Narrative Analysis of Local Resources Management

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM
Room: 315
Distributed Paper
Valentina ANZOISE , European Center for Living Technology, Venice, Italy
Stefania SARDO , European Centre for Living Technology, VENEZIA, Italy
The aim of this contribution is to provide a methodological reflection on the following issues: how to frame and conduct local development and innovation processes dealing with cultural and environmental resources, and how to proactively observe them and evaluate their impacts? How to take into account all the people and organizations that will be affected by their consequences? To what extent the current trends in research and evaluation methods are providing outcomes and feedbacks that can be constructively used to design and implement policies?

The Green Communities project, a one year long project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Environment and EU, based in the mountain and rural areas of Italy, will be analyzed and discussed.

The broader aim of the project initiators was that of providing local communities with new tools and procedures to identify and manage natural and cultural assets, and to deliver pilot feasibility studies on buildings’ energy efficiency and forests’ sustainable management from where communities could start a sustainable process of change. Nonetheless, the project team underestimated the importance of communities’ engagement in the construction of a new collective perspective that could “ensure” they could take charge of the project’s outcomes after its official end of the project, in December 2012.  Conflicting orientations and narratives undermined the full deployment of the project’s generative potential.

Therefore, in the paper we will discuss the need for a different approach to innovation processes evaluation, the Dynamic Evaluation (developed within the Emergence by Design project, FP7-ICT-2011-C program). The DE approach 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 predetermined and fixed.