Communities of Practice engage local communities and actors in adopting circular solutions
The first exciting Community of Practice (CoP) for NextGen was held 21 February 2019 in Athens, Greece, for the corresponding demo case of the Urban Tree Nursery in Goudi Park. This community of practice was the first of a series of regular meetings that aim at engaging stakeholders and exploring the role of water in the circular economy, as demonstrated through each NextGen demo case.
A number of selected stakeholders that represented the municipality, public policy-makers, Athens water company, research Institutes, relevant technology providers and end users, of which is the Nursery itself was actively engaged in a number of participatory activities.
These activities, follow the design set by NextGen drawing on experience in sectoral stakeholder engagement, included thematic round tables to reflect on circularity in water systems, a visit to the pilot site (currently under construction) and a session vis-à-vis the Nursery staff in order to gain understanding about the end user needs. In these sessions, stakeholders had the chance to discuss the pilot circular technologies along with potential boundaries, reflect on their role in the larger circular picture, but also were able to understand the perspective and requirements of stakeholders that have a different function in the urban water cycle.
Above all, the CoP meeting was a prime opportunity to communicate NextGen research outputs and their impact on the community. Short demos and presentations were included in between the sessions to inform the stakeholders on state-of-the-art research products, such as the NextGen interactive interface and serious gaming/augmented reality applications for circular systems. The stakeholders provided valuable ideas and feedback at an early design phase of NextGen activities.
NextGen is looking forward to the CoP meetings of the other demo cases that are planned in the coming months!
CONTRIBUTORS: Dimitrios Bouziotas (KWR) and Klio Monokrousou (NTUA)