Intensive Study Programme Arnhem 2017
The second intensive study programme of the Strategic Partnership ‘Social Entrepreneurship for Local Change’ was hosted by VHL Larenstein in Arnhem from May 6-13, 2017. 26 students and 17 staff members from all partner institutions joined the workshop activities. Their aim was to generate social business models in reaction to local challenges identified in the urban landscape of Arnhem. The overall topic was on sustainable foodscapes, linking the city of Arnhem better to food production areas in its direct vicinity.
The focus area of the workshop was Malburgen, a quarter in the South of Arnhem with great spatial qualities. However, is facing social challenges such as unemployment, social isolation and health problems. The participants spend the first two days exploring the environment and meeting local entrepreneurs and residents in order to better understand the local context. International and interdisciplinary teams were then formed based on shared interests and the topics that had been identified in the territory. The teams were also able to work for some days in Marburgen in the Malburcht community centre which provided an inspiring working environment. The other days were spent at the VHL campus in Velp.
From ideas to a business model
Each team went through a design thinking process for developing and refining the potential products and services their social enterprise would deliver. This included a field testing day during which the participants came back to Marburgen and talked to various people about their ideas. This way, they could find out if their business ideas really match a demand. VHL provided its living lab for this day, a caravan equipped with furniture and moderation materials, which serves greatly for interacting with a community. The living lab was places in Malburgen next to the market square which was a great opportunity for community interaction.
Presenting the ideas to the local public
The following ideas were presented to a group of local entrepreneurs, social workers and other stakeholders on May 13, 2017 in the Malburcht community centre:
The Foodscape Classroom presented a plan to reduce overweight and waste of food through a combination of school gardens, workshops, cooking classes and trips. Into Farms proposes to make a strong connection between food growers in the area and residents by organizing events involving residents and food producers. It's not just a visit, but everyone is also going to pick up apples and make pie, harvest pumpkin and process soup, make strawberries smoothies and pick up eggs.
Cama Entertainment wants to activate underused public spaces as communication hub for all residents of Malburgen. From young to old, for all cultures. This will be done by organizing a series of events together with local entrepreneurs. This way people can work together and also develop their skills. The formats could be theme nights, open days and competitions.
I'malburgen uncovers the hidden treasures of the neighborhood by organizing activities for which people sign up individually and then start working in a culturally mixed team: multicultural football, cooking for young and old, team building for local organizations. This allows people to get in touch with their community.
Root connections gives everyone the opportunity to be heard. This way it can be avoided that opinion leaders articulate only their needs while other voices remain unheard. The idea is to train people to interact with the neighborhood and identify the hidden needs, wishes and qualities. This information should then also be processed systematically in order to support the development of strategic actions.
The team of the Wooncamer – the Living Room received a prize for their idea. The concept is to develop a place for young people from 12 to 18 years in a vacant building. This place would serve as a youth centre in the first place but also offer activities and trainings that are close to the interests of the young people, such as fashion, music and pop art. Based on that, ‘the wooncamer’ would help in further developing skills, including entrepreneurial thinking. Cooperation with other enterprises will ensure that young people get in touch with serious tasks and develop their competence this way.
A jury, consisting of representatives of the Living Environment, Housing and Social Entrepreneurs team, awarded a prize to the idea that was most practical and that would have the most effect. Anton Klop of the project Gelderland Valoriseert awarded the prize.