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Communities that “achieve”

A recently published research study focuses on enterprising communities

 

Communities that develop with an aim – communities that “achieve”. Existing social systems with something extra, which also have a lot to say in terms of organisation, embodying a weighty culture of being and accomplishment. Communities, then, that should certainly be analysed and better understood, which is what a Euricse research group did with “Le comunità intraprendenti in Italia” (“Enterprising communities in Italy”), a recently published report that attempts to shed some light on a facet of the economy and of society that many claim to know and be a part of, but whose key features still need to be fully explored.

The study, coordinated by Jacopo Sforzi, revolves around a particular observation: “Since the end of this century’s first decade, when the heavy consequences of the financial crisis on income levels and employment were felt, reliance on the term ‘community’ and on community resources has progressively increased. The pandemic, and now the energy crisis, have further contributed to this evolution.” And, additionally, there is the realisation that it is “finally clear how initiatives promoted by communities are able to bring forth and capitalise on economic resources that our model, purely based on a private goods/public goods dyad, has been neglecting and thus ignored, because unable to situate them within its own system.”

Starting from here, the paper first highlights the distinctive features and widespread nature of Italian enterprising communities, before further exploring the main types of community in existence: community hubs, community enterprises, complex collaboration agreements, neighbourhood caretaker groups, social markets and food banks, communities supporting agriculture, food cooperatives, energy communities and FabLabs. Each enterprising community is described in qualitative and quantitative terms, and for each some concrete examples are given. What emerges is a complex and varied picture of a world that, as we mentioned above, is substantial yet not fully understood.

“Virtuous examples of social innovation” – this is how the study defines them in its conclusions – such communities acquire a new aspect and a new role as drivers of a different social and production culture.

Indeed, such conclusions also add that, “It becomes obvious, then, how the different experiences encompass several intervention areas, which vary depending on the needs and resources of each single community, and succeed in joining together cultural, social, economic and also political activities. In addition, it is also possible to identify the enterprising communities described in this report as efficient tools for the activation and consolidation of territories’ social capital.” In other words, this is a promising world that has just been discovered and, as such, needs to be further investigated.

Le comunità intraprendenti in Italia (“Enterprising communities in Italy”)

Various authors.

Euricse Research Report, 023/22

A recently published research study focuses on enterprising communities

 

Communities that develop with an aim – communities that “achieve”. Existing social systems with something extra, which also have a lot to say in terms of organisation, embodying a weighty culture of being and accomplishment. Communities, then, that should certainly be analysed and better understood, which is what a Euricse research group did with “Le comunità intraprendenti in Italia” (“Enterprising communities in Italy”), a recently published report that attempts to shed some light on a facet of the economy and of society that many claim to know and be a part of, but whose key features still need to be fully explored.

The study, coordinated by Jacopo Sforzi, revolves around a particular observation: “Since the end of this century’s first decade, when the heavy consequences of the financial crisis on income levels and employment were felt, reliance on the term ‘community’ and on community resources has progressively increased. The pandemic, and now the energy crisis, have further contributed to this evolution.” And, additionally, there is the realisation that it is “finally clear how initiatives promoted by communities are able to bring forth and capitalise on economic resources that our model, purely based on a private goods/public goods dyad, has been neglecting and thus ignored, because unable to situate them within its own system.”

Starting from here, the paper first highlights the distinctive features and widespread nature of Italian enterprising communities, before further exploring the main types of community in existence: community hubs, community enterprises, complex collaboration agreements, neighbourhood caretaker groups, social markets and food banks, communities supporting agriculture, food cooperatives, energy communities and FabLabs. Each enterprising community is described in qualitative and quantitative terms, and for each some concrete examples are given. What emerges is a complex and varied picture of a world that, as we mentioned above, is substantial yet not fully understood.

“Virtuous examples of social innovation” – this is how the study defines them in its conclusions – such communities acquire a new aspect and a new role as drivers of a different social and production culture.

Indeed, such conclusions also add that, “It becomes obvious, then, how the different experiences encompass several intervention areas, which vary depending on the needs and resources of each single community, and succeed in joining together cultural, social, economic and also political activities. In addition, it is also possible to identify the enterprising communities described in this report as efficient tools for the activation and consolidation of territories’ social capital.” In other words, this is a promising world that has just been discovered and, as such, needs to be further investigated.

Le comunità intraprendenti in Italia (“Enterprising communities in Italy”)

Various authors.

Euricse Research Report, 023/22