Happy Places3T Reggio Emilia / Bologna

Happy Places3T Reggio Emilia / Bologna

Rapidly evolving economic and social structures and conditions lead to imagine new places where people are able to work, learn, create value, in eco-systems that are more compatible with their own flourishing, happiness, well-being and with the preservation of our planet. 3rd Type Places are typically places that enable, foster, sustain such initiatives. Such places already exist, other are developed on project basis. They may take a large variety of size, form, status, etc. They gather different types of actors, with different kind of objectives, and different way of functioning. The Learning Mobilities and study vists in Bologna and Reggio Emilia showed us the Happy Places3T in Italy.

Logo Places-3T

Learning Mobilities Reggio Emilia

The Places3T learning mobilities are taking place on October 4th, 5th and 6th 2021 in Reggio emilia and Bologna. In the spirit of European Projects Erasmus+, a ‘Learning Mobility’is a “training week” for people belonging to partners’ staff. In the Places-3T project, mobilities are designed to have an overview of the situation in another territory and work together to enhance the ability of the participants to better manage and animate third places.

The main objectives of the first learning mobility are mainly:

  • to gain knowledge about the Places-3T project, its goals and and its value creation process;
  • to gain knowledge about third places animation;
  • to develop their abilities in animating and developing a Places-3T
  • to update their professional profiles on the Professional Social Network;

The partnership did a few study visits in Bologna and Reggio Emilia. We visited three ‘Places3T’. For sure, BiciBox, nearby the Railway station of Reggio Emilia was one of the most interesting Places3T. At first glance it looks like a bicycle repair shop, but ‘building relationships’ is a more accurate product of the ‘box’. The free library, coffee/meeting place and products they sell (bags, bicycles, etc.) are making networking and active citizenship more easy and natural. The box is the place for meet and greet and’the bike is connecting people’.

Happy Place

On the location of ONLUS we had a few discussions, e.g.: What would be the definition of Places3T? If you look at for instance at the box, you see it should be a happy place, with potential were you want to work and meet people to network and do business with… When people see the potential of the place were you are working, doing a business and can feel the vibe, chemistry and success then it is a places3T. How to create a smooth functioning network and accessibele for everyone who wants to find out whats/he loves to do and do what s/he loves to do and then create and develop as a person and its’product…

Andrea Ascari, director of ONLUS added that the four priorities of the Erasmus+ network also seem very relevant for Places3T:

  • Inclusion
  • Digital transformation
  • Environment and fighting against climate change
  • Active citizenship

When you look at the Bici Box three of the four are incorporated (except digital transformation – although the free library can be digitalised as well).

Study Visit Bologna

On the study visit on Tuesday 5th we met with the regional staff on youth policies of the municipality of Bologna and went to Eta Beta. Eta Beta is a social enterprise, youth center and 3rd place in one, combining all elements of social entrepreneurship (hospitality, vegetarian/vegan food, gardens, woodcrafting, etc.

Places-3T Meeting, study visit Munucipality Bologna, Italy, October 5th 2021

Exploring more about the framework of Places 3T?

It’s clear for the partnership that a good practise in a certain place cannnot be copied and pasted to another place in another country, 1-on-1. It’s important to look at your target audiences. Different activities are more suitable for different target groups and sometimes creating a good vibe is enough to make it a success to any target group. So, how do you create a good atmosphere? It’s important to facilitate and have a good manager to animate and run the place. This is easier said than done. A good manager of a Places3T is not easy to hire. Be aware that the government or the local authorities are not always the right institution to hire this person. Their environment and perspective is usually more conservative, more bureaucratic and within a certain administrative frame work. You need an entrepreneurial person, someone who already has a network and can easily connect with the 3rd place and its people, and is in a natural way accepted by all parties. The Places-3T framework can usually not be ticked within a certain frame work and on all boxes. On Wednesday October 6th we finished with a workshop at CEIS and a study visit to a community in Santa Maria Madalena.

Cooperative Eta Beta Study Visit: Social enterprise, and 3rd place in one
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