I_Improve (2018-2021) 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.

During 20-22 November the third transnational team meeting took place within the I_Improve project. This time the partners met in Vienna, Austria, where Wiener SPÖ Bildung were hosting the meeting. The main purpose was to discuss the learning process, discuss the dissemination of project results, and discuss where the project is heading.

We practiced and discussed reflective learning, each partner got to map their work in the project by creating a timeline: What has happened? When did we meet our change-makers? The mapping worked as a way to find a common outset as partners in the project. We also spoke about content of the project and how we will present our material. Another exercise was about the different partner organizations and their tasks, objectives and obstacles through an organisational perspective. For Intercult, we spoke about international cooperation and project-based work as the core of our organisation. Our objective after is to create a practice based on methodology which can empower women working in the cultural sector, and help them develop their capacity for transformational changemaking leadership. In order to create the methodology, we learn from – and study our changemakers.

I_Improve is a lot about informal learning – we learn through taking part in different everyday experiences and seeing how the partner organisations work. It is vital to see every challenge as important and natural, and to make sure that we will work with our challenges as a part of the learning process. One challenge is about the partners difference in size, different aims and functions. This creates interactions between the change makers of the I_improve project. Since every partner participates on different basis, it enables the partners to gain various experience and knowledge. Another challenge is that some partners found it easier to gain knowledge from formal learning sessions, than informal learning. This is an interesting interface in the process of the project.

The hosting organisation Wiener SPÖ Bildung is an adult educational association in Vienna that hosts seminars, lectures and educational events. Each year, they also organize the Donauinselfest, the worlds biggest open-air music festival, that has around 3 million visitors per year. In the partnership of I_Improve, Wiener SPÖ have developed a local project together with the austrian artist Karl Kilian. Through the project Benchmarking, Wiener SPÖ together with the artist, wants to recreate a place for meetings, interaction and dialogue in the city, by repainting and restore some benches along the Donau-canal walk. Anyone can join in and work with the benches.

It was over-all some busy days, filled with exchange of experience, ideas and planning.

Photographer: Tom Peschat.

I_Improve is a capacity development project supported by Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships. The project runs between 2018 and 2021.