Bringing ideas together, building bridges collectively, by Susana Noguero

In a European and global context where discrimination and exclusion are on the rise, Platoniq is incredibly proud to be co-producing the 2017 edition of Idea Camp Moving Communities to support interconnectedness and collaboration between local and transnational initiatives.

Wars and atrocities, the migration and displacement crisis, the rising tide of reactionary, conservative and extremist powers all over the world, and the culmination of misplaced fear and anger on a global scale are among the biggest challenges we are currently facing.

As cultural and social agents of change, we believe in the power of local initiatives, transnational collaboration and solidarity to counter some of these overwhelming developments.

The 2017 Idea Camp is inspired by three approaches to the theme of Moving Communities: exploring hope and radical positive possibilities for a future across borders; creating dialogue and exchange through grassroots initiatives and institutions; and bridging the potentials of the digital sphere with open knowledge and experiences.

The concept of “safe crossings” is at the core of the visual identity and content of this Idea Camp. In these challenging times, we are eager to cultivate the Idea Camp community as a collective effort to move away from walls towards bridges, to create solidarity against neoliberal individualism, to nurture social and cultural initiatives as radical resistance to anti-democratic and oppressive practices.

Madrid is a particularly inspiring location to explore the potential of positive, local, social and cultural initiatives. The City of Madrid, co-producer of the 2017 Idea Camp alongside the initiator of the encounter – the European Cultural Foundation – is one of the main European hubs of participatory democracy and citizen-led culture.

Madrid Cultura Abierta (Madrid Open Culture) is the city’s new cultural public policy, bringing together and showcasing municipal and independent cultural events and providing access to shared knowledge and information. Over the last few years, the city has also been a national connecting point for citizen participation in local government and institutions, and a European hub for the municipalities movement.

In keeping with Platoniq’s ethos of bridging cultural and digital innovation, this year we have created a Data Camp for all Idea Makers and participants to connect and keep track of the development of their ideas. This Digital Roadbook will be a starting point for the development of a community of practice that will collaborate to create locally embedded alternatives before, during and after the 2017 Idea Camp.

Bringing together the local, national and international dimension was a key goal for the development of this third edition of the Idea Camp. We are particularly proud of having created a unique encounter between Madrid’s local fabric, Spanish and European progressive institutions and an international community of innovative social change initiatives.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to you on behalf of Madrid. We invite you to experience the Platoniq style – doing it together with others. We hope that you will enjoy the Idea Camp journey. May this event be a seed we collectively plant to generate a learning community and a future of solidarity.

Susana Noguero is the Managing Director of Platoniq

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