Mobilising citizens to dream about their community in 30 years’ time – the experience of the project WE-NET in the community of Etterbeek
The Municipality of Etterbeek (Belgium), in partnership with ALDA and several citizens’ associations organised the activity “Forum des Solidarités” aimed at bringing together representatives of the local authority, of civil society associations and ordinary citizens to discuss how they see their community in 30 years’ time.
In the evening of 27 October, more than 70 participants contributed to the event. Developed according to the guidelines of the Open Space format, more than 15 topics were discussed, from the reuse of waste and local democracy to energy efficiency, the use of public spaces, energy efficiency and how to promote more social cohesion.
“What collective, realistic, impact-oriented actions can we develop and implement to live in the community of our dreams?” was the framework of the debate. Participants were invited to discuss whatever matter of concern to their daily life, to dream about their perfect community and to come up with concrete key actions on how to move towards that community. Citizens from every walk of life and the intergenerational dimension were a key to this event. Ideas such as democracy, food consumption, energy, economy and pedagogy were developed and shared in plenary on key clusters.
The activity is part of the local path in Belgium of the project WE-NET – Working for ENvironmentally Educated Towns, coordinated by ALDA. The initiative, supported by the Europe for Citizens programme, aims at promoting knowledge transfer on environmental, sustainable development and citizen mobilisation issues. It reunites local authorities and civil society associations from eight countries across the wider Europe committed to establish a platform of structured cooperation for exchanging knowledge, experience and good practice to promote successful communities at the local level.