Alliances of knowledge for social innovation in the face of depopulation
The main aim of KiNESIS is to create a Knowledge Alliance among academics, NGOs, communities, local authorities and businesses to develop a program of multidisciplinary activities in shrinking areas with the aim of promoting and fostering ideas, projects, workforce, productivity and creativity.
The problems affecting peripheral territories in the rural or mountain areas of the interior regions across Europe are related to complex but clear phenomena. The emigration of younger generations, the abandonment and loneliness of elderly people, the loss of jobs, the deterioration of buildings and land, the closing of schools and related services, the disappearance of traditions and customs, the contraction of local governments, which in the absence of adequate solutions can only generate worse conditions, leading to the abandonment of areas rich in history, culture and traditions. It is important that these communities are not abandoned since they are rich in cultural traditions, which need to be preserved with a view to new developments, intended as "intelligent" rebirth and recovery.
The ‘Public Discourse’ research group is collaborating with the University of Nápoles L'Orientale, the University of Hamburg, the University of Tilburg, the University of Aveiro, the University of Talinn, and the Observatorio de la Realidad Social de Navarra on this project, funded with support from the European Commission.
Keeping in mind the threefold objectives of cooperation and innovation in research, higher education and business, which characterise the Knowledge Alliance action, the project aims are:
- Revitalising depopulated areas by stimulating entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills;
- Creating local living laboratories, shared at European level, in which the exchange of knowledge, best practices and experiences can help promote social inclusion and entrepreneurial development;
- Experimenting with new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches in teaching and learning;
- Facilitating the exchange, flow and co-creation of knowledge at a local and global level.