I_Improve 2018-2021

I_Improve is a cooperative European project. The partnership consists of 6 members from the River//Cities platform: Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Poland and Lithuania. The common framework is promoting audience engagement through culture, especially in waterfront areas. Its priorities are social inclusion, open and innovative practices in the digital area, and adult education.
The changing European and global context is bringing new challenges to communities. If not addressed these challenges can result in the growth of radicalism and damage social cohesion.
Fostering audience engagement in the arts and culture, however, promotes
  • intercultural dialogue
  • social cohesion
  • democratic engagement
The Arts broaden perspectives and encourage mutual understanding.
In other words, the Arts have the ability to engage with citizens, both established and newly arrived, through cultural and creative interventions. Therefore, there is a clear demand for new and innovative practices and formats, hence requiring different competences from the staff of cultural organisations (e.g. detecting community needs and turning these into opportunities, specialised skills for peer groups, digital skills, the need to share knowledge, …)
Through I_Improve
  • Staff members of cultural organisations get the opportunity to discover their individual strengths/potential and gain insight into ways of contributing to the success  of their organisation. They  acquire a new perspective on various ongoing projects and on connnecting with audiences involved.
  • Directors of cultural organisations learn to detect needs, and find a means to connect with policymakers
  • Authorities and organisations gain access to sustainable urban waterfront projects, including detailed information and processes
The strategy for achieving this utilises an informal educational approach to learning (i.e. modern workplace learning). To instigate this situation I-Improve introduces an external actor into the working environment of the partner organisation. These external actors, called ‘Changemakers’, demonstrate innovative means of addressing socially diverse audiences and offer unique insights into the positive social effects of the organisation’s creative output. The role of this ChM is paramount for this specific project, and he/she has a proven track record of turning ideas into actions, and a clear insight into a range of participatory processes (e.g. engagement of/ communication with varying social demographics, conflict management, co-creation, …).
Digital technology is an integral part of the project. Through the update of a digital platform on creative and participatory waterfront interventions (IO1), and a digital learning environment (transmedia resource, IO2), I-improve promotes new attitudes towards the utilisation of ICT for professionals in the cultural sector.

Cultural organisations need to join forces when facing current social challenges. Being able to share and learn from peers in the same working field throughout Europe can strengthen the professionalism of its staff members. On a European and global level strong teamwork, connecting competences, and sharing responsibilities and workload are factors that contribute to citizen education and intercultural dialogue.

The project starts in September 2018 and ends in June 2021.