About the Partners
The partners were selected based on experience with EU-projects and on a high quality of collaboration, research and practical expertise, and according to their competences within facilitation of public/private/civil society cooperation and dialogue, citizen engagement, formal and informal training and sustainable development. The partners represent different sectors; a private company that provides consultancy, research and training, municipalities, and NGOs. This gives the partnership a relevant blend of competences, experiences, networks and relationships with the relevant stakeholders of the project, and will form a cross-sector basis, important for developing cross-sector co-creation methods.
Grønt Forum (Green Forum) is organized under the Technical and Environment Department of Vejle Municipality, as a quasi-municipal organization, with a network of independent citizens, companies and civil society organizations, with a shared interest in climate, ecology, nature, and the environment. The network contains over 160 organizations and 400 private members. The focus of the network has been to engage citizens and local actors in grassroot and bottom-up activities. Grønt Forum provides sparring and helps to develop projects that engage the local community around all topics within sustainability and resilience. At the same time, Grønt Forum aims to build a bridge between citizens, companies and professionals in Vejle Municipality's administrations, ensuring citizen involvement and supporting co-creation. Grønt Forum have strong competences in project management, facilitation of experimenting and innovation of praxis as well as competence building in a cross-sector partners, and years of experience in supporting and facilitating citizen driven and co-creative sustainability projects in Vejle. Vejle Municipality will coordinate the project and will be responsible for facilitating the living lab activities.
The Center for Citizen Dialogue has a strong research-based expertise and competences in citizen involvement in municipal work. The center advises Danish and Scandinavian regions and municipalities on how to involve citizens and stakeholders in projects and public dialogue and how to lead and facilitate co-creation processes. Moreover, the center trains professionals in public involvement and co-creation with citizens, communities and civic organizations. It moreover facilitates learning networks for professionals and publishes a newsletter on local democracy, citizen involvement and co-creation and a website, visited by several hundred users on a monthly basis. This expertise, which is both theoretical and practical, is an important basis for the methodology development and practical testing in the project. The Center for Citizen Dialogue will have an important expert and support role for all the partners, in providing guidance and insight to ensure a qualified project development.
SASS and Vejle Municipality have cooperated earlier in a Nordplus project called The Learning Society, about experimental development of new formats for education and lifelong learning. SASS, who are responsible for coordinating training and dissemination, have extensive experience with training, both traditionally and using technology for long distance learning, in cooperation with Icelandic universities. They also have experience with citizen engagement and communication, as well as traditional and new formats for communication and dissemination, i.e. using events and social media.
Vejle Municipality and CESIE have cooperated successfully on several projects, most lately the "Welcome to universities and higher education" project, on refugees' opportunities for accessing higher education. CESIE, who will be responsible for the toolbox development (O2), has an extensive training experience on topics like sustainability, intercultural understanding and respect, social inclusion and active citizenship. CESIE’s method “Reciprocal Maieutic Approach” is relevant for the living lab activities and co-creation method development. It is a dialectic methodology of research and self-analysis that promotes a sense of responsibility in communities and individuals and can be defined as a “collective exploration process that considers individuals’ experience and intuition as a reference point”, using dialogue as a tool for facilitating learning (Dolci, 1996).
DRPDNM and Vejle Municipality have cooperated on the project DECIDE (Democratic Compact: Improving Democracy in Europe) that developed a collection of approaches to improve quality of democracy and active citizenship. DRPDNM have worked extensively to promote social inclusion, citizen participation, and sustainability through cross-sector cooperation, education, conferences, workshops and events. I.e. they coordinate a Regional NGO Center, with the goal to encourage better development of the skills of NGOs and private institutions and improve the public image and their cooperation with Local authorities, Universities, development centers, other public institutions. This will contribute to their task for coordinating the formulation of the recommendations for using
democratic co-creation methods for sustainable development.