionalization, mental health or aging.

 

Professionals in this field must be aware of the value they generate. Dissatisfaction with not being able to generate tangible change in a context marked by uncertainty must be managed: "We expect short-term answers, but this change is very long-term. For community connectors this is complicated and frustrating.".

 

There is a debate on whether this figure has to be built on a professional profile that already exists (as is the case of community nurses, monitors or local dynamizers), or whether it is an opportunity to co-create it jointly from scratch: "We find it interesting to try to take advantage of the unsustainable situation we are living in the health field".

 

Flexibility is one of the essential characteristics of the role: "The community connector needs to be on the street and have full dedication".

Conclusions

The information obtained in the session allowed ALC to validate the information already collected in the listening and experimentation phase:

- Many of the challenges (advanced disease and unwanted loneliness, end-of-life care, deinstitutionalization of certain services) are not easily met by the health services, and therefore the support of other sectors, social spheres and the community as a whole is of great importance.

- The new community roles emerge as a key element to ensure a greater connection between the initiatives promoted by institutions, companies and organizations in the field of care.

- The added value of these roles is to promote new capabilities to ensure that there is an ongoing connection between the perceptions of a given community and the strategies and interventions that are being developed.

-A very important difficulty has been identified when it comes to collecting qualitative information that shows us social behaviors and perceptions. In general, it is difficult to understand in depth the social dynamics and how to interact with them. For this reason, it has been agreed that in the next steps we will go deeper in observing the different existing tools to listen to the diversity of voices in a territory and to be able to work in the construction of infrastructures for change and social innovation that are connected with community perceptions

 

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ALC impulsa Laboratorios de Innovación Social para testar nuevos enfoques en políticas de drogas

Agirre Lehendakaria Center lleva meses trabajando en el  programa COPOLAD III. Nuestra labor en este proyecto se centra en implementar laboratorios de innovación social especializados en políticas sobre drogas. En Chile nos centramos en el consumo y prevención en infanto-adolescencia; en Colombia abordamos la inclusión social de las personas jóvenes en entornos urbanos y semi-rurales; en el caso de Perú apoyaremos la creación de un sistema de alerta temprana para detectar la violación de derechos humanos; y en Uruguay estamos explorando la posibilidad de testar políticas de alternatividad al encarcelamiento con enfoque de género (DAIS). 

 

Hace unos meses iniciamos el laboratorio en Chile, que se encuentra actualmente en la fase de identificación de áreas de oportunidad para la región del Maule. Actualmente, estamos inmersos en la puesta en marcha del laboratorio en Colombia, en las zonas de Cali (barrio Sucre) y Santander de Quilichao (barrio El Porvenir). Perú y Uruguay iniciarán en los próximos meses. En este artículo te contamos este proceso con más detalle y nuestras percepciones en este momento.

Proceso en Colombia

La semana pasada iniciamos la fase de lanzamiento del laboratorio de Innovación Social en Cali, barrio Sucre, y Santander de Quilichao, barrio el Porvenir, en colaboración con Corporación Viviendo y el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho de Colombia. Esta iniciativa se enmarca en el acompañamiento de COPOLAD a la política colombiana sobre drogas que tiene como uno de los ejes centrales el cambio de narrativas.

El objetivo del laboratorio es generar un espacio para la experimentación en políticas públicas sobre drogas, con el foco en los jóvenes que se encuentran en situación de vulnerabilidad. Se trata de una temática amplia que nos permitirá ir más allá del consumo y experimentar en áreas como la inclusión social y la gastronomía. Este proceso reconoce su gran bagaje cultural y alimentario que se refleja en su dispensario de ingredientes como el viche, amasijos, envueltos y prácticas alimentarias como las ollas comunitarias. Desde hace unos años se han posicionado como símbolos de resiliencia y cooperación de la comunidad. 

 

Estos elementos no solo representativos de la gastronomía local, se visibilizan como una oportunidad para abordar los retos desde una perspectiva integral. En el marco del laboratorio, estamos testando el enfoque de innovación social en dos contextos diferentes, que nos permitirá conectar, comparar y aprender de las dos experiencias: por un lado, en una zona semi-rural en Santander de Quilichao, en el barrio el Porvenir; por otro, en la zona urbana del barrio histórico de Sucre en Cali. 

COPOLAD_ALC

Tras una primera recogida de información realizada por los equipos locales, la Corporación Viviendo, el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho y la Secretaría de Salud en Santander de Quilichao, organizaron dos sesiones de interpretación colectiva para realizar un primer contraste de las narrativas identificadas en los dos territorios. En las sesiones participaron agentes muy diversos, incluyendo líderes comunitarios, instituciones, fuerzas de seguridad del estado, personas que usan drogas y familias, y asociaciones y organizaciones de base comunitaria, entre otros. 

Además de estas sesiones, se desarrollaron espacios de escucha con grupos y colectivos que se han movilizado de forma comunitaria para transformar realidades complejas, dolorosas y sacudidas por factores como la violencia y el microtráfico de droga. La participación de estos agentes en los laboratorios de innovación social está orientada a conseguir buscar juntos salidas a estas problemáticas que les afectan.

Nuestra función se centró en facilitar y dinamizar esas sesiones para, por una parte, dialogar sobre los retos y oportunidades a los que se enfrentan los jóvenes en los territorios y sobre las soluciones innovadoras en tema del consumo e inclusión social y hacer un mapeo sobre las opciones actuales. Y, por otro lado, trabajar con los equipos para instalar las capacidades del enfoque de innovación social en los territorios y reforzar el trabajo que se está realizando.

Primera fase del proyecto: la escucha

En la escucha pondremos el foco en las narrativas de transformación que hemos identificado en los dos barrios en los que trabajamos, y cómo estas narrativas se interrelacionan con la situación de vulnerabilidad en que se encuentran los jóvenes. En esta primera iteración de la escucha, los equipos han identificado la brecha que existe entre la narrativa de cambio estructural que opera en los territorios, y las respuestas puntuales que se están dando a nivel comunitario desde lo artístico, lo cultural y los micro-emprendizajes. Es aquí donde queremos incidir con el enfoque, para conseguir conectar estas acciones en todos los niveles y amplificar su impacto, escuchar a todo el sistema incluyendo las voces del poder y poder experimentar con nuevas soluciones en esa brecha o gap

En este sentido, el laboratorio plantea un enfoque sistémico para operar en 5 niveles de impacto. En esta primera visita, hemos facilitado espacios de escucha con agentes locales en el nivel comunitario y pequeña y mediana escala, como son el colectivo Puerto Resistencia, Sapiencia, Innpulsa, las huertas comunitarias del barrio Calipso, o la Casa Arboleda. En las siguientes fases del proceso, los equipos profundizarán en las narrativas de los agentes mencionados y reforzarán la conexión con empresas e instituciones (voces del poder). Esta parte resulta la más sensible dada la desconfianza hacia las instituciones locales y regionales, sobre todo después del estallido social. El proceso de escucha y mapeo sentará las bases para identificar potenciales áreas de oportunidad en los territorios.

Tras las sesiones de trabajo, los equipos locales han puesto en valor el enfoque propuesto por Agirre Center para complementar las acciones que ya están realizando a través de los elementos básicos de innovación social (escucha, mapeo, interpretación colectiva y co-creación). Además, mencionan que las herramientas para la sistematización apoyarán la toma de decisiones más estratégicas y el desarrollo de un sistema de gobernanza con mayor capacidad de adaptación a las dinámicas sociales cambiantes. El objetivo principal del laboratorio es el desarrollo de capacidades en los equipos locales; para ello, el equipo de Agirre Center y COPOLAD realizarán un trabajo de adaptación de las herramientas y metodologías al territorio, manteniendo una discusión permanente con los equipos sobre lo que está funcionando y lo que no. Asimismo, se facilitarán espacios que tendrán lugar de forma sistemática para la devolución y contraste permanente del proceso con la comunidad y así generar un análisis compartido.

Como próximos pasos, los equipos locales (1) iniciarán el monitoreo de canales de escucha existentes y nuevos en cada uno de los territorios, (2) reforzarán el mapeo de agentes e iniciativas estratégicas, y (3) sistematizarán las potenciales áreas de oportunidad identificadas – entre ellas, micro-emprendimientos de productos gastronómicos como el viche liderados por mujeres, el desarrollo de un potencial centro educativo y cultural en un bien inmueble incautado (SAE), diseño de un sandbox regulatorio para experimentar en materia de empleabilidad, rediseño del rol de los cuerpos de seguridad, o iniciativas en el marco de housing first, todo ello conectado con los dispositivos comunitarios liderados por la Corporación Viviendo, la ruta turística comunitaria en Santander de Quilichao y otras iniciativas existentes en los territorios

Así, conseguiremos avanzar en los próximos meses con la sistematización de todo el proceso y la identificación de los primeros perfiles etnográficos y visualizaciones. Tenemos prevista una segunda visita en febrero de 2024 para realizar un análisis compartido con la comunidad de la nueva información recogida por los equipos. 

Qué es el Programa COPOLAD

El programa COPOLAD III tiene como objetivo promover el diálogo técnico y político entre América Latina y el Caribe y la Unión Europea en temas de drogas. Por medio de herramientas de cooperación internacional birregional, bilateral, triangular y Sur-Sur pretende, como en fases anteriores, generar un espacio privilegiado para el análisis y discusión de los principales desafíos vinculados al diseño e implementación de políticas de drogas, con la posibilidad de iniciar procesos transformadores y de innovación dirigidos a mejorar la eficacia de las intervenciones y, al mismo tiempo, mejorar sus resultados para el desarrollo sostenible.

El programa interviene en 31 países y tiene una duración de 48 meses, habiendo comenzado su ejecución en febrero 2021. La Organización Internacional Ítalo-Latinoamericana (IILA) colidera el consorcio junto con FIIAPP. La Deustche Gesellchaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) y el European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) participan directamente en ciertas acciones impulsadas, siendo ambas entidades beneficiarias de subvenciones. Además, el programa suma a las instituciones de los estados miembros involucradas en las políticas de drogas.

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ALC impulsa Laboratorios de Innovación Social para testar nuevos enfoques en políticas de drogas

Recientemente hemos iniciado esta experiencia en Chile, que también se desarrollará en Colombia y el Caribe. Estos son los resultados hasta este momento.


Agirre Lehendakaria Center lleva meses trabajando en el  programa COPOLAD III. Nuestra labor en este proyecto se centra en implementar laboratorios de innovación social especializados en políticas sobre drogas.

 

En Chile nos centramos en el consumo y prevención en infanto-adolescencia; en Colombia abordamos la inclusión social de las personas jóvenes en entornos urbanos y semi-rurales; en el caso de Perú apoyaremos la creación de un sistema de alerta temprana para detectar la violación de derechos humanos; y en Uruguay estamos explorando la posibilidad de testar políticas de alternatividad al encarcelamiento con enfoque de género (DAIS). 

 

Hace unos meses iniciamos el laboratorio en Chile, que se encuentra actualmente en la fase de identificación de áreas de oportunidad para la región del Maule. Actualmente, estamos inmersos en la puesta en marcha del laboratorio en Colombia, en las zonas de Cali (barrio Sucre) y Santander de Quilichao (barrio El Porvenir). Perú y Uruguay iniciarán en los próximos meses. En este artículo te contamos este proceso con más detalle y nuestras percepciones en este momento.

 Proceso en Colombia

La semana pasada iniciamos la fase de lanzamiento del laboratorio de Innovación Social en Cali, barrio Sucre, y Santander de Quilichao, barrio el Porvenir, en colaboración con Corporación Viviendo y el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho de Colombia. Esta iniciativa se enmarca en el acompañamiento de COPOLAD a la política colombiana sobre drogas que tiene como uno de los ejes centrales el cambio de narrativas.

El objetivo del laboratorio es generar un espacio para la experimentación en políticas públicas sobre drogas, con el foco en los jóvenes que se encuentran en situación de vulnerabilidad. Se trata de una temática amplia que nos permitirá ir más allá del consumo y experimentar en áreas como la inclusión social y la gastronomía. Este proceso reconoce su gran bagaje cultural y alimentario que se refleja en su dispensario de ingredientes como el viche, amasijos, envueltos y prácticas alimentarias como las ollas comunitarias. Desde hace unos años se han posicionado como símbolos de resiliencia y cooperación de la comunidad. 

 

Estos elementos no solo representativos de la gastronomía local, se visibilizan como una oportunidad para abordar los retos desde una perspectiva integral. En el marco del laboratorio, estamos testando el enfoque de innovación social en dos contextos diferentes, que nos permitirá conectar, comparar y aprender de las dos experiencias: por un lado, en una zona semi-rural en Santander de Quilichao, en el barrio el Porvenir; por otro, en la zona urbana del barrio histórico de Sucre en Cali. 

 

Tras una primera recogida de información realizada por los equipos locales, la Corporación Viviendo, el Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho y la Secretaría de Salud en Santander de Quilichao, organizaron dos sesiones de interpretación colectiva para realizar un primer contraste de las narrativas identificadas en los dos territorios. En las sesiones participaron agentes muy diversos, incluyendo líderes comunitarios, instituciones, fuerzas de seguridad del estado, personas que usan drogas y familias, y asociaciones y organizaciones de base comunitaria, entre otros. 

Además de estas sesiones, se desarrollaron espacios de escucha con grupos y colectivos que se han movilizado de forma comunitaria para transformar realidades complejas, dolorosas y sacudidas por factores como la violencia y el microtráfico de droga. La participación de estos agentes en los laboratorios de innovación social está orientada a conseguir buscar juntos salidas a estas problemáticas que les afectan.

ALC COPOLAD

Primera fase del proyecto: la escucha

En la escucha pondremos el foco en las narrativas de transformación que hemos identificado en los dos barrios en los que trabajamos, y cómo estas narrativas se interrelacionan con la situación de vulnerabilidad en que se encuentran los jóvenes. En esta primera iteración de la escucha, los equipos han identificado la brecha que existe entre la narrativa de cambio estructural que opera en los territorios, y las respuestas puntuales que se están dando a nivel comunitario desde lo artístico, lo cultural y los micro-emprendizajes. Es aquí donde queremos incidir con el enfoque, para conseguir conectar estas acciones en todos los niveles y amplificar su impacto, escuchar a todo el sistema incluyendo las voces del poder y poder experimentar con nuevas soluciones en esa brecha o gap

 

En este sentido, el laboratorio plantea un enfoque sistémico para operar en 5 niveles de impacto. En esta primera visita, hemos facilitado espacios de escucha con agentes locales en el nivel comunitario y pequeña y mediana escala, como son el colectivo Puerto Resistencia, Sapiencia, Innpulsa, las huertas comunitarias del barrio Calipso, o la Casa Arboleda. En las siguientes fases del proceso, los equipos profundizarán en las narrativas de los agentes mencionados y reforzarán la conexión con empresas e instituciones (voces del poder). Esta parte resulta la más sensible dada la desconfianza hacia las instituciones locales y regionales, sobre todo después del estallido social. El proceso de escucha y mapeo sentará las bases para identificar potenciales áreas de oportunidad en los territorios.

 

Tras las sesiones de trabajo, los equipos locales han puesto en valor el enfoque propuesto por Agirre Center para complementar las acciones que ya están realizando a través de los elementos básicos de innovación social (escucha, mapeo, interpretación colectiva y co-creación). Además, mencionan que las herramientas para la sistematización apoyarán la toma de decisiones más estratégicas y el desarrollo de un sistema de gobernanza con mayor capacidad de adaptación a las dinámicas sociales cambiantes. El objetivo principal del laboratorio es el desarrollo de capacidades en los equipos locales; para ello, el equipo de Agirre Center y COPOLAD realizarán un trabajo de adaptación de las herramientas y metodologías al territorio, manteniendo una discusión permanente con los equipos sobre lo que está funcionando y lo que no. Asimismo, se facilitarán espacios que tendrán lugar de forma sistemática para la devolución y contraste permanente del proceso con la comunidad y así generar un análisis compartido.

 

Como próximos pasos, los equipos locales (1) iniciarán el monitoreo de canales de escucha existentes y nuevos en cada uno de los territorios, (2) reforzarán el mapeo de agentes e iniciativas estratégicas, y (3) sistematizarán las potenciales áreas de oportunidad identificadas - entre ellas, micro-emprendimientos de productos gastronómicos como el viche liderados por mujeres, el desarrollo de un potencial centro educativo y cultural en un bien inmueble incautado (SAE), diseño de un sandbox regulatorio para experimentar en materia de empleabilidad, rediseño del rol de los cuerpos de seguridad, o iniciativas en el marco de housing first, todo ello conectado con los dispositivos comunitarios liderados por la Corporación Viviendo, la ruta turística comunitaria en Santander de Quilichao y otras iniciativas existentes en los territorios

 

Así, conseguiremos avanzar en los próximos meses con la sistematización de todo el proceso y la identificación de los primeros perfiles etnográficos y visualizaciones. Tenemos prevista una segunda visita en febrero de 2024 para realizar un análisis compartido con la comunidad de la nueva información recogida por los equipos. 

Qué es el Programa COPOLAD

El programa COPOLAD III tiene como objetivo promover el diálogo técnico y político entre América Latina y el Caribe y la Unión Europea en temas de drogas.

Por medio de herramientas de cooperación internacional birregional, bilateral, triangular y Sur-Sur pretende, como en fases anteriores, generar un espacio privilegiado para el análisis y discusión de los principales desafíos vinculados al diseño e implementación de políticas de drogas, con la posibilidad de iniciar procesos transformadores y de innovación dirigidos a mejorar la eficacia de las intervenciones y, al mismo tiempo, mejorar sus resultados para el desarrollo sostenible.

 

El programa interviene en 31 países y tiene una duración de 48 meses, habiendo comenzado su ejecución en febrero 2021. La Organización Internacional Ítalo-Latinoamericana (IILA) colidera el consorcio junto con FIIAPP. La Deustche Gesellchaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) y el European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) participan directamente en ciertas acciones impulsadas, siendo ambas entidades beneficiarias de subvenciones. Además, el programa suma a las instituciones de los estados miembros involucradas en las políticas de drogas.

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Community Connections: More inclusive and connected spaces

Community Connections: More inclusive and connected spaces

Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) has participated in a process of partnership based in progressive evaluation and co-creation for community-connected dialogue. This is a significant component of any community, but one which is often perceived differently by stake-holders depending on their roles.

How can an agreement be reached on a shared definition while attributing specific functions to roles? How can we make sure that all the applicable stakeholders in the community participate in the project and the proposed activities for this community dialogue?

The following is a summary of the process which Agirre Lehendakaria Center supported called Mi Casa: Una vida en comunidad, and the conclusions reached by our work group.

In recent months Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) has developed a partnership of progressive evaluation and co-creation surrounding the project Mi casa: Una vida en comunidad. This Project was initiated by Plena Inclusión the collection of experimentation and deindustrialization projects started by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Agenda 2023.

 

We have participated in a process of experimentation towards community-connected dialogue as a component of deindustrialization and inclusion efforts in the community of people with a wide range of disabilities. This form of dialogue, which has been tested around the world, is often perceived differently by stake-holders depending on their roles. After completing the first half of the process, we have generated shared lessons which will contribute to future implementation efforts.

 

The experimentation phase of the project, Mi casa: Una vida en comunidad, consisted of a process of mapping and community listening. We identified initial perceptions about the structure of the community dialogue based on testing in 6 different territories and with varied contexts: Sant Pere Claver (Barcelona), Don Benito (Badajoz), Orotava (Canary Islands), Teruel (Aragón) San Sebastián de los Reyes (Madrid) and Yepes (Toledo).

 

These perceptions, which were sometimes contradictory, were shared in collective interpretation spaces in order to contrast main narratives we identified. As a result, a series of key insights have emerged through collaboration and territorial assessment. ALC also provided advice to the participants involved in the process which has allowed for collective sharing and co-creation surrounding the nature of the community-connected dialogue.

 

More than 70 people have participated in this process coming from diverse backgrounds such as agents of the Mi casa project, institutional representatives, economic leaders, family members and neighbors.

 

The implementation of ALC’s approach

One of the main challenges ALC faced was bringing the stakeholders together, and with regard to the community-connected dialogue, developing a multistage process culminating in the joint creation of the community connector role.

 

During this process ALC used a progressive evaluation method. Unlike traditional evaluation systems, progressive evaluation is a process of analysis, dialogue and reflection that allows teams to understand what their participation is achieving in real time as well as what may be impeding a desired change. Thus, it allows internal and external adjustments to be included in the experimentation process based on perceptions and barriers identified among participants.

 

The progressive evaluation team worked in coordination with the other evaluation teams and community connectors as well as the directors of each housing unit. These evaluation techniques have been tailored to address challenges identified during the Mi Casa project.

 

ALC worked hand in hand with the community connectors, local representatives and Plena Inclusión to apply progressive assessment in each territory. Other stakeholders who contributed their perspectives and experiences included external agents working in the field of disabilities, family members and individuals in the community who helped achieve a collective definition. This diversity has been essential to ensure that all voices are heard and that the final result accurately reflects our established objectives.

 

As a result, we completed a structured approach of community mapping; collective listening and analysis of narratives; the generation of connections and implementing ideas, projects or initiatives that respond to the challenges and opportunities detected through listening; and executing participatory processes of new experimental projects.

 

This is an extended process, and we have noticed that multiple possibilities have arisen in the definition of this project.

 

How is this role perceived?

"The definition of these roles needs to be reviewed. At first, I felt shocked, but I thought well, let's wait and see, because this is being defined and it's something to be developed. But time goes by and there's still a disconnect"

-Entity Manager

 

In the listening phase, interesting conclusions were drawn about the figure of the community role:

● There is a generalized perception of the connector as an unknown figure. Many narratives share this idea, and it is a very important opportunity to co-create it together.

● We have identified an ongoing debate among the professional teams about the function of the community role with two versions that have been evolving throughout the process. First, the role of the community connector implies linking people from the housing project with the community. Second, that the task of whoever occupies the role is to generate change in the community.

● The perception of the community role among people in the community is understood as necessary once its functions are explained.

● The communities perceive collective interpretation spaces as mechanisms that need to be sustained over time and supported by the municipalities. Furthermore, the connector is understood as someone who has a determining role in community life.

● There is a shared perception that the attitude and personality of the connector directly influences the achievement of the objectives associated with the role.

● There are diverse and contradictory narratives regarding the roles of facilitators and connectors.

● Most of the people consulted share some concern about the working conditions of people within the community role.

 Narratives of competition between entities and connectors coexist with those of cooperation. The entities are unaware of the implications of the community role and, on the other hand, highlight the difficulty of inserting the role into their organization. On the other hand, there are also narratives of organizations that do not understand the added value of the connector.

 

The co-creation of the nature of community connectors

Given that this is a process of experimentation, we have designed spaces for co-creation and co-design of specific responses that complement and improve existing ideas around community connectors.

A key idea that emerged from the work is the role of the connector as an agent of community transformation in a broad sense as opposed to a vision focused solely on disability.

Co-creation facilitates the adaptation of interconnected ideas in this area. In this case we worked to define the role of a community connector while addressing the gaps and opportunities which arose during dialogues.

Based on our consultation with diverse stakeholders during the community-connected dialogue, the main focal points we’ve established are:

● defining the role

● the hours of a working day

● skills and abilities

● the connector’s added value in the deinstitutionalization process

● the financing of the role

● tools, training and support

 

Lessons and conclusions

The core lessons regarding the role of a community connector reflect their importance as an agent of change and social inclusion while highlighting the challenges of its implementation and sustainability looking forward.

 

The added value provided by this role is as new and innovative element within an ecosystem that, despite having an identified objective, is failing to achieve it.

 

Therefore, this role seeks to approach the work differently and evaluate whether the results obtained can lead to a new outcome. In the coming months we will continue to experiment on these issues while supporting community connectors in their own experimentation processes. In parallel, ALC will continue its work of community connection as a part of the Getxo Zurekin process.

Story of a community connector's experience

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Developmental Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation as a method for systemic change. Where does it come from?

In processes of systemic change or social innovation projects the evaluation phase can be complicated. Traditional methods do not offer us the solutions we’re looking for. Systemic change is not a linear process, and solutions are uncovered over time.

In this case, Developmental Evaluation is the solution. This method takes on an active role and focuses on repeating trends in the areas of hypothesis, the sharing of knowledge, communication and project management.

Where are the complexities within social innovation?

The complicated aspect about social intervention and innovation is that solutions are not immediately known, and leading group members may have conflicting views about how to move forward.

How does one manage and evaluate a process of innovative change?

In traditional evaluation the focal points are designed for projects that follow linear trajectories in constant environments aimed at finding solutions to defined problems using age-old methods.

In this case, the results are evaluated after solutions are implemented, focusing on questions such as: did we do what we said we would do? And has this generated the impact we thought it would generate?

 

But how to we think about this complexity? How do we consider the value of a social innovation program that is not liner, or one that addresses a multifaceted problem? We are operating in a context characterized by the unknown and in which solutions emerge over time rather than being proposed straight away from the outset.

 

Developmental Evaluation offers an approach that supports innovation processes using feedback loops to help capture emerging impacts.

Its core value lies in the fact that it uses an active evaluation process and allows questions to be asked which guide leaders in decision making roles.

Characteristics of Developmental Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation goes beyond accountability and focuses on:

• Creating hypotheses and asking questions like, is what we are doing helping us to achieve our goals?

• Education: What is working and what is not? What should be changed? What should we continue doing? Spaces for education and reflection are essential to continually compare and adapt our actions to achieve the desired outcome.

• Communication: What has worked? What impact are we having? Internal communication keeps teams functioning smoothly, and external communication is key for involving groups in broader movements towards systemic change.

• Management: What hypotheses do we have about initiating a transformation? What methods will we put to use? How can we compare the initiatives currently being used? This final element deals with analyzing and tracking how systemic change is facilitated by progressive evaluation.

 

Traditional versus Developmental Evaluation

Reflection of Traditional Evaluation versus Developmental Evaluation by Michael Quinn Patton:

Traditional Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation

Objectives: Supporting incremental improvement and assessment.

Support the process of innovation and adaptation into dynamic environments.

Roles and responsibilities: Evaluation takes place outside of the program to ensure independent and objective analysis

Functioning as an internal group as part of the project to implement and test new solutions in real time.

Data gathering: focused on explicit and predetermined criteria

Focused on program values and committed to long-term impact.

Results: Formal reports and best practice case management.

Real-time feedback centered on the education process in addition to reporting.

Complexity: The evaluator’s objective is to control the evaluation process.

The evaluator aims for immediate responsiveness without having full control over the process

Fundamental criteria: rigor, independence, credibility with external players, and critical analysis

Adaptability, thinking through complex systems, ambiguity, openness and flexibility, group work

        (PATTON, 2006) 

Learning with Developmental Evaluation. Changing our perception of evaluation

In traditional evaluation approaches, the evaluator is called in at the end of the project, the project’s impact is analyzed and the results are presented. In fact, this evaluation cycle hinders learning, as the information arrives late to support decision-making on key elements such as strategy and vision.

The use of Developmental Evaluation required a specific mindset and an understanding about what evaluation brings to innovation initiatives.

 

Developmental Evaluation is ongoing. It starts at the beginning of the Project and continues throughout. The aim is to situate evaluation within the complexity of social change in order to support decision making even in the early stages of an intervention.

 

Nevertheless, this approach comes with its own challenges: how to consider the added value of a process when the next steps are unknown?

 

The introduction of Developmental Evaluation as an approach implies a change of mindset in relation to the way evaluation is normally perceived. We often hear: "We don’t yet have results to share, and we feel it is too early to evaluate."

Therefore, the explanation of the different elements that make up a progressive evaluation and the resulting learning have had to be explained throughout the process.

 

Developmental assessment assumes that one learns by doing, or that one understands the value that Developmental Evaluation brings through exploration, experience and experimentation. In this process we see new questions emerge.

 

In terms of data collection and its exploitation, Developmental Evaluation can work with data that have been collected through other processes while establishing specific data collection mechanisms to support decision making.

 

Different roles within Developmental Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation does not separate roles in the same way as traditional assessment techniques.

The work of evaluation is a team effort in which each member plays a role.

The evaluation team combines the internal knowledge of the organization, the ability to incorporate knowledge from outside, and the team asks questions to inspire reflection.

 

Therefore, in systemic change initiatives, the roles of the designers and the evaluators are interconnected. We strike this balance to foster and maintain a healthy innovation relationship. Too much change and too much uncertainty, and the team will be lost; too little change, you are repeating what has been done before.

 

Systematize and integrate Developmental Evaluation

Systematize and integrate Developmental Evaluation in to the workflow with:

1. LISTENING

Through structured interviews and observations, the members involved collect information from all levels. This information is integrated into a matrix.

 

2. ANALYSIS

The matrices are integrated into the evaluation tool, such as Sensemaker, and the analysis is performed for each of the levels.

 

3. COLLECTIVE INTERPRETATION

In order to contrast and enrich the information gathered and analyzed, group sessions are organized involving many actors who are directly or indirectly involved.

These sessions are important for going beyond the analysis, and identifying and ensuring the implementation of actions that mark a route towards the desired impact. In these sessions it will be important to identify and reflect on the following:

 

What are the opportunities that could be acted upon, considering the barriers hindering our impact?

What connections could be generated?

What actions that we are taking are not necessary?

What actions that we are not taking that should be taken?

 

4. ITERATE AND ANALYZE ACTIONS

Based on the reflections of the collective interpretation sessions, iterate the analysis of the materials developed and the actions of the actors involved.

 

In a Developmental Evaluation process, opportunities are brainstormed to generate spaces for co-creation and to explore solutions with participants. Based on what was collected during the collective interpretation, it is possible to begin to glimpse opportunities will arise in the future.

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ALC joins the COPOLAD initiative towards the creation of social innovation labs surrounding drug policies

ALC joins the COPOLAD initiative towards the creation of social innovation labs surrounding drug policies

The process has already begun in Chile and will continue to be developed in Colombia and the potentially the Caribbean.

ALC has begun working in the COPOLAD III program in which it will design, implement and evaluate a series of social innovation labs which will use experimentation to connect organizations addressing drug policies.


COPOLAD III is an international cooperation program that promotes technical dialogue and bi-regional cooperation between the European Union and Latin American and Caribbean countries on drug policy. 
Funded by the European Union, the program is led by the Fundación Internacional Iberoamericana de Políticas y Administraciones Públicas (FIIAPP), in consortium with the International Italo-Latin American Organization (IILA), in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (future European drugs agency).

One of COPOLAD's main tasks is to respond to the specific needs of each region. Cooperative actions at the country level are designed to generate synergies and compliment ongoing regional projects while optimizing the search for solutions and the development of economies of scale so that the same solution can be applied broadly. The program provides the basis for supporting the generation of drug policies that are more people-centered, especially for the most vulnerable, based on comprehensive scientific evidence that functions seamlessly with other public policies.

The third edition of the program is committed to a comprehensive approach toward drug policies in line with the 2030 Agenda. The through-lines of the COPOLAD III program are gender, human rights, development and innovation. Within this framework of collaboration, Agirre Lehendakaria Center supports the implementation of social innovation laboratories on drug policies, which are articulated as labs for experimentation and collaboration.

Regarding ALC’s work on this project, the proposal suggests the adaptation of an approach for the integration of social innovation capabilities at two different levels of action: regional, with the creation of a network of laboratories or platforms in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean) and a learning community on the process; and local, in three countries within the region the Agirre Center team would lend support.
 

The first social innovation lab in Chile is launched

  • COPOLAD collaborates with Chilean institutions and Agirre Lehendakaria Center for the joint development of a social innovation laboratory that addresses the problems of children and adolescents under the care of the state in relation to drug use.

  • This lab will allow SENDA teams to generate flexible governance systems to address complex challenges through the systematization of contrasting spaces, co-creation, mapping of agents and initiatives and deep listening.

  • The social innovation lab will be a multi-level project, reinforcing the territory between the regional and local level. 

The Cooperation Program between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drug Policies (COPOLAD III), the Chilean National Service for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Drug and Alcohol Consumption (SENDA) and Agirre Lehendakaria Center (a social innovation lab linked to the University of the Basque Country) have joined to launch the first Social Innovation Laboratory in the Chilean Maule region dedicated to addressing drug use among children from a systemic perspective. 

During the sessions’ opening in Santiago, the Director of SENDA, Natalia Rizzo, and the Undersecretary for Children, Verónica Silva, insisted on the importance of coordinating the work between the different institutions involved with the issue. They also pointed out the relevance of designing new strategies and governance systems that can be replicated in the rest of the country and are capable of adapting to local realities - "the average does not work, we have to be able to provide differential responses."

 

On July 27th until the 29th, two collective interpretation sessions were held in Santiago and Talca (Maule Region) to discuss findings generated by the local teams in the first phase of the listening and mapping process. These sessions were attended by authorities and institutions such as the Ministry of Health or the Specialized Protection Service for Children and Adolescents, international organizations such as UNICEF, and relevant community participants such staff from family residences, consumption prevention programs, health and education professionals, the Paréntesis Foundation, the La Escalera program, and the Mi Abogado program.

Some participants highlighted the fact that it is essential to incorporate mechanisms to understand the role that consumption plays in the population from a broader perspective stating: "to meet the real needs of people, we must consider other aspects and not just consumption." Linked to this perception, some people were interested by continued experimentation with the harm reduction approach asking: "whose need is it, the team's or the child's?” Two contradictory narratives arose as to who is responsible for consumption: is it a phenomenon that should be dealt with at the individual or institutional level? Or does it transcend the community in a broad sense? One participant said, "this belongs to everyone, but in practice it belongs to no one".  

All the participants agreed on activating new listening channels to incorporate the voice of NNAS and the community systematically in the design of interventions. In the words of a participant, "we must prevent the community from becoming an enemy, so we must work with it to avoid stigmatization." 

The collective interpretation sessions provide a space for sharing different perceptions of the same problem, and, if repeated over time, can help to generate shared visions and deeper analysis of the critical areas to focus public policy strategies in terms of social innovation. This analysis will inform the process of co-designing solutions that will take place in the coming months.

The objective of this process is to ensure that the strategies being developed by the teams include the capacity to respond to different narratives in a nuanced manner. We hope to encourage the generation of flexible governance systems to address complex challenges such as drug use among minors under state supervision. 

Regional Workshop in Uruguay

From June 20th until the 23rd, a regional workshop was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on how to improve policies on problematic drug use featuring the participation of over 30 drug agencies. Within the meeting’s framework, ALC designed and facilitated a workshop on how to incorporate a social innovation approach into the process which included the projecting and defining of plans from a gender and social inclusion perspective. This is a multi-layered process that allows the main actors to systematize the basic elements of the social innovation approach. This approach includes ecosystem mapping, deep listening, collective interpretation and co-creation. ALC will provide regional support to the countries through the implementation of a learning community that will be developed in coming months.

On this occasion, ALC presented the Montevideo Deep Demo experience as a pilot experience in the incorporation of a gender and social inclusion approach to address complex challenges such as the redesign of the informal waste management system in the city of Montevideo, by Virginia Varela, Program Analyst at PNUD Uruguay.

Colombia 

The second social innovation lab will be promoted in Colombia. It will aim to mitigate the vulnerability factors that drive young people to become involved in micro-trafficking networks and to develop consumption problems with psychoactive substances. Its areas of action will be the semi-rural area of Santander de Quilichao, in the Department of Cauca, and the urban area of Cali, in the Department of Valle del Cauca.

In the coming weeks teams will decide in which other countries ALC will support the creation of social innovation labs.

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Encourage a just energy transition

ALC participates in the Plataforma de Innovación Abierta (Open Innovation Platform)created by Iberdrola to encourage a just energy transition

Iberdrola, the Centro de Innovación en Tecnologías para el desarrollo humano de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid(itdUPM) and Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) have created a Plataforma of Innovación Abierta which promotes collaboration between citizens, public organizations and businesses to encourage a just energy transition in regions which are having to adapt to the closing of coal power plants. 

Started in January of 2023, the process is entering its fourth phase with the goal of testing 
identified initiatives from portfolios, nurturing participants’ communities, and carrying out the goals established through community listening in both regions.

At the same time the three organizations are working toward evaluating the process by way of a series of impact indicators and collective agreements. 

This June the implementation process ended and a community feedback event was planned for July 5th in Madrid with the objective of sharing lessons from the Lada and Velilla platform projects, supporting the conversation surrounding just transitions at the state and European level, and positioning the platform’s results within the area of broader energy transitions. 

Some quotes

 "Thanks to the platform, more people have joined the Palencia Business Association and I have gone from knowing almost all the businesspeople in the northern area to knowing a few."

VELILLA

"Decontaminating the industrial land is a great challenge, but the biggest and most important challenge is to decontaminate our mentality."

LADA (INTCOL0423)

"Yes, there is a certain degree of responsibility for Iberdrola within the region but reducing it only to that is a mistake because then you become captive to a third party."

LADA (ML2306)

"I believe that the platform has served to bring a multitude of shortcomings into view. The greatest success it has had is that it was brought up in a territory in which they are operating and are responsible, like the authors of their development."

VELILLA (JC-M)

"All I see is that there is a belief that diversification and reconversion is possible." 

LADA (16BFM)

"The platform contributed in giving and generating many ideas and understanding that it may be possible to establish companies here."

LADA (12ANM)

"People are realizing the importance of attracting companies and not just focusing on public issues" 

VELILLA (JC-M)

"With the platform there is a change in perception--people start to believe that things can be done. Also seeing that things can be done to attract projects and companies to settle in these areas"

LADA  (13LCM)

Comic about the process in Langreo

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Gorka Espiau: interview in Berria

Gorka Espiau: Interview in Berria

Interview with the director of ALC by the Basque-language newspaper Berria with Gorka Espiau, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary

"Self-Government is Essential to Encourage the Next Transition"

 

Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) is reflecting on the role that the Basque Country can play in the process of international transformation. ALC’s director, Gorka Espiau (Bilbao, 1972), understands what steps should be taken in the coming years: “We are offering the Basque Country as an example.”

In March ALC celebrated its 10th anniversary while remaining keenly focused on present and future social challenges. The organization was created in order for the Basque Country to be present in international discussion, and Espiau believes ALC should take advantage of its strengths as a center of experimentation by “promoting transitions.”

 

How would you evaluate ALC’s work so far?

We’re happy because ALC was created to put the Basque Country’s on the map. We’ve proved that it’s possible to participate in these international discussions while maintaining one’s identity, and we’re positioning ourselves as a place of experimentation for future transitions.

 

What is ALC focused on now?

Right now, what’s most important to us is focusing our attention on the discussion surrounding sustainable human development. Normally, because of the projects we undertake, we don’t have the capacity to participate in such wide ranging debates. Nevertheless, our research has helped us demonstrate the value of what we’ve learned in recent decades, and in the Basque Country there is both a willingness and capacity to participate in these discussions. 

 

You mentioned international discussion. How can the Basque Country influence these international spheres?

One ongoing debate in our world centers around what kind of society we want. In other words, is our goal to maintain our quality of life or encourage the next transition? It’s a big question, but these kinds of discussions have a tremendous impact on our day to day lives with regards to healthcare, security and economics. These are simply open debates to help us decide what we want as a people.

 

Speaking of the transition stage, what do you think are the main challenges that society is facing?

A socioecological transition is necessary, and we’ve arrived at a cross roads. Either we can take incremental steps or disrupt the existing system entirely. Incremental progress would mean maintaining what’s worked for us while making small changes. On the other hand, a disruptive approach would create change across the entire system. Although disruptive action is not the current reality, Our conclusion is that incremental progress cannot lead to true systemic change. Therefore, we must find out what kind of disruptive action is possible. This will be reflected in every sphere including industry, healthcare, education and more. 

 

What would a solution look like?

No one knows how to initiate this kind of change, but we have to try to create experimental spaces where this learning can take place. This is what we believe at ALC: we need to put experimental solutions into practice and establish experimental frameworks. As a people we have the opportunity to offer our system as a platform for social change. And not just as a territory but as a community.

 

Why is the Basque Country an ideal place for this?

Encouraging change at the state level is very difficult, and we want to think bigger than local level change. Communities the size of the Basque Country have an interesting capacity to undertake new initiatives. Our region has the legal and financial capabilities, and it’s a shame that we haven’t yet made use of self-government. Again, we offer the Basque Country as an example. We are continuing to learn, and we will soon bring future transitions to fruition. That is our goal for the next decade.

 

What risks may arise if we do not respond to current challenges?

The most significant problem would be either an environmental or economic collapse which is where our current public policy is taking us. Our current system simply cannot provide for the needs of our society. We are seeing this in the healthcare sectors and relating to businesses as well. For example, if we do not address the issues arising in the automotive industry at a systemic level and as a society, we will not be able to deal with these challenges. Our present model of sustainable human development will collapse and our quality of life along with it.

 

During recent years you’ve also worked to define the Basque model.

One interesting view is that historically the Basque country has had the capacity to provide its own solutions to global problems. In the last few decades we have been able to reimagine how society should look, and in this system, protecting a commitment to equality is central. We believe that when discussing the Basque model, the concept equality is a core component.   

We have also researched the revitalization of the Euskera language, Basque gastronomy and our tradition of cooperative management. From these investigations we’ve found that their narrative foundations are interrelated. This is what we call the K Factor: culture. A concrete and universal way of viewing society.

 

How can we focus on the K Factor to address current challenges?

In the past we have been able to give a Basque-centered response, and this is linked to equality with all of its limitations. Equality is a broad category, but we have typically viewed it narrowly as related to the socioeconomic sphere. Today equality is understood in a broader sense, and how we center it in the debate is fundamental. When socioeconomic or socioecological transitions take form quickly, that difference is highly accentuated. This has happened throughout the world and even in the Basque Country.

 

You mentioned the K Factor. What role does culture play in this conversation?

In the past the Euskara language has been reinvented and revitalized. We’re asking if we achieve the same outcome in the present context. The future of Euskera is directly tied to the process of transformation in Basque Society—they cannot be addressed separately. Looking back, the rebirth of Euskera was similarly connected to other social movements in our community. The hypothesis was that this revitalization of Euskera was essential to the transformation of society.

 

How do things look now?

Right now, considering what we’ve learned, we see a community that believes the Euskera language is an essential part of the next transition. If Euskera is not a central part of the debate, it will be very difficult to bring about a strong movement. Our job is to create spaces for experimentation combining public and private dynamics–the rural and the urban–in order to begin an initiative similar to what took place 40 years ago. It will look different, but at a basic level we need broad action.

 

During ALC’s anniversary, one round table discussion concluded that a lack of consensus about diagnosing the issues is impeding forward progress.

To respond to unknown challenges, consensus regarding the diagnosis is not enough. If we knew the solution, we would propose a diagnosis: this is the issue, and this is the solution. But for the current problems we face, the solutions are unknown. So, in addition to a diagnosis, we must collectively decide what is happening and create spaces for experimentation to decide together how to take the next steps.  

Traditionally, we would use a strategic plan as a tool. We decide on a common diagnosis, establish our targets, and everybody works on the problem together. This is an outdated strategy. Today we have to turn the page and assume that nobody knows how to respond to the challenges we are facing. From now on we will have to work together to interpret the situation and devise new strategies. Some will work and some will not, but when we take collective action we are building the infrastructure for a flexible form of governance. This is the challenge the Basque model faces: how to evolve beyond fixed strategic plans towards experimental growth.

 

Spanish political parties have recently been using the term “country-wide consensus.”

I am not sure if consensus is the correct word, but we’ve seen, especially in Gipuzkoa, that some of the initial links with the Basque model are very effective for transforming the Basque Country. We have a shared territory in which to launch the next transition. This is very important to us. Although subtle, there is a growing consensus between majority parties. There is common ground here for transformation. But how will it look in practice? The question is if the end result should be predetermined or if we should instead agree to create safe space for experimentation and form a collective consensus around our situation. This is radically changing the dynamic.

 

What is the basic groundwork for transition?

For example, consider self-government. To promote transition, self-government is essential. If you do not have the tools of self-government, a positive socio ecological transition cannot take place. This is a fundamental principle, and I believe it has majority support. We are creating spaces for experimentation based around this idea. Achieving this will make it much easier to move towards large scale transitions.

 

Other than self-government, what are the other key elements?

Dynamics related to gender equality and migration. We have a lot of work to do there. Although the official discussion is progressive, in practice we notice that there continues to be a differentiation between Basques and immigrants. The transition we want cannot happen while these differences persist. From an economic perspective, taking a neoliberal view cannot lead to a just outcome. The resulting solutions would only increase inequality. Lastly, the ecological transition is not inevitable. A link to nature must be at the center. Self-government, equality and the relationship with nature are enough to create advanced spaces for experimentation. These are the requirements, and from here it is possible to generate the next transition. 

 

On the topic of experimentation, some countries are now beginning their own projects. What can the Basque Country learn from these initiatives?

Our core objective is to work within the limits of the Basque Country, but our challenges are global. We must stay in touch with the whole world in order to break new ground. We are sharing our experience, reporting on our transformation and, by participating in these experiments, we will learn to bring new ideas and collaborations back to the Basque Country. The status quo would be collaborating with regions similar to the Basque Country, but because the challenges we face are global, and is equally as possible to learn from Scandinavian nations and from Quebec as it is to learn from countries like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mozambique. 

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Co-creation tool – Social Business Model Canvas

Co-creation tool Business Model

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