This week(s) in Civicwise

Hello everyone,

We have been off the radar for a while trying to fight the heatwave with less digital activity and more offline work but we are now back online!

Despite the radio silence we have been pretty busy so let’s dive into what happened in the past weeks in CivicWise.

Given that one of the main strengths of the CivicWise community is the people involved, developing a top-notch governance is key for the success of the organisation. That’s why we are still investing time to get our matrix right. We are almost there, but if you have any suggestion, comment or feedback please let us know now so we can take it on board.

If you have been following us, you surely remember that the team in Paris planned to take over Place des Fetes every Wednesday for the whole month of July. We sat with Chloe to find out how the first day went and what the plans for the future of the project are.

“Travail d’ici, CivicWise’s first event in Paris”

A few words on our first Wednesday taking over Place des Fêtes in Paris. As true early birds, we decided to start installing our working space in the cool of the morning, just few steps away from the metro station. We set up an informal space, still without electricity, but bold enough to make us easy to spot.

The day began with an outdoor meeting for the Volumes‘ team, the co-working space home of the CivicWise Paris circle. The day continued with a workshop to define our current action and its evolution! Its theme, “Vivre la Place des Fêtes” (live Place des Fetes), brought some life back on the square engaging with the inhabitants, and inviting them to join us by creatively reclaiming the public space in their neighbourhood.

201507011Engaging with people is very challenging. Our icebreaker line when asked what we were doing was: “We decided to work. And you ?”

The day was filled with insightful conversations with local people because our presence, without necessarily raising concerns, was often associated with the currently redevelopment of Place des Fêtes. That helped collecting lots of impressions, life stories and anecdote related to the neighborhood, given that many people are already very actively engaged in the area.

Looking ahead, we now have two goals: firstly, continue engaging with the residents inviting them to join our space and bring together as many people as possible. Secondly, share our project beyond the neighborhood to encourage other to come and experiment temporary interventions like this. To help people who are interested in replicating a similar activity but don’t know where to start, we just started working on an ‘outdoor workspace’ toolkit to unlock spontaneous encounters in public spaces.

As for us, the success of this first guerrilla trial, signs the start of Surplace, a collaboration between CivicWise Paris and Volumes. Surplace is a civic innovation project, aimed at revamping the square by bringing chairs and tables in the space and promoting outdoor work.

Good luck to the Paris team! We can’t wait to hear how the project develops further.

When you work with passionate people like CivicWise members, you can be sure you will come across some great opportunity currently open.

This week, we’d like to share with you The City as a Commons, a Call for Papers as a roundup to the 1st IASC Thematic Conference on the Urban Commons that will take place in November in Bologna, Italy. The event will bring together leading scholars, researchers, policymakers, practitioners and social innovators to take stock of the developments in the interdisciplinary study of the urban commons and related questions of urban governance.The Conference Organizers invite paper submissions in the six thematic areas tat will be highlighted during the conference. You can find more about them in their website.

If you would like your CiviWise local project, activity or action to be featured in the This week in CivicWise weekly blog post or you come across anything that you think might be interesting for the community, please write it here and it will be included in the following weekly summary.


Have a great weekend!

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