Bridging the SDGs: Citizens towards Sustainable Development

We’re pleased to be partnering with Insights US on an exciting new project aimed at generating action-led advice from citizens, to support sustainable economic development within UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

A bit about Insights US… Insights was founded to help decision makers make better decisions that advance our collective welfare. They believe that governments, businesses, local authorities, NGOs and communities require more inclusive decision-making to solve problems and deliver change. The Insights online platform enables communities to promote their collective well-being through their collective wisdom and participation. 

And we aim to do just that – by bridging citizens with the high profile but often intangible UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we will collate activities, ideas, and the collective wisdom of citizens and other key stakeholders on how they can be supported to take an effective role in progress towards the UN SDGs.

We’ll be inviting participants to offer their thoughts and ideas on a specific question (officially released with the launch on the 31st August). We are focusing this engagement on UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, areas dedicated to testing new approaches towards sustainable development where people and the environment co-exist in harmony. 

UNESCO Biospheres welcome local community participation and involvement. They promote innovative approaches to sustainable economic development that fit within diverse social cultural contexts. They celebrate ecological and cultural diversity through collaboration, research and education. The Lima Action Plan, which sets out a global agenda for UNESCO Biospheres for the next ten years, recognises the contribution of entrepreneurs and social enterprises to the Biosphere (C6). With over 600 Biosphere Reserves worldwide, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to showcase sustainable living around the world.

We will be reaching out to local people, social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, business owners, to biosphere managers, and local authorities. The insights generated will then be collated into a Community Insights Report for decision-makers and citizens and will be available on the open-access OASIIS Platform.

 

Bridging the SDGs launches on August 31st; watch this space!

 

With the financial support of the EU

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Engaging Community Assets to tackle Social Isolation

In recent years there has been an increased interest and awareness about the issue of social isolation and loneliness.  At the end of last year Voluntary Health Scotland published a briefing paper identifying 'Loneliness: [as] a threat to Scotland's Health'. It focuses on what makes a difference in reducing loneliness and improving physical as well as mental health. In response to this challenging issue, the Scottish Government committed to developing a Loneliness and Isolation Strategy.

Linking in with this current debate is the Engaging Community Assets project we were involved in with the Royal College of GPs and funded by the Scottish Government (2012-2014) . The project also focused on better health and social care integration and therefore seems very current and relevant in terms of its findings and outcomes;

One of the main findings from the project was that there was an underlying issue of social isolation (...) identified by each of the communities.

The project successfully used social capital to build local relationship networks and engaged with social enterprises to enable partnership working as well as share best practice. The project also

developed a model that could be adopted by other practices in Scotland which could assist them to engage local community assets, focusing on this universal issue [of loneliness] initially.

View the project summary here >>

#endloneliness

6th Social Capital World Forum

Learning Villages: Connecting City and Citizens

Older men reading with child _ Shutterstock pictureWhat is a Learning Village

Based on the successful ‘test drive’ of the idea of Learning Villages at the 5th Social Capital World Forum in 2013 where we aimed at creating a space for ‘Creating Abundant Communities’ grounded in the approaches of social capital, sustainable development and participatory processes, in 2016 we want to bring the idea of Learning Villages to three communities across Europe: Glasgow (Scotland), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Dornbirn (Austria) as part of the 6th Social Capital World Forum to bring together and connect the 'Cities and their Citizens'.

The overall aim of the Learning Villages is to explore new ways and methodologies to foster social capital, trust and collaboration within communities to support them in building their own capacities and skills on inclusive local decision-making processes and policies which will enable those communities to come together and also bridge the exiting gaps between public bodies and their local citizens. The Learning Villages are meant to demonstrate that this kind of collaboration and co-production can provide a replicable model for local delivery through community-led initiatives.

SCWF-Logo

If you would like to apply for the April Learning Village in Glasgow please contact scwf-info@social-capital.net. For more information on the individual Learning Villages, visit our Social Capital World Forum Website: http://www.sc-wf.org/scwf-2016/

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter (@AssistSocCap) under #LearningVillage #SCWF2016 #Glasgow #CityandCitizens #SocialCapital

The next SCWF will be hosted in 2016 as a series of three 'Learning Villages' in

  • Scotland, 8-9th April
  • Sweden, 16-17th Sep
  • Austria, 25-26th Nov

Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Event in Scotland – Featured BR: Lake Vänern

Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, Sweden

As part of our Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Event in Scotland at the end of the month, we are featuring some of the attendees biosphere reserves who are already working with this approach. As mentioned in our first article, the event is hosted by Assist Social Capital and co-facilitated by Colin Campbell (Assist Social Capital) and Johanna MacTaggart who is the coordinator of MAB Sweden and the Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.

Lake Vanern BR -Sweden- LogoAbout the Biosphere Reserve

The Archipelago and Mount Kinekulle became an UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve in 2010. It is covers part of the Lake Vänern drainage basin and involves three local municipalities encompassing an area of ca. 278.600 hectare with about 75.000 inhabitants. The Biosphere Reserve itself is run as a non-profit organisation.

(get more info on the BR here)

A socio-environmentally responsive business model

As one of the largest inland lakes and fresh water reserves within Europe, Lake Vänern also has one of the largest fishing fleets. The sustainability of this ecosystem is crucial for the region to ensure clean water, a healthy fish population and food quality. This aspect of sustainable livelihoods alongside maintaining biodiversity provides a common ground for collaboration from  industries as differing as Ecotourism and Fisheries. Along the same line Social entrepreneurship provides the local economy with a business model directly deriving from social as well as environmental challenges. This provides an innovative and entrepreneurial approach responsive to socio-environmental as well as socio-economic needs in the region.

Additionally, stakeholder collaboration has been encouraged in the region to ensure that local decision-makers, businesses and civil society can overcome issues through taking joint responsibility on developing, ensuring and maintaining the Lake Vänern Biosphere.

 

Social Media Icons - Commons PictureYou can also contribute to and/or follow our conversations on the event and the related issues on Facebook and Twitter @AssistSocCap under #SEBRScotland #Biosphere Reserves #WCBRLima #Social Enterprise

 

Our Development Framework

Community Consultation on Anti-Poverty in Glenrothes this Saturday!

24/09/2015

This Saturday, 26th September 2015, Assist Social Capital facilitates a Community Consultation event on Anti-Poverty in the Glenrothes Area (Glenrothes town and the surrounding villages of Leslie, Markinch, Coaltown of Balgonie, Milton of Balgonie, Thornton and Kinglassie), Fife.

The event provides an opportunity for all people who live, work and volunteer in the local area to get involved in developing an anti-poverty action plan for the Glenrothes area. 

The aim of the event is to;
• Highlight good practice in Glenrothes area
• Identify specific actions/changes which would make a positive difference
• Integrate local ambitions on tackling poverty

The event location is the Rothes Halls starting at 11:30

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For more information on the event and to secure a place contact: 01592 583474 or info@social-capital.net ... or just drop in on Saturday

You can also follow our conversation on the topic online @AssistSocCap and @Glentogether or get involved with #Glentogether #anti-poverty