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Experience the legacy of Democracy at Villa Fabris: join the Summer School

May 03, 2024

Territorial & local development

ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy, implements more than 100 projects a year supporting local democracy and citizen engagement. The Summer School in Villa Fabris offers to our members, partners and all participants a unique opportunity for sharing experiences, getting inspired and collecting strengths for future commitment in your professional and personal life.

The experience will give you the opportunity to focus on what democracy means today and why it is challenged and how to fight back.

Villa Fabris, with its rich historical significance and serene surroundings, provides an ideal setting for reflection and discourse on the vital role of local democracy in sustaining and strengthening democratic principles.


The Summer School on Local Democracy at Villa Fabris (Thiene, Italy) will take place on 28-29-30 August 2024


By bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences, the summer school seeks to facilitate knowledge exchange, capacity building, and networking opportunities among participants, empowering them to become catalysts for positive change in their respective communities. Overall, the Summer School on Local Democracy at Villa Fabris seeks to inspire, educate, and empower participants to become effective advocates for local democracy and champions of democratic governance in their communities and beyond. By fostering collaboration and mutual learning, the summer school aims to contribute to the establishment of Villa Fabris as a hub for ongoing dialogue and capacity building in the field of local democracy.

You will meet with like-minded people who are, like you, engaged in democracy at the local, national and more global level. You will get to know key actors at the European level that will share with you their personal and professional paths.

The School also offers a spotlight, on an yearly basis, on a specific country. This year the focus will be on Ukraine, which is going through massive challenges, after the fully fledged aggression of Russia in 2022.


The Summer School aims to convene thought leaders, policymakers, academics, and practitioners from around the world to explore innovative approaches, emerging trends, and best practices in local governance.


Key themes and objectives of the summer school include:

  1. Understanding the Foundations of Local Democracy: Delving into the historical evolution and theoretical underpinnings of local democracy, examining its significance in the broader context of democratic governance.
  2. Challenges and Opportunities in Contemporary Local Governance: Identifying and analysing current challenges facing local governments, such as political polarization, fiscal constraints, and social inequality, while exploring innovative strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
  3. Harnessing Technology for Citizen Engagement: Exploring the potential of digital platforms, data analytics, and e-participation tools to enhance citizen participation, transparency, and accountability in local decision-making processes.
  4. Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Communities: Examining approaches to fostering inclusive dialogue, diversity, and social cohesion within local communities, with a focus on sustainability, resilience, and equitable development.
  5. Strengthening Democratic Institutions and Civic Engagement: Assessing the role of civil society, grassroots movements, and local leadership in nurturing democratic values, promoting civic education, and building trust between citizens and government.
  6. Case Studies and Best Practices: Showcasing successful initiatives, pilot projects, and innovative models of local democracy from various regions, highlighting lessons learned and practical insights for replication and adaptation.

SUMMER SCHOOL AGENDA

Travel, accommodation and meals non specifically included in the agenda are not covered

DAY 1: Foundations of Local Democracy
  • 9:00 Registration
  • 9:30 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction to Villa Fabris
    • presentation and community building 
  • 10:00 – 10:30 Keynote Address: “The Evolution of Local Democracy: Historical Perspectives”
    • Natasa Vučković, President of ALDA and Director of the Centre for Democracy Foundation of Belgrade
    • Gianantonio Michelusi, Mayor of the Municipality of Thiene
    • Marco Boaria, Director of Programmes and Corporate Strategy of ALDA, Scientific Coordinator of the School
  • 10.30-11.00 Keynote Address: “The Evolution of Local Democracy: Historical Perspectives”
    • Patrick Molinoz, President of the citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs commission (CIVEX) of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Coffee break
  • 11:30 – 13:00 Keynote Address “Innovation on local democracy and current trends”
    • Helfried Carl, Innovation in Politics Institute and Founder of the European Capital of Democracy initiative
  • Lunch
  • 14:30 – 15.00 Keynote Address: “Navigating Challenges in Contemporary Local Governance” (TBC)
    • Monika Chabior, Deputy President for Social Development and Equal Treatment, City of Gdansk
  • 15.00 – 16.00 Debate in plenary, moderated by
    • Marco Boaria, Director of Programmes and Corporate Strategy of ALDA, Scientific Coordinator of the School
  • Coffee break
  • 16:30-18:00  Workshop: “Citizen Participation and Democratic Decision-Making” – using the right instrument at the right place
  • 18:30 Networking Reception and Cultural Evening
DAY 2:  Challenges and Innovations in Local Governance
  • 9:00 Registration
  • 09:30 – 11:00  Keynote Address: “The interactive State and the Active Citizenship”
    • Francesca Gelli, Professor of Political Science – IUAV University in Venezia
  • Coffee break
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Keynote Address: “Digital Democracy: Leveraging Technology for Civic Engagement” (TBC)
    • Patrick Molinoz, President of the citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs commission (CIVEX) of the European Committee of the Regions
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Debate in plenary, moderated by 
    • Marco Boaria, Director of Programmes and Corporate Strategy of ALDA, Scientific Coordinator of the School
  • Lunch
  • 14:00 – 16:00 Interactive Session: “Design Thinking for Local Solutions”
  • 16:00 – 18:00 Study Visit: Thiene Municipality and Local Community Projects
DAY 3: Ukraine at a critical path : looking into the future for sustainable and deep democracy 
  • 9:00 Registration
  • 9:30 – 10:15 Keynote Addresses “Mariupol and Resilience” (TBC)
    • Vadim Boichenko, Mayor of Mariupol (Video message)
    • Olha Pikula, the Councillor of Mariupol City Council (Online)
  • 10:15 – 11.00 Keynote address “Local governments and Civil Society groups from Ukraine”
    • Inna Volkova, ALDA’s Governing Board member and member of Odesa Rayon Council, Ukraine
  • Coffee break
  • 11:30 – 13:00 Panel Discussion: “Social Cohesion and Community Resilience”
    • Inna Volkova, ALDA’s Governing Board member and member of Odesa Rayon Council, Ukraine
    • Tetiana Lomakina, Delegate LDA Mariupol (Online)
    • Anastasiia Buslaieva, ALDA LDA Coordinator
  • Lunch
  • 14:00 – 16:00 Workshop: “Empowering Marginalised Voices: Strategies for Inclusive Governance”
    • animation form the Local Democracy Agencies Ukraine and coordinator 
    • democracy at stake and in fragile context
  • Coffee break
  • 16:30 Closing Ceremony: Reflections and Next Steps
  • Departure

JOIN US FOR THIS ENRICHING EXPERINCE:

SIGN UP HERE TO THE SUMMER SCHOOL!



For information or booking please call +39 0444 540146 or send an e-mail villafabris@alda-europe.eu