R//C Presentation and Exercises from Transnational Stockholm C7 Meeting

During Stockholm’s C7 Transnational Meeting (TM) River//Cities Platform Foundation prepared the presentation according to the format outlined for all the partners by Venti di Cultura.

 Venti di Cultura also asked partners to include in their presentation the reference of their activities to Waterfront Heritage. The River//Cities presentation was delivered by Magdalena Zakrzewska-Duda.

Although, the presentation and the exercises that followed encompassed two aspects of River//Cities activity – one as the organisation registered in Gdansk, Poland with local impact and the other of an international platform for exchange of knowledge and networking – the emphasis was put on this second aspect as most of the TM’s participants had been part of this network for a long time.

The presentation covered the following:

1) Basic information about R//C Foundation organisation, who we are, what are our values, our background/history and vision.

2) Presentation of our Changemaker –artist Iwona Zając and the reasons why we chose her and her methodology as our inspiration. We really appreciated the way Iwona collected the stories of “common people” and transferred them into artworks. What is worth emphasizing is the fact that most of Iwona’s work has been connected with waterfronts, post shipyard heritage areas and local communities. Our Cultural Patrimony…

3) While talking about the past and the history of organisation Magda introduced the exercise which meant to evaluate the facts about the organisation. The exercise was based on the classic game: ‘’Fortunately/Unfortunately’’.

Purpose of this exercise was to generate both positives and negatives for the topic of the organisation’s past - sparkle creativity, teach to build narrative and storytelling.

The game also teaches that there is always a flipside to a negative or positive. It is also useful for analysing the development of a project over time, especially one that is either difficult or troubled.

This exercise shows that positive and negative statements are always balanced against each other; you can never say too many good things or bad things about a topic and therefore it encourages participants to focus on improving it or creating a balanced narrative, on the one hand, and teaches them how to develop a more balanced perspective on their activities.

4) While presenting River//Cities Vision – Magda asked participants to comment on our organisation’s future.

In order to make their comments partners took part in another exercise called ‘’What If’’.

Participants were split into small groups (3 -4 people). Each group was given a ‘what if’ scenario (they could choose from two) and from these scenarios they created a vision of River//Cities in 10 years time (2030). This vision could have been documented as an image, recording, text etc.

5) Next part of the presentation covered our methodology chosen for the project i.e. Story Work and WHY we do it.

As an organisation we had needed to improve our internal and external communication, therefore we highlighted the past, present and future of organisation in order to show its current state and to explain that storytelling methodology can help our organisation to go forward.

Magda presented Story Work Methodology that consists of a few strands: Story Listening and Story Telling as well as Story Triggering

6) Later on Magda explained how we can work with this methodology in practice. During our C5 Activity in Gdańsk while hosting partners from SPO Building in Vienna we worked on developing organisational narrative (based on instructions from Avril, our Educator), using ‘The Social Code’.
As a result of this exercise a beautiful symbolic story on River//Cities as a networking organisation was created by C5 participants.

7) The concluding part of our presentation - covered subject of - ‘’How to create a good story - in practice’’

To complete the theory, a creative session was added. It was based on Story Telling & Listening methodology, on a personal level. Participants walked in pairs in the neigbourhood of the Intercult’s office. The goal of the exercise was for a more experienced partner (one who has worked with R//C for longer period of time) to tell a story to a ‘younger’ partner - the story that had to be linked with personal experience of working with R//C. The “newcomer” to RC took the notes during the walk and later on recreated the story as a text or the presentation.
(Below is attached our C7 Presentation and Magda's Story written by Jasmin from Intercult - a result of this exercise).


The idea and description of Game Fortunatelly/Unfortunatelly comes from the Educational website: www.skillsconverged.com

I_Improve Partner Meeting, 18-22 August 2019, Stockholm.