RURACTIVE consortium advances on sustainable rural development

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The RURACTIVE consortium, after initiating project activities in September 2023, convened for the first progress meeting on April 11-12, 2023, at the Gotland Campus of the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Led by project coordinator Prof. Simona Tondelli from the University of Bologna, the meeting served as a pivotal moment for stakeholders to come together and assess the progress made since the project’s inception.

During the two-day meeting, representatives from BIOAZUL together with rest of the partners actively participated in various discussions, workshops, and presentations. Their involvement was instrumental in fostering a deeper understanding of the current priorities and challenges facing rural development initiatives within the RURACTIVE framework. The expertise and insights contributed significantly to the exploration of innovative strategies aimed at empowering rural communities and driving positive change in their respective regions.

One key highlight of the meeting was the productive session dedicated to testing a catalogue of solutions tailored to address diverse rural challenges. This exercise laid the groundwork for the development of innovative solutions to be implemented by the different Dynamos within their local communities throughout the project duration.

Furthermore, participants played an integral role in testing the methodology co-developed by RURACTIVE partners for implementing Rural Innovation Ecosystems. By analyzing local stakeholders’ influence and interest in particular solutions, partners gained valuable insights into enhancing community engagement and collaboration.

The importance of effective communication and collaboration at both project and local levels was underscored throughout the meeting. Participants actively participated in discussions exploring ways to best support Dynamos and facilitate community involvement in co-designing initiatives to improve rural livelihoods.

Aside from the intensive work sessions, the RURACTIVE consortium had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Swedish island of Gotland. Participants engaged in leisure activities and enjoyed a communal dinner, fostering camaraderie and collaboration outside the meeting room.

Moreover, the meeting facilitated multilevel knowledge transfer and peer-to-peer learning activities, providing invaluable opportunities for Dynamo partners to exchange experiences and insights. Hosted by Energicentrum Gotland, participants gained practical insights into accelerating the energy transition on the island and explored innovative projects like GECO (Gamifying Energy Communities) at the University of Uppsala.

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