WHAT DO WE DO?
The rise in poverty and inequality in Europe has put into question the ability of conventional policies to respond to this issue. Impoverishment and precariousness are gaining ground: many people, including those who are highly qualified, are experiencing rejection or being cast "outside of the system". Even in a critical context such as this, waste is seldom seen as something to be taken into account and the discussion about common goods and the common pooling of resources still remains confined to certain groups of society. Nonetheless, the crisis is proving to have a valued potential as well. Not only are people re-evaluating their roles in society and reinventing ways in which to respond together to needs to ensure decent work, appropriate housing, accessible healthcare systems and learning, transportation, culture and resource management - all based on concepts like resilience, sustainability and participation, they are also showing that the creative potential of (local) people and communities is key to engaging inclusive processes.
Responding Together is an innovative European project that aims to identify and weave together local resources. Innovative actions and paths require specific knowledge and skills. This online platform is devoted to crafting knowledge for action that could inspire those who want to mobilise and organise citizens and resources in an inclusive manner. Knowledge for action is an enabling tool. Rather than basing itself on “re-search” this platform seeks to “act-search”, which refers to any information able to help connect the pieces of a puzzle allowing for local transformation and progress towards social cohesion. To organise an action that involves local inhabitants is not easy since it implies the identification of key steps that can engage all parts of the population. This platform is meant to enable action by supporting participants with relevant knowledge. Enabling an action means providing local actors with not only access to inspiring information, ideas and contacts but also with reflections on key strategic issues such as:
- How to combine short-term actions with a long-term vision for social justice?
- How to combine the different layers of actions and resources (e.g. institutional, individual/collective, private/public) in order to succeed?
- How to learn from processes and not only from the outcomes?
- How to evaluate impact, including the multiplying effects?
- How to reproduce an action while lowering investment?
- How to identify abandoned or unused but valuable resources?.
Therefore, this online platform seeks to:
- collect and curate actionable information focused on issues that are both timely and timeless like human rights, human capabilities, common goods
- make sense collaboratively and create a collective awareness of experiences. Skill share mechanisms through exploring the reflect – search – mobilise – act – evaluate cycle;
- link local action 'on the ground' with the global (online) layers into a sustainable process to effectively facilitate and combine mutual cooperative peer support among different participants around an action or group of actions.
- create a friendly environment for experimenting with and testing alternative paths to mobilising locally available resources;
- provide a dynamic space for weaving knowledge in terms of insights, aspirations and practices that are worth scaling and/or replicating;
- facilitate respectful interaction and co-occupation of the Responding Together platform by engaging in constructive contributions and exchanges around themes and working groups that are in line with the Council of Europe mandate of protecting human dignity.
COUNT ME IN! HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
If you’re facing a challenge, seeking for a viable solution, working on a project in your community or you've spotted an initiative that could respond to your needs, enter this page to write about it or to find out how to make an action yourself or for whom to contact. Looking at the dynamics of our world today it is becoming more and more challenging to keep up with the innovative and ground breaking advancements and shifts in paradigm happening at the grassroots level. There is a small and dispersed but ever-growing movement of people searching for and trying out new ways of mobilising resources and cooperating in their local communities. We believe that they are not just insular or isolated “incidents”, but rather that they provide real solutions for an inclusive Europe. We want to make their (and your) stories heard and improve people's capacity to act.
The build-up of connections between local government actors, community activists and workers, non-profit groups, businesses, artists, journalists, scientists, property owners, DIY-ers, students, urban planners/architects, neighbours and other residents is happening in many cities/towns across Europe. Innovative inclusive solutions are emerging from and around concepts like the common pooling of resources or the fight against waste. Explaining how to engage in such a process is the aim of this online platform. If you are not yet a part of the Responding Together community you can register in the top right corner of the page. New collaborators are always welcome. Feel free to surf around and check out more of what is being done by (local) people acting together.
For any editorial inquiries and/or technical support on the website please contact us here or by mail. Don’t forget to mention your name, the particular page you're inquiring about and/or a detailed description of the issue you want to address.