SUBTOPIA INVITES EUROPE TO DEMOCRATISE THE CITY
A more democratic Europe on the horizon? That’s the objective as artists, activists, and entrepreneurs from Europe meet for three days of “Idea Camp 2015” at Subtopia in Botkyrka, from September 23rd to 25th. Teater K and Civic Karlstad are two of the participants.
How can we create a future city where children can influence their surroundings?
How can we establish grass-roots city planning, involving the inhabitants as participants? How can migration and integration help create new business models and services? How will housing projects in South Europe be financed in the future? These are some of the questions to be discussed during Idea Camp 2015 at Subtopia.
This year’s theme is “build the city”, and is dedicated to bold and innovative ideas that somehow involve society, inhabitants, and culture in the reshaping of the city’s commons and the areas around them. For three days, 50 individuals and entrepreneurs from all over Europe, all “idea makers”, will meet to present their ideas, collaborate, listen to inspirational speakers, interact with Botkyrka, and discuss “how to best build the city” together.
The 2014 Idea Makers are already having a great impact on Europe. One of the participants, Engin Önder, was recently profiled in TIME Magazine’s “Next Generation Leaders” series.
This year’s Idea Camp had 400 applicants, among which 50 Idea makers (creators, technologists and educators) were selected by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) in collaboration with a jury of expert advisers. The ideas touch on a broad spectrum of countries, professional disciplines, and themes. Two of the 50 ideas selected for Idea Camp originated in Sweden:
Teater K from Katrineholm is one of the participants. They will be presenting their project “Visutopia”, which is a “Visions laboratory” for developing future economic structures with an emphasis on efficient use of resources and resilience. The project also includes an “open source hardware maker space”, which is intended as a practical illustration and exploration of how open cooperation and transparency of distribution and manufacturing processes could work. Anders Nilsson is one of the people behind this idea:
“We’re participating in Idea Camp 2015 to find inspiration, and hopefully to inspire others by raising the question of how to manage human and natural resources in sustainable ways in the future”.
Another participant is Civic Karlstad, with their project “Transurbanistaz”, which is aimed at elevating civil society’s ideas about the nature and potential of urban, suburban, and/or rural spaces. What happens to a community when the people who live there have no means to participate in the thought processes that dictate how the commons within it will evolve? Sabina Ostermark, one of the initiators of “Transurbanistaz”, has the following to say about her expectations for Idea Camp 2015:
“Of course we’d like to qualify for the 10 000 EUR of project funding, but getting to participate in Idea Camp is clearly an important and valuable thing in itself – not least because of all the new connections you can make there. Our ideas and thoughts are bound to benefit from our meetings with other participants, and the programme that is being offered”.
On Friday September 25th, the programme will be open to the public. There will be a presentation of all 50 idea makers, and their ideas, at Hangaren Subtopia. Some of Europe’s most passionate foundations, local policy makers, opinion-formers, city planners, and cultural or civic organisations will be here to take part in a concluding panel discussion on how we ought to “build the city” together.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PROGRAMME:
Wednesday September 23rd, 2:30-3:00 pm: IdeaTalk: Michel Bauwens and Kevin Flanagan from the P2P Foundation. An inspiring and personal quest for the commons within the city. Open to the public, pre-registration is required!
“Bauwens is a co-founder and leading activist of the P2P Foundation (Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives), which researches peer production/governance/property and the open/free, participatory, and commons-oriented modes of human cooperation, and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property.”
Wednesday September 23rd, 4:30 pm: Europe meets Alby & Fittja! A guided tour starting from the Subtopia outdoor gallery, which features graffiti pieces by artists like ROA and Alias. Stops are made at Mångkulturellt centrum in Fittja, the Albys hjärta youth centre etc. Invites only!
Thursday September 24th, 10:00-10:30 am:
IdeaTalk: Dr. Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, associate professor at Duke University, The Invisible City. What do the commons mean to migrants, the diaspora and the undocumented? Open to the public, pre-registration is required!
Thursday September 24th, 6:30 pm: Botkyrka locals invite European idea makers to dinner.
Time for conversations, discussions, and new friendships as 25 families from the Botkyrka area invite the participants of Idea Camp to dinner in different parts of Botkyrka. The project provides food cheques for the hosting families. Invites only!
Friday September 25th, 2:00-5:00 pm: A presentation of 50 ideas for a more democratic Europe. Open to the public, no pre-registration required! Some of Europe’s most passionate foundations, local policy makers, opinion-formers, city planners, and cultural or civic organisations will be on site. Concludes with a panel discussion on how we should “build the city” together.
Subtopia’s manager Karin Lekberg on the upcoming conference:
“Subtopia’s many years of experience of cultural and developmental projects have taught us that culture and human relations are the most human things of all. So why not let these constitute the core of our cities and meeting places between the buildings and the streets?”
Download press images below:
Idea Camp 2015 is a three-day conference held at Subtopia in Botkyrka from the 23rd to the 25th of September. Idea Camp revolves around 50 selected participants from more than 20 countries in various parts of Europe and in its neighbouring regions. The participants all have ideas that somehow promote democracy in Europe from a city planning perspective. After participating at Idea Camp, 25 of the ideas will be given 10 000 EUR of R & D funding, to help them take their ideas one step further. The host of “Idea Camp 2015” is Subtopia in Botkyrka. During the week, there will be workshops, lectures and activities, all centred on the theme “build the city”. More information is available at www.culturalfoundation.eu
Subtopia is a municipal owned company in Botkyrka that builds bridges between people with ideas and platforms that make ideas grow. The cluster that has sprouted in telephone tycoon Lars Magnus Ericsson’s old factory site in Alby, south of Stockholm, includes about eighty companies, educators, and start-ups, all working in the fields of culture, creative business, and social entrepreneurship. In 2014 Subtopia was chosen to be part of a prestigious European initiative aimed at using arts and culture as tools to strengthen democracy in Sweden and in Europe. This autumn’s democracy conference, “Idea Camp 2015”, is part of these efforts. More information is available at www.subtopia.se
The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) was set up in Geneva in 1954 by a group of people including Swiss philosopher Denis de Rougemont, architect Robert Schuman, and Prins Bernhard of Holland. A large portion of ECF’s work is aimed at supporting organisations and places which use culture to increase people’s democratic influence over public spaces. ECF is located in Amsterdam, and is the initiator and financier of the three-year network programme “Connected actions for the commons”, which supports Subtopia and five other hubs in Europe. Read more at www.culturalfoundation.eu
For interviews or further information please contact:
Josefina Larsson, Subtopia
073-960 70 48
Ebba Lindqvist PR
070-480 33 00