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September 29, 2014

Austrians launch SEiSMiC network

Austrians launch SEiSMiC network

A two-day event featuring international experts on social innovation kicked off the SEiSMiC national network in Austria.

The launch, held September 25-26 at the Impact Hub Vienna, featured discussions on current and future urban challenges in Europe and their connection to the SEiSMiC project; the concepts of social innovation and livable cities; and a brainstorming session on social innovation projects that could be implemented in Austria.

A ‘sketch’ exercise in which local artists make rough and ready drawings of participants’ dream cities enlivened proceedings. Look for the results online here.

The Austrian event had contributions from two international speakers renowned for their work in social innovation.

Day one featured an interview with Dirk Jarré, former world president of the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW). He lectures on sociology and law and universities in Germany, France and Austria among other countries. He has worked on development issues and the promotion of black elites in Africa and is regularly consulted on welfare issues by the UN, EU and other international agencies and institutions. 

Day two was highlighted with a keynote talk by Mathhew Passmore, a principal member of Rebar Art and Design Studio, an interdisciplinary studio founded in 2004 in San Francisco, USA. Operating at the intersection of art, design.and activism, Rebar has animated the livable cities movement since its foundation. A famous invention of theirs was Park(ing) Day, an intervention in which public parking spaces are converted to a temporary green space to highlight the gulf between public space devoted to parks and that given to private cars.