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Nantes Transfer Story

Edited on

28 October 2020
Read time: 5 minutes

“My interest to be involved in this project is to have the opportunity to meet people we know exist but don’t have the opportunity to meet, and then together be innovative joining our efforts towards a common goal”, says Fabienne Affilé Headmaster of Pre-school Henri Bergson in the South District of Nantes.

The ON BOARD Educational Innovation Network (EIN) represents the formal and visible structure and organisation that integrates the rich and diverse education projects being developed in Nantes, which today are not so coordinated or well-known outside. The signing of the political declaration in Viladecans (Feb 2019) concretised our common ON BOARD beliefs that:



  • Modernisation of the traditional education systems is necessary in order to prepare our citizens for the 21st century’s challenges and needs
  • Education is the responsibility of society as a whole
  • The Education Innovative Network Good Practice is a valuable tool for cities to enable multiple forms of collaboration and the sharing of views amongst practitioners and education stakeholders.


Now, let’s step back in time, for context, in 2017. Nantes was faced with the challenge of how to cope with its economic developments that should help position the region as a technological and innovation pole, meeting the requirements for technological skills and competences that all this entails. The city was therefore keen on knowing more about Viladecans’ plans for introducing Learning and Knowledge Technologies, because we felt this could be an opportunity for us to learn how to tackle our city’s digital divide.

At the URBACT City Festival in Tallinn, in September 2017, we got the first chance to know more about Viladecans’ EIN Good Practice up close. We were immediately impressed by the integrated approaches, strong political involvement, and family engagement, together with innovative ways of putting unusual stakeholders together, especially companies. Admirable, too, was the way Viladecans integrated parents in the school’s activities and even had a special room in the school for their meetings.

Nantes decide to participate on the ON BOARD project to transfer the EIN to their city.  Not to “copy and paste” the Good Practise but to be “Inspired” by it - to adapt it to our territorial approach and the size of our city:  that’s why we chose to start projects in the 2 pilot districts (North and South), which shall allow us to monitor success and to plan for post-project network sustainability.

The actions described in our Transfer Story were in progress when Covid 19 suddenly jumped into our lives, with schools closed and all other daily life abruptly affected, including our work in ON BOARD. Though we continue to work together online with ON BOARD partners, and depend on health developments that affect our project results in the short term, we are going forward according to our local situation to find the best ways to achieve sustainability.

Read the complete Transfer Story here and learn more about Nantes experience.