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Falling for Come in! - Kick-off and Capacity Building Meeting in Targówek

Edited on

26 May 2019

After an excited waiting period, crossing our fingers to be selected for Phase 2, the whole network was more than ready to get started. Targówek district of Warsaw was the first step in our two year long journey, finally with everyone on board.

The kick-off meeting was held between 12-13th of February in Poland, where we received professional and warm-hearted hospitality by the Municipality of Targówek, which totally compensated the crazy cold weather we just arrived in. The network cities Forlí (IT), Gyergyószentmiklós (RO), Újbuda (HU), Varazdin (HR), Targówek (PL) and Pori (FI) had their representatives present together with the proposed ULG coordinator for the transfer. Unfortunately our beloved Spanish fellows could not join us this time from Plasencia due to some changes in their departments. So approximately a 20 people crowd got together to take a deep dive into the transfer network and to get the work started. The main focuses of the kick off meeting were getting familiar with the Transfer Plan, refreshing the steps of the transfer process and discussing the communicational and management requirements. After the very first dinner together at a traditional and famous Polish restaurant in the old-town all the partners got on the same page and were counting down the hours till we could begin with the workshop. As it is well known an active session is much more effective than a frontal information transfer, so the agenda of our 2 days together was filled with surprises, playful workshop elements, where we aimed to stimulate the creativity of the participants.

 

According to a Hungarian phrase “repetition is the mother of knowledge”, after a short introductory circle we jumped into refreshing our memories about the implementation plan and the budget itself. Complex excel sheets could be really scary to look at, so a pretty tricky quiz helped the partners to find the answers on their own using helping materials like the transferability study, the budget worksheet or the flowchart. We have to admit, everyone in national teams did an excellent job by fulfilling the 4 page long questionnaire. The winning city received an irresistible Hungarian chocolate called Balaton. After the hard-working fun Aldo Vargas expert from the National Urbact Point in Poland held a super interesting lecture on Urbact Local Group: meaning of ULG, recruiting the members, analysing the stakeholders and keeping those members motivated and committed in the transfer process. During the first day afternoon the so-called “Walkshop” kept us awake after lunch, because we could taste the very famous Polish winter by having a guided tour in the Targówek neighbourhood for 1,5 – 2 hours. Our guide was very well-prepared and he shared truly exciting facts, stories and urban legends about this revitalizing neighbourhood, then we warmed up by watching a video about Targówek - the district of hidden treasures, where its “Local Wikipedia” a wonderful resident shared his story and the reason why Targówek is his true place on earth. This video and the tour itself had underlined some assets, barriors and resources the district owns, which could be incorporated to the Polish Transfer Plan.

The joint dinners always help to socialize, this happened in our case as well: informal sharing of thoughts and planning the transfer is easier over a huge plate of nice meal. The second day of the Kick-off meeting has arrived quickly, but we still had a dense programme ahead us. An energizer activity has boosted the creativity of the cities: they needed to sketch the poster of the ideal transferred festival, form their own boilerplate (message they are aiming to spread), create a catchy name for the festival with an even catchier tagline.

Rita Szerencses