Notes summarising the katarsis discussion held on the afternoon of Friday 16th June 2006 at the Institut fur Regional and Wirtschaftuniverstat, Wein

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Minutes of the KATARSIS Lead Partner Workshop
Vienna 16-17 June 2006
Present: Isabel André, Joachim Becker, Stuart Cameron, Daniela Coimbra de Souza, Marisol Garcia, Richard Kimberlee, Bernhard Leubolt, Frank Moulaert, Andreas Novy, Judy Orme, Derrick Purdue, Bas Tierolf, Dimitra SIATITSA, Dina Vaiou, Serena Vicari Haddock
Apologies: Jean Hillier
These Minutes do not cover the formal presentations, these are attached in their original form.

With thanks to Richard, Stuart and Bas – Stuart’s contribution will arrive in the next few days (he is on holidays)
Morning of Friday 16th June
Welcome from Andreas and Frank, presentation round. Scheduling issues.
Frank gives an overview of:


  • Research on social innovation, especially the projects which he has coordinated over the last 17 years.


Explains the role of tolerance (towards diversity) and plasticity (mainly of the environment) in Socially Creative Strategies.

I prefer the term ‘memory’ to ‘tradition’; tradition often has a conservative connotation, referring to a return to the past, without putting the lessons of the past in a contemporary framework.

We also need a learning approach to socially creative strategies and processes: the users themselves need to develop and become creative agents in the process.


Usually SCS emerge in an environment with a high level of uncertainty. But to launch and establish SCS a certain degree of certainty is needed.

What are catalysts of SCS? How can we categorise them? (strategies AND catalysts) Should we privilege the (local) communities?
Follows a historically reproducible discussion about the relationship (or not) between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. Most important: our meaning of community is not localist or based on too tight relationship patterns. Also the def. of community is contextual.
The loss of ‘tradition’ (accelerated by globalization and neoliberal strategies): some positive but also some negative aspects of tradition got lost as well. We should approach the heritage of the past through ‘Aufhebung’: rescue the elements of the past that are valuable for a better future.
In the analysis of social innovation strategies and processes, we should not privilege (a priori) a particular spatial level; the relevant spatiality will appear from the dynamics.
Andreas and others (sorry, I did not write down names but inputs! FM)
In analysing social innovation we should connect process, empowerment, participation on the one hand to content, strategies to satisfy needs and resources on the other hand. This also involves the working and institutional dynamics (transformations) of the Welfare State. [Accounting for the uneven tendency in dismantling or reducing the Welfare State in Europe.]
Importance of scale-analysis of the interaction between exclusion dynamics and SCS.
Role of power: necessity of a dialectical approach. E.g. Marxist analysis examining how society is working, looking at the ED at the crossroads between society and economy.
User-groups: necessity to translate products for user groups and to develop a dialogue style.
- Participation without empowerment (an ‘impoverished’ social dynamlcs?)

- Relationships between leadership and democracy

- Consciousness of different spheres of society and how agents in SCS (and their organization) (should) position themselves with respect to the economy

- Loss of local control on initiatives.

Afternoon of Friday 16th June

Highlighted the importance of commodification and stressed that we needed to look at the effect that production has on reproduction and vice – versa.

Stressed that we need to consider the role that public employment might play in the future.
Bernard (PhD student)

Analysis of community-based services is very important - particularly those provided by NGOs.

There is a danger that NGOs can be co-opted by the state.

This can lead to:

Paternalistic forms of governance.

Increased client dependency.

A refocusing of NGO’s goal to consider self sustainability rather than

client needs


Worried about creeping managementization (new public management methods). It is happening in the Higher Education sector in the UK and leads to increasing managerialist ideas and languages permeating institutional discourses. However did point out that some Socially Creative Strategies (SCSs) can emerge from the managementization process.


Stressed that we need to be aware of the diversity of social and private costs and benefits of any SCSs.

There is a tendency today to apply the private sector techniques to the public sector. He stressed that this should not be encouraged.

Stressed that at the same time we need to be very careful of applying models and SCS from other countries/places to new places and contexts.

Port Alegre models have been tried in Spain/Catalonia? and it has been a disaster.

We need to remain sceptical about always seeing the market (or private sector?) as wrong and the public sector as right.


In the UK New Public Management (NPM) theories and practices have been introduced into the public sector and they have made a big impact. They were initially introduced by the Conservative party and were aimed at developing targets to improve service delivery at a time when public services were broadly criticised for their poor performance. Since then there has been a swing against this with the Third Way introduced by the Blair government. Targets can sometimes undermine services but they can sometimes help to improve things as well.


The development of a target culture in public services reminds me of management systems from the old Soviet Union. It is a very technocratic process meant to keep the systems going. It tends to undermine democratic accountability and concentrate instead on improving delivery systems in a technical way rather than enhancing the general well being of people.


The NPM approach in the UK we can perhaps call NPM 2, it is softer and has helped to deliver management of state institutions at arms length.


You are right we cannot simply copy models to new places.

Context is very important.

The problem with NPM is that it wasn’t demanded by popular participation.

We need to look at NPM to see if it is progressive or if instead it imposes private sector logic on public services.

We cannot always dismiss targets because they have often helped in the UK to shake up bureaucracies that have been slow to deliver; e.g. in the UK targets to reduce child pedestrian Killed or Seriously Injured rates have been broadly welcomed.


Need to discuss how and where in the delivery chain we define the impact of costs and benefits, particularly in the political and the cultural sphere.

There needs to be a public debate on targets otherwise people’s participation in local governance processes becomes marginalised.

We need qualitative targets because it is here that we really are able to assess the impact of policies and initiatives.

Secondly we need to adopt an emancipatory perspective.

Again we have to be analytical when we discuss and examine public policy initiatives. Simply asking or involving the public as a principle may have negative outcomes e.g. the Immigration Service in the UK.


We need to consider who has the power to participate and who are the gatekeepers to greater participation. We are assuming that Exclusionary Dynamics (ED) may lead to SCS. SCS may lead to ED. The situation is very complicated. (And ED may just reproduce themselves =Frank)

We need to decide what approach we are going to take and what we mean.

Definitions are also very important e.g. treating students as clients.

This is particularly the case now that there has been a huge withdrawal of resources from the state. NGOs by themselves cannot get us out of this crisis.


Our goal is to analyse existing movements that can deliver a better future.


NGOs have got a view of the totality. We must have a view of the totality.

Creativity has to do with strategy and the totality as well.

Yes….We can see this in the co-operative movement particularly in France.

They aimed to provide a social economy and prevent alienation.

We need coalitions of different groups for progress and therefore we need to look at different governance levels. Also: history and context matters, and most movements have been built ‘local-up’.


Finance is important. It is something we tend to forget…but it can be exclusionary.

Consider it in each of ED field.

We need to consider Age and Religion as EDs too.


In this networking process we can explore each other’s views and learn as KATARSIS develops. Make sure we are looking at bottom-up creativity. I will work to provide a draft manual for the surveys for next week.

Discussion, Saturday am
Following presentation on Gender by Isabel

Response - Berhard

Need to link social care with labour market e.g. poor working conditions for women in care work
Need to include governance links in all existential fields from beginning
Should be multi-scalar analysis, not just on local sphere –including European as well as national
User groups are heterogeneous – teaching PhDs different from needs of citizen groups. Need more work on structuring of material and interaction with user groups, including in theoretical/conceptual work.
Isabel – asked do comments suggest separation of production and reproduction – Berhard & Andreas both responded no, the opposite, emphasise integration of two.
Derrick, Example of teacher used by Andreas – is this relevant to key discussion of exclusion?
Bernhard – Suggested that it was right to put emphasis on outsourcing to civil society which means unpaid work by women – both a solution and a problem
Dina – agreed that these trends can create new cycle of exclusion. Less interested in worker in education, say, than on educationally excluded – production and reproduction not relevant here.
Bernhard – agreed, focus on experience of exclusion by pupils rather than on professionals.
Stuart – women play a major role in neighbourhood governance structures, might be seen as empowerment but is also the product of ED at higher level – community engagement as an extension of domestic role.
Bernhard – need to look at informalisation of areas of the labour market – building sector for men, social care, especially of elderly, for women. SCS should address issues of terms of employment
Frank – links already proposed within project – integration of EFs will deal with these issues automatically. Prod/Repro may be relevant at higher scalar and abstract levels. Issues of interaction are important but terminology and pure discourse using this not possible.
Isabel – are EF producers of ED or SCSs – which is it?
Frank – both
Isabel – but need to be clear
Frank – point is to turn ED into SCS
Isabel – Can have ED without SCS and reverse
Frank – yes but ED without SCS is not of interest
Derrick – EDs don’t exist in abstract, but are constructed by action on SCS, but agreed haven’t got time for ED without SCS
Dina – No ED in abstract and SCS may be ED in other areas. Example of informalisation as a difficult issue – especially in S Europe where in past didn’t have formal structures so informal is norm and has been basis for inclusion, not necessarily an ED – demonstrates importance of use of international networks
Serena – closing argument – starting point is SCS
Stuart agreed in terms of conceptual priority, though actually producing report on WP will tend to start with ED and move to SCS.

Discussion – Challenges for the methodology
Presentation by Dina
Frank – good starting point, importance of network to get examples
Isabel – Can see how interaction of existential fields contribute to understanding initiatives. E.g.clowns in childrens hospital in Portugal. Three types of questions identified by Dina are particularly important. Isobel is studying these types of initiatives in Portugal. Pointed out in relation to music initiatives that when people are good enough they are absorbed by mainstream. Dina – case she cited involved use of profits by successful band to help young people, but Isobel.raised question of sustainability of such initiatives
Stuart - relationship of ED to SRS indirect in cases cited by Dina – ED concerns labour market exclusion but SCS don’t provide economic inclusion but increased sense of well-being.
Richard - Is a state-led initiative part of what we are interested e.g. Youth Inclusion Programme?
Frank – only if this has a bottom-up organisation involved.
Dina – example of YIP may be creative but isn’t bottom-up.
Marisol – Governance
Frank – there are governance elements in both EF and IE – need to address governance at different levels, for example not just at local level. Experience of SINGOCOM suggest without higher level governance change no sustainability of local initiatives
Territorial pacts – in SINGOCOM empty – but should not be out of consideration just because they operate at higher institutional level institutional, depends on link to bottom up.
To final outcome e.g. city for all – could be in Katarsis or as future research
Suggests the presentation was missing power dimension, but very useful first shot.
Serena – Social Innovation
Frank- Serena presentation is SINGOCOM based. In IE of Katarsis need other forms of SCS. E.g. Privatisation v social innovation
SCS can derive from bottom up but also collaboration between institutions and issues such as economy of diversity, mixed economy, global regulation with respect to fair trade, use of fiscal state for income and wealth distribution
Bernhard/Joachim – social innovation should also be political innovation, and address questions of power.
Serena – her focus was on what makes organisations successful
Isabel – public discourse is not necessarily political discourse. Empowerment is important, can’t have empowerment without political innovation
Frank – will need to take understanding of social innovation beyond SINGOCOM, beyond local level etc.
Need to look at ‘abstract’ level
Stuart – one way of doing this might be to see what SCS can’t do as well as what they can, and look at what would need to change at higher levels
Serena - How to link SCS to wider level change?
Frank - Social Innovation is wider concept than SCS, there are many ways of looking at SI at different levels.

Minutes Saturday afternoon 17 June 2006
Remarks on mobilisation of public / user groups.
Andreas: Refers to the theory of Paulo Freire Stiftung of informal education.
They do different projects concerning the ‘public’, for example summer school courses (‘the laboratory’)

If successful these can be repeated within the Katarsis or Demologos project

Marisol: How is this financed?
A: Subsidies and within our own budget, it concerns about 20 participants
Remarks on Dissemination
Serena: Dissemination ‘the easy way’ through academic programs, ic PhD-programs
Marisol: Master program (E-Urbs; European Master in Comparative Urban Studies) involving 7 universities and run from Urbino. With 2 years of financing from the EU and with 20 students annually.
The students have to write a thesis, maybe on Katarsis??
Frank: in some of the WS meetings and workshops we will organise dissemination and training in the form of lectures
The ‘users’ come from the inner-outer circle: academics and professionals from the list. They should be involved in the (WS on) integration exercises.

Serena: Someone should take the initiative, who?

F: Serena with the lead partners of the 3 workshops on the integration exercises
S: The users don’t fit in the research models
F: It can be anyone according to the outcomes/recommendations of the research on the existential fields
F: A lot of information is in the ‘devoted’ CV’s of everyone! All LP should actively use these customised cv’s, they contain a wealth of information on research and researchers useful to the WPs.
Agenda of Barcelona
Content of WP 1.1 and 1.2
Isabel: what should be done on the surveys on WP1.1 and 1.2?
F: two provisional surveys on WP1.1 and 1.2 plus an academic debate on social innovation and the overall methodology.
I: There’s little time so the surveys will be really provisional.
Will Graham & Gibson (experts) already be invited in Barcelona or (from budget and planning reasons) later on in the project?
F: They are planned in Barcelona but perhaps it’s better to invite them in a later stadium – Integration exercises?
M: How much people will come to Barcelona? (because there are only 30 hotel pre-reservations)
F: Every partner must decide (also according to the budget) how many participants they will need to send.
Frank will act as secretary, so questions are directed to Frank (until September, when the assistant project coordinator will be installed). Answers about the amount of participants will be directed to Marisol.
Stuart: when is the next workshop?
F: normally it is supposed to be in December but hereby the proposal to postpone it to March 2007 so the surveys will have more quality.
Bas: how many hours is a person month?
F: One-month full time employment (so approximately 160 hours)

In September F will give a presentation on how the report forms will have to be filled in.

M: When will the money get in? (F: It was sent from Brussels to Ncl in May.)

Travel costs

F: LP’s must count on it that they have to be on all the workshops; SP must be at all WS re. WP they are involved, idem experts.

S: What can we expect of the expert partners in respect with the workload?
F: It depends on the role of the expert. Of an expert partner who is not an LP one can expect more effort then of an LP acting as an expert partner.
Next meeting (after Barcelona)
30 - 31 March – Travel on March 29 and 1 April 2007.
Place: Plan A: Roskilde (Denmark)

Plan B: Lille or Berlin

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