Since the training in October 2020, the change agents in the Vejle case have been busy. They have developed a project plan with a focus on the first phase: ”Understand the problem”, which combined research on good practices in Denmark on the topic, interviews with business owners and business consultants on the topic and identified needs and resources for cooperating in the project. The agents also developed a communication plan with logo and a Facebook group to mobilize participants and local citizens in Vejle.
In December 2020, Denmark went into lockdown due to the covid19 crisis, and the agents faced challenges to meet and to engage the business owners in the original case project topics. The agents therefore decided to refocus the case. The focus will shift slightly, to how sustainable development can help support businesses in restarting during and after the covid19 crisis. Moreover, the agents will work to create a retail business network and community around sustainability in order to facilitate cooperation and support among the small retail businesses in Vejle, who face challenges in becoming sustainable due to their, often small sizes and limited resources for development activities.
At the moment, the change agents are interviewing around 10 local shops who have agreed to participate in the project and to share their experiences, needs, ideas and inputs in the project. Next step will be to follow up on the interviews and start to spread good stories and examples for inspiration on the Facebook group. The change agents will also review the project plan for the second phase ”Seek solutions”, which will focus on cooperation with local shops and other relevant stakeholders on developing ideas for local solutions and activities to build sustainability among the retail businesses that can be tested locally.