A-AAGORA Recap of Participatory Activities Across DEMOs

As summer unfolds, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the remarkable progress achieved by the A-AAGORA community over the past year and a half. Particularly noteworthy are the extensive participation and dynamic engagement within the project’s demonstration areas, affectionately known as DEMOs. This engagement embodies the project’s commitment to co-design and co-production of innovative solutions aimed at addressing a nexus of ongoing environmental crises through nature restoration.

The Portuguese DEMO has been a beacon of community involvement, having conducted four significant stakeholder workshops across Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, and Peniche from autumn 2023 to spring 2024. These workshops, focusing on Living Labs, cognitive mapping, and key challenges, as well as the co-design of the action plan, have been pivotal in fostering local engagement (read more: Workshop at ECOMARE, Participatory Workshops). Additionally, ongoing focus groups promise to provide more insights in the coming months.

DEMO PT and DEMO IE participatory moments

The Irish DEMO has matched this fervour with a series of 23 events over the past 18 months, 12 of which were organized with local communities. These included walking workshops, meetings on coastal vulnerability, interactive sessions on Living Lab concepts, community meetings, cognitive mappings, surveys, and interviews. This broad spectrum of activities underscores the DEMO’s commitment to integrating local perspectives into its initiatives.

The Norwegian DEMO has been actively engaging local communities through various dynamic Living Lab events over the past year. Highlights include a hands-on workshop focused on sea urchins and kelp in Karlsøy, a sustainable tourism event in Lofoten, and the Grand Shift Restoration Campaign in Toftefjord. Events such as Fiskens Dag in Vannøya and Villmarksmessa in Tromsø also provided platforms for discussing the A-AAGORA project and its contributions to regional environmental initiatives. These activities have fostered significant community involvement, highlighting the project’s impact and promoting sustainable practices across Northern Norway.

Beyond the individual DEMOs, participatory workshops have also been held at the project level, particularly in Cork and Faro. These workshops have been instrumental in refining the project’s understanding of key concepts such as Living Labs, Communities of Practice, innovations, and upscaling. They have included participation from all DEMO partners, other project partners, and relevant local authority representatives.

Participatory Workshop in Faro, Portugal

Looking ahead, the A-AAGORA project anticipates many more participatory moments and is excited to share these developments as they unfold. Stay tuned for further updates as the journey continues!

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