New regional Network Participand will use international knowledge

Participand is an initiative of COS Gelderland and OIKOS to organise (inter)national students, migrants, organisaties and companies in a network  on international sustainable development. The network wants to give support, stimulate interaction and exhange knowledge between people to enhance better projects and products. The Science Shop in Wageningen has published a report about the need and possibilities for such a network. This report is based on research of the master students Robin Bukenya and Franziska Nath, supervised by Communication Studies and Rural Sociology. An ACT group has made suggestions how to organize this network.

The Science Shop report shows that an international network such as Participand offers many opportunities in and beyond the Wageningen region, to internationally oriented businesses, Wageningen University & Research centre, and a multitude of private initiatives. By using regional knowledge and contacts, all parties involved can take maximum advantage of projects  that take into account local circumstances. An international network such as Participand shows that things can be done differently and allows for a shift from ‘traditional development aid’ to sustainable international cooperation. The sustainability of products and projects is improved through cooperating with people that originate from the countries where these projects or products are being implemented. Participand thus aims at identifying and using the expertise, capacities and contacts of these ‘newcomers’.

For the smooth operation of an international network of interactive exchange, it is important to create space for personal contact, diversity and a ‘broker’ to ensure good communication and continuity of the network. With this in mind there is great potential for assessments, online matching between needs and offers, info-desk and research-desk. The network is meaningful to stakeholders such as Wageningen University & Research centre, Wageningen Municipality, the Business Cafe, the initiators COS Gelderland and OIKOS, and last but not least the target group: students (both national and international), migrants, private initiatives and business.

On Thursday 18th October there will be a meeting about this new network. This meeting is at 19.30 in Impulse, building 115, Stippeneng 2 in Wageningen. The same evening-immediately after the presentation of Participand- a new course will start .  on international project development  for newcomers. This was requested by participants within the network. In six evenings people will learn to write a projectplan under supervision. The course is free.  You can sign up by sending a mail to:participand.now@gmail.com.

More information: Margriet Goris, projectleider Wetenschapswinkel (06-28109539 / margriet.goris@wur.nl).

The Science Shop report can be downloaded: http://edepot.wur.nl/235375

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