Enabling City works to make cities around the world livable, inclusive, and resilient by promoting emerging approaches to participatory governance, community-based social innovation, interdisciplinary research and co-created approaches for urban sustainability.
It operates in four languages and was conceived to reach active communities across both culture and learning style, and strives to inspire and bridge the gap between communities of practice and communities of expertise on issues ranging from the solidarity economy, to policy co-design, smart(er) city development, urban resilience, social justice and the right to the city, as well as placemaking, youth entrepreneurship and more.
- To advance social innovation as a form of active citizenship, particularly in the areas of urban sustainability and participatory governance.
- To produce rigorous but imaginative research that uncovers new creative possibilities and turns theory into action.
- To develop emerging conceptual frameworks and action tools that stimulate public engagement, foster a culture of co-creation and openness, and dynamically re-imagine the ‘enabling’ potential of cities.
- To accelerate the reach of ‘place-based creative problem-solving’ by sharing promising ideas and initiatives that strengthen and support networks of community-powered change.
- To help individuals & institutions test ideas, scale impact, and find trusted collaborators.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
- Released two Creative Commons publications, available in 5 languages and as a free online download, that have reached over 60,000 readers across 60 countries, and were nominated in Top Ten lists by publications like Shareable Magazine.
- Developed and delivered workshops, lectures, and interactive events in over 15 countries on topics such as "Creative Community Resilience" and "Everyday Democracy".
- Wrote and disseminated research papers, case studies, articles and reports to outlets including the MIT Community Innovators Lab, the global Resilience.org platform, the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities blog and Next City.
- For her work, Enabling City's founder was selected as Italy's only Oxfam Action Partner for the 2010-2013 cycle, and was recognized as a 2011 Young Agent of Change by Toronto's Centre for Social Innovation.
- For her 'enabling city framework' and academic research, she was selected for the prestigious Trudeau Foundation scholarship in 2013.
- Innovative work on a proposal for a school of civic innovation to promote and scale 'civic imagination' as a tool for social transformation.
- Established innovations in information design and outreach through the blended, multimedia approach of 2 Enabling City publications, video trailer, infographics, and online outreach strategies.
- Helped to strengthen, name, and grow a vibrant community of global social innovators and urban sustainability activists, in which Enabling City enjoys a respected position as an early-stage resource and guide.
To date, the Enabling City project has reached over 60,000 readers in 60 countries, has a following of 16.7K followers on Twitter, over 92K impressions on Issuu, and plays an influential role in a vast network of policymakers, academics, social entrepreneurs, community activists, students and designers.
- Remaining accessible across languages, cultures, professional conventions and learning styles.
- Recognition for emerging interdisciplinary methodologies, as well as for non-capitalist, solidarity economy models.
- Community imagination is one of the biggest, most untapped powerful resources for social change.
- Experiential knowledge and local know-how are sacred, essential steps in any process of social change, and should be acknowledged and treated as such.
- Always be accessible: language, tone, even design elements all play a part in inspiring, informing and involving people.
- Don't make assumptions. When working with vulnerable populations, don't assume you know what is best, or that you can solve problems. Instead, engage in deep listening, facilitate co-creation, and always question what you know.