Op3nCare Fellows! | Brussels and Berlin urban activism, Greek agrifood rewiring, cytostatics shadow delivery in Romania

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New month, new exciting connections! This is to introduce five more community members who are contributing their work to the opencare research and global conversation.

Community spaces that are thriving create the right kind of social fabric and resilience that help people live in society 

Yannick Schandené, a tech-savvy activist, self proclaimed amateur urbanist and recent blogger for edgeryders, is reporting on his efforts to build Huis VDH in Brussels in true community fashion: a collaborative house in the making that started from a personal urge to repurpose empty space and give it to projects or people I believe in and is becoming an experimental hub on every level to test out new models of organization, collaboration, construction and economy. Creating a space as an example on how social and cultural dynamics in empty spaces can empower the wellbeing of the people from the community.

We learned about Prinzessinnengarten at the heart of Berlin a few years ago from @Caroline (veteran edgeryder!), and now Marco Clausen is taking us on a journey telling about the struggles behind the curtains. I asked Marco to address this at length in his next piece, as it seems we’ve only been teased so far: While community organizations have to promote themselves with success stories to get recognition, political- and financial support, the negative aspects are often less visible. You hear a lot about precarious funding, internal or outside conflicts, political and economic pressure, multitasking, impossible workloads, competition between projects. [] Over time, this situation can result in what you might call an „activism-burnout (read more)

Learning from care systems born out of crisis

Natalia Skoczylas and Pavlos Georgiadis are doing a series of pieces telling the story of how Pavlos, a returning agro-ecology researcher and entrepreneur, is building movements in the Greek “zombie economy”. We know Natalia best for her adventurous spirit and the ability to be in more than a place at once! and of course for her fearless take over Kathmandu in post earthquake Nepal last year. Also, I’m intrigued by the details of Pavlos’s narrative of care, as he seems to be taking Greece by storm, working on both small and (especially) big scales: He consciously chose to become part of the market, be open for collaboration with government, and get involved with huge public procurement systems because he thinks demonizing the market is wrong. And because there is a dire need for change there. More about his venture We Deliver Taste - here.

Last but not least and perhaps most straightforwardly tied to care, we met Sabina Ulubeanu two weeks ago, as she told us how she became involved with a semi-formal, non medical network providing actual treatment to patients suffering from cancer. Sabina is a composer, visual artist and co-founder of an international new arts festival in Bucharest (among many other hats!), yet it is her personal story of a young mother and patient which brings her to opencare: Yes, I travelled home with medicine, calmly taking them through security and bringing them to Valeriu, the taxi driver that distributed them to the ones in need. More important was the fact that doing a simple thing, an easy gesture, meant helping someone’s health and fighting a system that seemed not to care about the people. Everyone I talked to about the network felt the same: it is the least we can do! (read the short story)

I look forward to read and meet @Yannick, @marcoclausen@Pavlos, @Natalia_Skoczylas@Sabina_U with the first chance we have! Edgeryders peeps, feel free to dive in and say hello, you surely have a range to pick from :slight_smile: Up until July 31st you are welcome to join the conversation and submit your own Op3nCare story.

More about our ongoing Op3n Fellowships here.

About other Op3nCare Fellows here.


Wellbeing in Europe: Why participate? Opportunities for active participants