On Thursday Feb 19 to Saturday Feb 21 we started off the first official meeting of the re:Kreators network of ‘public developers’ involved in cooperative means of area awakening.
We started off the morning of the 19th at STIPO with organizational and project introductions, which continued throughout the weekend as the program was all part of a broader learning experience. This was through the presentation of an image or an object to represent and discuss the initiative. Once warming the water, we had a fabulous lunch curated by the design and food art group, Foodcurators, and explored the Katshoek building. After the impressive dinner, we dived into each of the project dynamics dissecting the various processes, struggles and business models that included value and financial creation. We then took our knowledge outside to the ZOHO area to hear the story of De Viltmannen and their social entrepreneurship role in the neighborhood.
After a lovely dinner at Gare du Nord in ZOHO, there was a public workshop program where City Maker of Rotterdam and around the Netherlands joined together to hear the stories of each of the European re:Kreators. After the plenary presentations, people choose the project they wanted to learn more about and the crowd was split up into smaller working groups to hear more about their working context, processes and goals. At the end of the 2 workshop rounds, the conversations continued in the social drinks, which extended late into the night.
The next morning we looked deeper into the case of ZOHO and what was holding it back with a series of explorations of various posed questions. This was in ‘open space’ sessions which harvested cross-fertilization of ideas across the different, yet interconnected, questions.
With a lunch break to recharge, we split up into 2 different groups to look at the future of the re:Kreators. The first discussed the educational and research opportunities with the institutional partners and the second discussed the membership and organization structure.
Finally we ventured to the city for a refreshingly cold breeze of fun in the water taxi to experience the Fenix Food Factory. We finished with a hearty dinner at Bazar (Rotterdam).
After trekking through the Amsterdam’s Pekmarkt in the snow, we finally arrived to De Ceuvel. In a cold cross boat, Space & Matter presented the difficult process of organizing and developing the former polluted empty plot in Amsterdam Noord with old houseboats. Walking around the site and learning about the whole sustainability model implemented in the project was immensely impressive, which left everyone in awe.
Over the weekend were were really able to get to know each other and learn more about the various community, political, institutional, financial and local contexts people navigate. Potential research partners and monetary resources for funding were identified.
It was a truly bonding experience in which we grew stronger as a network and gained a clearer image of what our goals were, including what we wanted to achieve together. They expressed importance of an increased visibility and influence needed, also towards policy change.
Everyone was left inspired.
We all came to the conclusion:
“I never realized I was a re:Kreator the whole time!”
“Literally one of the best things I’ve done in my life!”
A more elaborate report on the common issues and goals that were discussed throughout the conference, and the plans with the re:Kreators network will follow soon.