The closing event of the project ENLARGE, funded by the programme Horizon 2020 of the European Union, was held in Brussels on 26 September, during the eGov week coordinated by the European Commission. Participants agreed on the usefulness of the gamebook produced, which will be integrated for two years, with suggestions for improvement from users.

The event gathered some 40 participants from administrations, civil society, academia, and more. It started with the introduction by Cristina Vasilescu from IRS, lead partner, who walked the audience through the milestones of this 2-years journey, until the creation of the gamebook “Choose your own collaborative adventure in sustainable energy”.

Then, a high-level panel moderated by Erica Melloni from IRS exchanged on the nature of collaborative processes.

Serge Novaretti from DG CONNECT opened the session, and highlighted the need to strengthen trust between citizens and governments in Europe, stressing that ENLARGE greatly tackled this issue, and that the gamebook produced will help public administrations and citizens to cooperate more and better.

Frédéric Boyer, representative of ENERGY CITIES and Covenant of Mayors, put the accent on the need to change citizens’ mindset by making them feel empowered to contribute to their community, and develop strategies and actions together with the local authorities. ENLARGE gamebook is an innovative tool in this sense, allowing readers to put themselves in the shoes of someone else, thus facing their challenges and constraints.

Also the intervention of Marco Boaria from ALDA stressed the need to make citizens feel they belong to their community, using all methodologies – from citizens panels, to this realistic gamebook, and many more.

Bruno Dente from Politecnico of Milano pointed out that ENLARGE mapped a lot of different mechanisms leading people to successfully engage in collaborative efforts. Being able to replicate the mechanism, if not the instrument, in different communities is extremely useful.

Finally, Iolanda Romano from Avventura Urbana, commented that examples and experiences in the book are not real, but very realistic and sound. The gamebook does show every reader that nothing is smooth and linear. Conflict, dilemmas, human factors are part of all collaborative processes.

Participants had then the chance to navigate in group through the gamebook, choosing together how to run the process in the municipality. Their comments, ideas and suggestions were clustered by Stefania Ravazzi from the University of Turin, who with the support of a graphic recorder, mapped on paper the suggestions for improvement and further usability of the book.

Some real cases were then in the spotlight, moderated by Kerli Kirsimaa from the Swedish Environment Institute – Tallinn Centre. Participants heard the stories of Marek Muiste (H2020 Panel 2050), Daniele Piazza (GECOFOR), and Leire Orue-Echevarria Arrieta (CITADEL H2020).

A number of ideas and suggestions to increase and continue the cooperation generated by ENLARGE were put forward. Something is clear: the gamebook is a highly needed tool that will be promoted by all engaged actors and support administrations and citizens all over Europe; and the final event is not the end of this 2-years path.

Useful resources:
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