Tools and methods

Open call for ideas

When it is useful

The open call for ideas in the neighbourhood originated from cultural institutions, which have long-standing experience in developing participatory projects and cooperating with artists from various fields. This unusual open call was implemented, for example, in Gdańsk as part of the Open CCI project in Nowy Port. Several times a year, the CII announces a call for ideas for social and cultural projects which the residents would like to implement in the Institute’s headquarters. This idea – when transferred to the neighbourhood space – encourages local activists, informal groups, NGOs and ordinary residents both to come up with initiatives that can influence the space they live in and to care for the neighbourhood together. Residents can submit their ideas and consult them with team members, who also help them find local support and create larger teams. Ideas evolve in joint discussions, meetings and workshops. When they fit into the general idea of cultural planning, an experienced cultural organisation working in the public space helps local initiatives organisationally and financially to bring them to life.

Open call for ideas

Step by step instruction

  • Invite residents to an information meeting. Introduce them to the idea of cultural planning and the materials you collected during the mapping and visioning stage. Make the materials available online, so that the residents can come back to them. Some of these people may have participated in previous stages of your project and will see the fruit of their involvement.
  • Prepare simple rules and a project description form with space for explaining the idea, justifying it and a budget framework. Make it available to the public with an open call – spread the word on the internet and at local meeting places, e.g. through posters and flyers.
  • Schedule consultation hours – some members of your team will spend several weeks talking directly and by phone to people who submit ideas. This requires time, knowledge and patience. Often people who come forward do not have much experience and it is worth reminding them about the meaning of cultural planning, organisational formalities or establishing cooperation with other initiatives
  • Organise a workshop to work on the ideas together. Apart from helping the ideas take a more specific shape, such also connects people with similar values and directions of acting.
  • Ask participants to write down their ideas in a form prepared beforehand and prepare to present them in public. They will also need your support at this stage, so set aside time for consultation and questions.
  • When everyone is ready, organise a presentation meeting on a set date. Individuals/groups will present their ideas and evaluate each other's ideas according to specific criteria on a form prepared by you. Depending on your possibilities, determine the number of initiatives you will be able to coorganise. Choose those which, according to the ranking established by the group, are the best evaluated.

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