The main focus of Kaunas’ second Local Learning Lab (LLL) was to identify effective collaboration methods in the business community, and to also raise awareness of the value creation possibilities that Kaunas 2022 European Capital of Culture (ECoC) can offer to SMEs.
The event concluded with a draft model of community integration, envisioning a local network and innovative cooperation between the youth, cultural, educational, business and social sectors.
A draft model for future Action Plan, serving two overarching objectives:
1. To create a sustainable model of community integration by bringing together the youth, cultural, educational, business and social sectors, with the common goal of developing ideas for a city where one wants to live
2. To develop creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills by encouraging the development of ideas that generate positive impacts in communities and Kaunas region
The future model is formulated through four main draft activities:
1. Formation of the project steering group
The project initiative group will unite a network of partners from our Lithuanian partner Vytautas Magnus University Business Practice Centre (a network of 80 business organisations and 40 mentor experts), KaunasIN stakeholders, business networks, Kaunas 2022 ambassadors, community and municipal leaders. The initiative group will help refine the city's ideas, seek to ensure the continuity of the project, and involve the platform's sponsors. The initiative group, in cooperation with representatives of the youth, cultural, educational, business and social sectors, will look for various opportunities for cooperation and platforming.
2. Creation of a multi-sectoral platform for idea development
The steering group will create and nurture a sustainable ecosystem that will contribute to regional multidisciplinary development. The multi-stakeholder ecosystem will act as a platform to share to a wider public relevant ideas for the city, form initiative groups and later, with the help of experts and mentors, initiate their support and implementation. The platform will crystallise ideas, form teams, select experts, mentors and attract potential funding. With the final goal of uniting the youth, cultural, educational, business and social sectors, the platform will promote cross-sectoral cooperation and ensure the continuity of a sustainable ecosystem beyond 2022.
3. Creative workshops for idea development for city community members
The creative workshops aim to help community initiative groups to develop their refined business, cultural and social ideas. The attendees to these trainings can be multi-sectoral, with young people as a core beneficiary and hence main audience. Youth initiative teams, with the help of experts and mentors, will be led through the stages of idea development towards the implementation of their projects. The platform will notify and recruit talents into teams. The workshops offer and allow the younger generation to create a vision of the future of Kaunas.
4. Ideas festival for Kaunas city "100 in 1 day"
From the foundation of proactive and innovative cross-sectoral cooperation, the next step is to organise 100 socio-cultural interventions within a day in Kaunas. Ideas for the event can be refined during the 'Art of Hosting' forums, later initiated on the platform, and will eventually be developed and shaped through creative workshops.
“The Art of Hosting” ("Participatory Leadership" or "The Art of Participatory Leadership") method was discussed to be the most effective to initiate collaboration and networking in SMEs, ECoC and youth sectors. The method concentrates on creating strategic conversations about all relevant and meaningful issues, knowing about other participants, having experienced, validating substantive reviews. This practice allows for effective planning and management of creative and strategic processes, and an outreach to a large group of stakeholders.
“The Art of Hosting” is constantly changing between workgroups, small groups, dialogue and personal reflections. It engages participants, motivates them with creativity and collaboration to help them discover and make better decisions.