Constructing Shared Narratives of Sustainable Local Development

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: Booth 65
Oral Presentation
Valentina ANZOISE , European Center for Living Technology, Italy
Stefania SARDO , European Centre for Living Technology, VENEZIA, Italy
Contemporary societies are facing and generating social and environmental crises, which involve multiple dimensions and different actors at various levels. Policies have to deal with them and guide communities transformations. Therefore, in Developing as well as in Western countries, it is not just a matter of finding and providing financial resources, but to tailor them according to contexts and addressing communities’ governance and capabilities building. Moreover, policies’ orientations and goals should always consider the consequences and transformations (material and immaterial) that can be induced by their implementation – and that cannot be foreseen a priori – and therefore should develop the capacity of being adaptive and self-reflexive. But how to? And how can local communities participate in the design and implementation of their own change?

The aim of this paper is that of providing some theoretical and methodological reflections on how to conduct and proactively observe local development processes, focusing on two case studies based in Southern Italy’s mountain and rural areas:  the Green Communities (GC) project, a one year long project, top-down driven, funded by the Italian Ministry of Environment and the EU, and Rural Design, a bottom-up driven project initiated by some of the political representatives, technicians and “active citizens” previously involved in the GC project.  Through them we will discuss different orientations to sustainable local development, but also a new evaluation approach, the Dynamic Evaluation (DE), developed within the Emergence by Design project (FP7-ICT-2011-C program). The DE is based on the complex systems approach and on the hypothesis that the iterative generation of feedback loops contribute to the construction (and enactment) of shared narratives that can help in dealing with unpredictable settings, where goals and consequences are emerging and changing rather than being predetermined and fixed.