SIRCle

From Wikipreneurship
Jump to: navigation, search

SIRCle

Eight partner organisations have been granted a €446,285 funding under ERASMUS+ to implement the Sustainable Innovation for Resilient Communities (SIRCle) project.

The project uses adult education to address one of the most pressing needs of our time, namely how to marry effective grassroots responses to climate and social change with the capacity to make a sustainable living in a challenging economic environment.

Adult learners will acquire the skills needed to set up and run a social enterprise and sustainable business that contributes to the sustainability of their region. In this way they will be supporting the development of a new economy based on the creation and distribution of the goods and services needed to deliver a sustainable and resilient future.

SIRCle brings together a diverse range of organisations from Austria (plenum), Belgium (AEIDL and Still Consulting), Portugal (FFCUL), Romania (Asociatia Romania in Transizie), Spain (Altekio) and the UK (Findhorm Foundation and Global Ecovillage Network) to implement the project over a three-year period, from November 2014 to October 2017.

AEIDL’s main roles will be to take care of the website, make connections with NGO and social enterprise networks, analyse needs in Belgium, and organise a training seminar and the final conference in Brussels.

Project Summary

The Sustainable Innovation for Resilient Communities (SIRCle) project uses adult education to address one of the most pressing needs of our time, namely how to marry effective grassroots responses to climate and social change with the capacity to make a sustainable living in a challenging economic climate. Adult learners will acquire the skills needed to set up and run a social enterprise and sustainable business that contributes to the sustainability of their region. In this way they will be supporting the development of a new economy based on the creation and distribution of the goods and services needed to deliver a sustainable and resilient future.

Social enterprises are an essential source of jobs, in particular for groups of people who find it difficult to obtain work. These include youth, long-term unemployed, disabled people and people in rural communities, as well as members of the other disadvantaged groups cited above. While social enterprises operate on a commercial basis, their primary purpose is to serve their communities This includes the delivery of local products and services and the creation of job opportunities for people who otherwise might remain unemployed.

The SIRCle Project brings together a diverse range of organisations from Austria, Belgium, Romania, Spain, Portugal and the UK (including a university; a social and holistic business, grassroots communities that train people in sustainability, resilience and social enterprise; organisations with consultative status to the UN and the EU, and others which work at the coalface with marginalised people such as the Roma communities in Romania and Spain) to achieve two aims over a three-year period, from November 2014 to October 2017.

Year One: Capacity Building

Starting in November 2014, two representatives from each of the 9 Partner organisations will meet in the Findhorn Foundation ecovillage in Northern Scotland for 5-days to experience together one of the cornerstone trainings that the new curriculum will be built upon, the Transition to Resilience Training. The curriculum will be highly experiential and innovative, using a core ‘story’ as the principal vehicle for the learnings and then adding different ingredients according to the nationality, size and composition of each group. It will also be translated into seven languages to meet the needs to each Partner country.

Partners will then meet monthly online and in person in regular intervals in order to share a variety of training methods and materials in order to create the new Sustainable Innovation for Resilient Communities (SIRCle) curriculum. Alongside the face to face meetings and monthly online conference calls, webinars will be conducted and at least 16 15-minute teaching videos produced to augment the training.

Years Two and Three: Delivery of the training

In this phase of the SIRCle project, each partner organisation will run 2 Pilot Trainings of the new curriculum. Each training will have a minimum of 16 participants, thus the Project will reach at least 228 participants. We aim to ensure that the courses comprise around 2/3 people from the disadvantaged groups and 1/3 people from groups that are more established in the mainstream and are now expanding their awareness to include issues relating to sustainability. Each group will learn from the other, the final outcome being the creation of at least xxx social enterprises in each country that will enable participants to develop a source of livelihood while exhibiting active citizenship in a way that serves the transition to resilient and sustainable communities.

The long-term impact of this SIRCle Project will be the creation of at least 18 sustainable ventures in 6 EU countries, the creation of a cutting edge, innovative curriculum that supports both societal transition to resilience and the establishment of social enterprises; and the opportunity to disseminate this curriculum and the best practice that accompanies it, within the UN, parts of the EU and within universities.