Our vision is to prototype new methods of Civic Engagement for Greece that may lead to new models of governance. Our mission is to create the space, the networks, the tools and the processes that will enable citizens to envision and create a place worth living in – together. Our challenge is to create the conditions that may engender Systemic Change through creativity, experimentation and innovation.
The past two years of Place Identity NGO have been challenging, inspiring, and somewhat overwhelming, characterised by breakthroughs but also turbulences during the pilot phase.
Building on informal networks and projects developed since 2009, we have established a non-profit organisation made of clusters, ready to scale its impact at local, national and international level.
None of the achievements presented in this report would have been possible without the commitment, the cooperation and inspiration of hundreds of active, creative citizens across Greece that joined our journey towardsan exciting exploration of new possibilities.
As we catalyse the development of diverse communities and projects for urban regeneration and political innovation, we experience personal and collective leaps of faith, risk-taking and often, collapse. Yet, there is always the flame of those not afraid to take risks, to experiment, to be exposed, to question, and finally to be questioned. Committed to a shared set of values and a common objective, diverse teams, working under difficult conditions, managed to build trust a synthesis of ideas, and bring about social impact in their neighborhoods, cities, regions, country.
To all those “local doers” in Athens, Thessaloniki, Messologi, Kozani, Korinthos, Patras, who in the past two years have exemplified their readiness to be the change they would like to see in the world, we can only express our deep gratitude and respect.
We are equally thankful to the foundations and individuals that supported our projects financially, to the dozens of small and larger businesses that offered precious services and goods in kind, and to the universities and public authorities that continuously show their eagerness to scale the generated know-how.
Slowly but steadily, we are contributing to the creation of new processes, new knowledge and new experiences of being a Citizen (Politis) reconnected to the polis, politismos, politiki and politeia (city-culture-politics-state). From reviving an abandoned square, to rewriting the Greek Constitution, we remain committed to enabling participation, experimentation, mutual learning, social and political innovation.
We invite you to discover the highlights of our journey through the images and the words of our members, participants and partners. And we challenge you to join us and support our efforts for the exciting times ahead.
Thank you all,
Mary Karatza & Stephania Xydia
coFounders of Place Identity NGO