In June and July 2016 the RurInno project team came together at the Institute for Innovation Research, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (Austria) for the first set of joint secondments. It was an intensive time of collaborative work, site visits, theoretical inputs and interpersonal exchange. The Practitioners from the social enterprises and the scientist from the academic institutes especially focused on knowledge exchange, capacity building and the first steps towards the case studies.
Reflecting the structure of the secondment, the two sequences of the three phases (1) intensive weeks, (2) mutual learning weeks, and (3) individual learning week turned out to be the ideal framework for facilitating the different levels of knowledge flow and learning, Matthias Fink from IFI Linz reflects. The intensive weeks brought in external knowledge and experience covering a broad range of relevant topics. The project team discussed for example the implications of networks, regions and innovation or the relevance of Co-operatives for Social enterprises in six “Theory meets Practice Talks”. In addition to that the practitioners shared their experiences in “Practice meets Practice Talks” and project team visited various sites and spaces in Linz that are used for putting social innovations into practice. The mutual learning weeks were devoted to the interactive development of the case studies. Finally, the individual learning week offered the opportunity to travel and visit additional projects and institutions across the country. This was especially important to put the information gained during the other weeks into the specific Austrian context.
“All in all, it was a good but very busy and intensive time for all of us”, says Fink. “However, I think we all agree that the outcome was worth the effort and gives rise to optimism concerning the upcoming activities in the RurInno project.”
There are numerous photos of the project team's activities during the secondments in the Gallery.