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May 16, 2014

Czechs Hold Seismic's First Inaugural Workshop

Czechs Hold Seismic's First Inaugural Workshop

The first workshop in a SEiSMiC project country will take place on May 30 in Prague. This inaugural event is expected to draw up to 50 people, representing a diverse demographic: primary school pupils and pensioners, NGO representatives and business people, physically challenged people, Roma and more.

As in other countries, the group will grapple with the key challenges confronting cities and explore how they can be addressed through social innovation.

Selma Muhic Dizdarevic, a professor at the Department of Civil Society Studies at Charles University, is helping to coordinate the network. She explained how the group was pieced together from the vast network of her department. In preparatory gatherings leading up to the meeting, members have been active in discussions, even getting engaged in more abstract debates on network architecture.

To date, Dizdarevic said, a key challenge has been how to involve politicians. Although it's recognised that local decision makers often play a decisive role in putting proposals into practice, Czech organisers wanted their network discussions to be open and apolitical.

In Prague, the dilemma was solved by involving a former, rather than a current, political office holder. This person contributed valuable insights about urban politics without pushing a partisan agenda.