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public policies and new tools, which

can be made available to those who

understand that change does not merely

involve revamping Einstein’s “yesterday’s

solutions”, but requires innovative solutions

from conceptual, ideological and political

ideas still to be invented.

We need to keep our ears and eyes open

for these faint yet hopeful signals from all

those people on the working, often under

difficult circumstances, to develop new

responses to our needs.

We see it as our job to identify these

initiatives that are still untested, sometimes

perceived as being a bit radical or far

fetched, to make them known, to help

them to network, to identify the lessons

and to establish a virtuous circle of

solutions and hope.

We also want to help implement

resource-centred networks, allowing us to

identify, document and disseminate the new

know-how needed to make this seismic

transformation of our society a success.

A grassroots overhaul of the European

project, based on cooperation between

actors and between territories

We are convinced that local initiatives,

citizen involvement, social innovation

and experimentation, the identification of

and respect for shared assets, solidarity

between regions here and elsewhere, and

the invention of new forms of multi-level

and multi-stakeholder governance, can

all contribute to building the Europe we

aspire to – a Europe rich in the diversity

of its landscapes, its communities and its

cultures, open to the world, and striving for

a new economic and social equilibrium.

Twenty-five years of experience in local

development have taught us a lot about the

inventiveness of local communities when

public and private and community actors

get together and start listening to what is

happening in their areas, and, jointly, trying

to find solutions to the problems posed,

with a view to constructing – on a local

level – a better society.

In the face of unprecedented change and

the need to reinvent the future (“tomorrow’s

solutions”), what is now needed more than

anything is to restore hope and the capacity

to act, to listen to the disaffected, to those

“We have been given the unique opportunity to live in an

extraordinary place. Our responsibility, which is also a

pleasure, is to take care of it – the plants, birds, animals. It is

our heritage and our gift to the next generations. We know that

we all have to work hard to care for nature but also for people –

society, the economy. This is true development.”

Marta Kamińska,

Partnership for the Barycz Valley, Poland

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| Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative