MDI faciltiated the innovation camp for European National Rural Networks in Central Finland on 27 – 28 June 2017. The camp, which was hosted by the Finnish National Rural Network, focused on concrete actions with which the NRNs can promote the themes of Cork 2.0 declaration.
54 rural network experts from twenty European countries participated in the 8th National Rural Network meeting in Central Finland on the last week of June. The meeting was held as an innovation camp. The camp was hosted by the Finnish National Rural Network, and they were supported in the organisation by the JyväsRiihi LAG and ENRD Contact Point. MDI planned and facilitated the two-day innovation camp, which concentrated on how the National Rural Networks can contribute to the implementation of Cork 2.0 declaration and action plan. The main goal of the innovation camp was to develop new rural networking tools and methods and create six practical activities to be tested by the rural networks during 2017.
The participants worked in teams on themes chosen on the basis of Cork 2.0 declaration and preliminary online discussion. The themes were rural proofing, communication, simplification and innovation. The teams worked intensively throughout the innovation process, starting from wild ideas and ending up in planning of testing the idea in practice. Different kinds of working environments and methods (e.g. walking meeting and lake pitching) were used during the camp. A three-person jury sparred the work of the teams and finally chose the winner. The winning idea ’Euruvision’ promotes European rural innovation through a Eurovision-style annual competition, was declared in an award ceremony during the closing dinner aboard steamboat Suomi.
The camp was a success – the participants acknowledged the merits of innovation camp as a working mehtod. Two days were enough to dive deep into the topic, plan practical actions together to meet common challenges, get to know European colleagues well – and have fun! Strengthening of the European rural network and concretising the cooperation between National Rural Networks were important outcomes of the innovation camp.