European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Catalysing Just Sustainability Transitions: socio-cultural pathways from non-urban areas

Neb Per Sito
What could a sustainable future for non-urban areas look like? How can we ensure the transition is just and inclusive, and what roles can socio-culture play in catalysing it?

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On April 17th, 2024, we took part in the New European Bauhaus Festival with a satellite event dedicated to exploring the role of socio-culture as a catalyser of just transitions towards sustainability in non-urban areas. The event was organised in collaboration with our working group on cultural centres and non-urban areas and the Horizon Europe project IN SITU: Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas, that we are proud partners of.

During this interactive virtual forum, we discussed, exchanged ideas and discovered good practices from across Europe, with contributions from experts and practitioners in non-urban culture. Researchers from the IN SITU labs shared their experience, and moderator Anna Maria Ranczakowska introduced the preliminary results of our qualitative research on the roles of socio-cultural centres in just sustainability transitions.

The recording will be made publicly accessible on our PeerTube channel as well as on the IN SITU YouTube channel.

The New European Bauhaus is an EU initiative that bridges between the worlds of science and technology, art and culture to promote more inclusive and sustainable societies.

Welcome and context-setting by Piotr Michałowski and Nancy Duxbury

Sustainability transitions: introduction by Anna Maria Ranczakowska

Theory, practice, and policy making: panel discussion with Erna Guðrún Kaaber, Alina Teodorescu, Marta Vetra and Edina Ocsko

Interactive group sessions with panelists:

  • Policy frameworks and rural development

  • Grassroots impact and challenges

  • Ecosystem perspectives

Feedback on breakout sessions

Closing remarks by Anna Maria Ranczakowska and Piotr Michałowski

Erna Guðrún Kaaber and Anna Hildur are professors at Bifröst University, Iceland, and the leaders of the IN SITU Icelandic non-urban Lab.

Marta Vētra is one of the founders of LAUX, a creative farming enterprise located in Latvia's Valmiera region.

Edina Ocsko is the coordinator of the Smart Rural 21 and Smart Rural 27 projects.

Alina Teodorescu is an artist and the founder of In Context, a non-profit multidisciplinary cultural and art centre whose activity revolves around ecology and human development. The project is based in the rural area of Slanic Moldova in Romania.

Piotr Michałowski is the ENCC co-chairman, and the coordinator of the ENCC working group on cultural centres and non-urban areas. Among other tasks, he is also an independent expert for the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme.

Nancy Duxbury, PhD, is the coordinator of the "Urban Cultures, Sociabilities, and Particiption" Thematic Line at the Cente for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra. Among other projects, she is the principal investigator of the Horizon Europe project "IN SITU: Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas" and member of the European Expert Network on Culture.

Anna Maria Ranczakowska is a Polish-born anthropologist based in Estonia. Since 2014, she has been involved in several projects in the capacity of researcher, facilitator and manager. She currently works at the ENCC as a principal researcher on the topic of socio-cultural centres in just sustainability transitions.

  • Watch the recording of the event here