C7 - Summaries of Creative Sessions from each partner

Here are the summaries of Creative Sessions from the meeting in Stockholm by each Partner.


During the visit in Gnesta Intercult created a session on folowing questions: how do you create a participatory and inclusive process? How do you engage with local stakeholders? what makes your organisation to engage ? how do you choose the issues to engage in ? how do you engage your audience? The session was based on group discussions and here follows the conlusion of answers in each group. 

I_Improve: Conclusion of the answers (Transcribering från inspelning 2019-05-22, Vår Lokal Gnesta). 

How do you create a participatory and inclusive process?

The group talked about going beyond your usual circles and environment. Getting to know the people. Do the people have a connection to cultural sector, and how? So, they should listen to different interests. It can be hard to involve people age from 25-45. The easiest audiences to reach are children and schools. Through children, when having activities on the weekends, their parents could participate more. Also, story-telling etc. is a powerful tool to get to people and to empower them. So, telling an interesting story and present an interesting message is a key to engaging audiences. Listen to different people in unexpected environments. Finding new target groups in new different environments, such as architects, “climate people” etc.

How do you engage with local stakeholders?

Organisations have very different connections with stakeholders. They often work as a bridge between community/neighborhood and the municipality and university. They’re taking local knowledge and bringing it to the students in the university. They want to serve as a bridge between stakeholders and community. 

What makes your organization to engage?

People in this group had different opinions on the issue. Laimikis said that it is the joy of innovation and the connection with the people and the place, and sympathy with the locals’ communities that makes their organization engage. For the library, it is the connection with their visitors as the libary wants to create a safe heaven for the visitors, and that they feel welcome, at home and at ease. Venti di Cultura said that it is the love for the city, and saving the city: homing, love and enjoy. To create places/atmospheres for people to feel at home and to enjoy the process.

How do you choose the issues to engage in?

For the city of Ostend: they follow the policy of the city. They try to fit in the broad policy directions. Fit in and make it according to their goals. For SPÖ Austria: they have a policy by law, and the actions that they choose fit into this general policy, but always remain true to their main mission. For Venti di Cultura: the issues epend on opportunities and personal interest, background and experience. the most important is fitting into the mission of the organisation, and being true to yourself as an organisation, and connecting to the community you live in. Doing something that is useful which is an important issue at the moment for the city where you live in.


Laimikis.LT has presented ongoing work on the development of the river stories box. It is a combination of the storytelling method, visual facilitation, and gamification. Laimikis has shared the very first sketches of the prototype, co-developed with the illustrator as a changemaker. The work is done on the basis of the stories by the riverfront communities that Jekaterina Lavrinec (Laimikis.LT) have collected during the period of October 2018 - March 2019. The function of the Box is threefold: it serves as a set of ideas for the revitalization of the waterfront, it illustrates personal memories about the activities that took place by the river of Nemunas in previous decades. The box of cards meant to be used as a living archive for storytelling sessions, as a tool for generating ideas, and as a teambuilding game. You can follow the further progress here.


During the C7 activity, the Library of Ostend had the chance to present our running project “Forgotten Orchestra”. Our project with people with dementia was almost finished. Only the “finishing touch”, the crown on our dementia project, the presentation of our creative stories, was yet to come. So we were very enthusiastic to share our experience of our learning journey with people with dementia with the other partners of I Improve.

After Martine and I gave a short introduction we presented the video presentation of our colleague Matthias.

The video explains the learning journey of our project, using different platforms, pictures, reflection movies… Our creative session, introduced by Gretel, has three parts: first, pick a song that takes you back to a memory, and share it with the group. We shared very different music styles and various memories. The partners even created their own playlist. Music, as a tool for memories, has proved once more to be a powerful weapon.  

The second part was a bit more challenging: we practiced the “Value Proposition Canvas” of Osterwalder to evaluate a product or service. This was not so simple and soon the discussion raised whether this is useful in the cultural sector. For the third part of our creative session, we asked the partners to evaluate a project using the de Bono hats. All partners were enthusiastic about this way of evaluating.

For more information about how we introduced the “Value Proposition Canvas” and the de Bono hats, see our C2 activity.


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

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.
Magda Zakrzewska Duda also covered our methodology chosen for the project i.e. Story Work and WHY we do it and presented Story Work Methodology that consists of a few strands: Story Listening and Story Telling as well as Story Triggering.
She explained how we can work with this methodology in practice, giving an example of C5 Activity in Gdansk where she worked with Austrian team on developing organisational narrative.

While talking about the past and the history of organisation Magda Zakrzewska Duda 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.

Partners also took part in another exercise prepared by R//C - called “What If”, where participants had to comment on our organisation’s future.
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.

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 R//C took the notes during the walk and later on recreated the story as a text or the presentation.

To read about the whole presentation and exercises in detail – follow the Link.


VdC presented its project during the C7 session to all partners. The project aims to keep alive the memory of a place – the Arsenale - and of its profound meaning and role in the Venitian context through an entertaining activity that could bring an old and new public to develop awareness around this area. This is what we have tried to explain, illustrating the Arsenalia board game – the draft game developed with a Venetian professional firm – studiogiochi. The most important value of this project for us was to stress the collaborative and win-win aspect of the game:  to win the game, everybody has to win. The aim is to discover the identity of a phantom living in the Arsenale area thanks to the help of different stakeholders and craftsmen.

The board game would like to become a test of collaboration between the stakeholders that are actually managing the different part of the Arsenale, and to make them work around a common project.

So, the VdC creative session was dedicated to testing the game among the partners and a number of external board gamers from Stockholm were invited to attend the test through a Facebook call. We had fun playing and at the same time gathering comments and suggestions on the game expressed in the final discussion. Very useful indications that we have brought back to Venice and then shared with studiogiochi and our staff.


Bernd Herger and Bernhard Windisch took part in the C7 meeting in Stockholm from our Viennese partner. In the course of the meeting, the two presented their plans for the next 3 years. The rough basic idea for the Vienna project came up some time before that and was then worked out in detail for I Improve and backed up with a methodological basis.

Together with the artist Karl Kilian, a concept was developed in Vienna on how Viennese, neighbors, artists and simply interested people can take part in a participatory project together. In short: we paint benches! However, the Viennese project is much more than just applying paint to old wood. We work together and participatively in our communal environment. The idea of ​​the project is that people, regardless of their origin, background, religion, sexual orientation and also technical talent, change and beautify their environment together.

The Viennese would like to breathe life into Joseph Beuys' idea that every person is an artist and also create social sculpture in Vienna. The art project is aimed at every Viennese, because either you sit on our benches or you design them, so all people who stay in Vienna are part of our social sculpture.

Dealing with colors and one's own creativity is hardly possible nowadays in our fast-moving times, this project is intended to encourage the participants to be creative and artistic. Together with the other participants, we talk about our favorite colors and the stories behind them, so that every bank also gets the story and experiences of the artist.

In Stockholm, together with the partners from I Improve, we designed the first bank that has been standing in front of the Intercult office since then and is therefore a witness of this workshop.

In addition to the workshop, the Vienna team also created a video with the other participants in the C7 workshop:
I Improve C 7 Meeting - Video

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