& Events

SERIGO Project Unveiled: Transforming European Rural Areas Through Community-Based Research and Social Innovation

Feb 19, 2024 | News

AEIDL is thrilled to announce the start of the SERIGO project, a 4-year initiative delving into the vulnerabilities of European rural areas. This transformative endeavour, funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe research programme, aims to utilise community-based research and test innovative approaches through the social and solidarity economy in 5 pilot regions.

From the 13th to the 15th of February 2024, 12 of the 17 project partners gathered in Vienna, Austria at the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB) offices to ignite this collaborative journey. The meeting provided an exciting platform to deepen connections, brainstorm activities, and define roles for upcoming tasks. Our own Alexandra Yaghil and Patricia Martinez outlined AEIDL’s pivotal role, including establishing a Community of Practice on social innovation in rural areas. This will be coupled with dissemination and communication actions to amplify the visibility of SERIGO, with a focus on the pilot actions that will be implemented in Finland, Estonia, Austria, Slovakia, and Slovenia. 

AEIDL also shared some insights into current European policy initiatives in the social economy and rural development arenas, setting the stage for the policy recommendations that will be co-created based on SERIGO’s results within the 4 years to come. These recommendations will aim to bolster the Social and Solidarity Economy’s role in enhancing resilience and social inclusion in rural communities.

On the final day, the group ventured to the Lower Austria region for a field visit, underscoring SERIGO’s commitment to practical, on-the-ground insights. The participants explored Silbersberg, a charity institution supporting orphans and differently abled individuals by promoting self-empowerment and independence. From there, the group headed to Quellenhof – one of SERIGO Pilot cases – a farm and forestry enterprise involving handicapped workers and, finally, visited Gutenstein’s innovative sustainable housing start-up, Wohnwagon, which has created 50 local jobs so far. 

As we embark on the SERIGO journey, led by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), we invite stakeholders and collaborators to join us in shaping a more inclusive and resilient future for European rural communities. Stay tuned as more information will come soon. If you are interested in the project, please contact Alexandra Yaghil ().

Sustainable and prosperous rural communities are an asset for all: Let’s make a difference together!