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SEiSMiC's over but aftershocks expected


The SEiSMiC project wrapped up this fall with a final event in October and by now the formal final reporting has been submitted to the European Commission, which financially backed the project.

For this last installment of What’s Shaking, we wanted to recount some of the observations and insights shared at the final event in Brussels and highlight some key project results.

An article on the Brussels Forum, October 25-26, summarises some key final messages, while detailed outcomes have been published in several last-hour additions to the project library. These include the fourth edition of the Policy Watch series, a book detailing the major project results (SEiSMiC: Enabling social innovation in European cities), and some guidelines about establishing national networks (The SEiSMiC practice-based guide to establishing national stakeholder networks for urban challenges).

Besides print publications, final outputs included a new online teachers guide for a course on urban challenges. Called “Streetsmarts”, the guide targets students of secondary schools and it covers a range of contemporary social challenges and socially innovative solutions. The Regional Environmental Center, a SEiSMiC consortium member, presented Streetsmarts at the final event to glowing reviews. The curriculum was trialed successfully in several classroom settings, including at an international sustainability seminar in Belarus this past summer.

Every issue of What’s Shaking has shone a spotlight on one of the 10 project countries and the final issue brings us to Hungary. This issue of What’s Shaking contains articles about a bicycle-based produce delivery service, a feminist critique of Budapest’s public amenities, a socially progressive architectural collective, and some good-practice examples of how Hungarian civil groups have made use of vacant or underused urban spaces.

As well as being a platform for exchange between social innovators, SEiSMiC has given EU decision makers and social scientists first-hand insights on how to shape policies and research that encourage social innovation.

Although the project has officially concluded, its national networks are encouraged to carry on. To promote this follow-up, JPI Urban Europe has created a Stakeholder Involvement Platform and plans to host annual international events for participants to confer with researchers and relevant EU institutions, much like the SEiSMiC forums of the last three years. Here’s to a fruitful continuation of what SEiSMiC put in motion.