The Residency and Hub
Start date: Jan 1, 2015,
End date: Dec 31, 2016
The Connectors Residency and Hub is an attempt at pioneering a non-traditional method of integration, citizen engagement, informal education and entrepreneurship. Connectors Malmö leads the project in collaboration with the city of Malmö, MKB (local housing agency) and RGDTS. The Residency and Hub is a physical and social space within the community of Persborg in Malmö. Persborg faces a high level of unemployment, single households and segregation, leading to a high level of clinical depression among residents and low sense of community. The Residency and Hub seeks to break this mould by providing a platform for residents to creatively reconstruct their community. It serves as a social innovators residency, where social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds will live collectively--working on their own projects and jointly on community projects. The Hub is a drop-in office and workshop where residents of the local community can develop their skills through a system of skill exchanges.
The project seeks to become a solution that can be scaled to other cities with similar demographics and challenges. Most cities, for example, have vacant lots that could act as the physical space for this solution. The project seeks three volunteers to work with the ongoing development of the concept. The volunteers will all be independent thinkers who have proven to be diligently competent of taking initiative. The tasks and activities range from physical development and construction of the 3000 m2 physical space to community outreach; from creative PR campaigns to event curating; from volunteering and interacting with local actors to administrative tasks.
The methodology carried out throughout the practice will be twofold. Firstly, we will focus a lot on Human Centered Design as defined by Ashoka International. Since much of the work involved in this process is problem-solving and solution-finding, we use human-centered design to ensure that the solutions are sustainable and relevant to the problem. Secondly, we instill a customized team-workflow based on team-building, mutual trust and work efficient methods including Pecha Kucha and Pomodoro technique. We have found this hybrid method of working to be very effective with our current team.
Through this project we hope to see physical changes to the community of Persborg. The hub aims to be used as a workspace for locals to craft the physical construction of the community, with the approval of the municipality and housing agency. If locals agree, for example, that all benches in Persborg should be painted blue, we aim to act as a platform and intermediary to ensure that this can happen. This will promote direct democracy and will begin to give the neighbourhood an identity. This project also aims to bring social change. In the interaction between neighbours over the physical changes to the neighbourhood, community begins to form. We hope a sense of ownership over the neighbourhood will unite neighbours.
In the grand scheme of things, we hope this project will strengthen and empower the diverse sustainable and relevant change occurs. If this project does prove to be a success, we would like to spread this concept to other neighbourhoods in Northern Europe, before scaling to the rest of Europe and then globally. After piloting this project, we believe we will have the necessary skills and knowhow to scale and adapt this concept to all cities with various budgets,community of Persborg. We believe that change comes from the grassroots level and when ordinary people begin to feel ownership and take initiative within their own community,
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