The understanding of SDGs and DEAR projects, the exchange on methodologies and lessons learnt, and the direct engagement of citizens and communities contributing to development: this is the LADDER Tool Fair!

Organised on 10-12 May in Toruń, Poland, with the great support of the Region Kujawsko-Pomorskie, the Tool Fair has been opened by a plenary session chaired by Mrs. Imislawa Gorska, Vice-President of ALDA.

Among panellists, the Vice-Marshal of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region, Mr. Zbigniew Ostrowski, who mentioned the importance of cooperation between Local Authorities and Civil Society Organisations, as a practice to better achieve results, but also the essentiality of creating connections, from transports to dialogue, from education to environment: “All kind of connections are essential and must be improved, cause an open city is an open society”, he said.

Mr. Jan Hofmolk, Deputy Director at the Eastern Division, Plenipotentiary of the Foreign Minister of the Eastern Partnership of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed as well the importance of the joint cooperation of LAs and CSOs: “Local Authorities are those who can efficiently shape this generation, while the role of grass root organisations is essential since they are the ones who can help us in getting actively involved in the promotion of SDGs”. And he added: “Civil Society Organisations have the crucial role of communicating, and we need them to communicate the goals of the Eastern Partnership. We need them to prepare future generations to execute policies and take responsibility for the implementation of SDGs”.

A global perspective on what goes on in our societies and the state of affairs regarding the implementation and promotion of the SDGs was provided by Mr. Harm-Jan Fricke, Consultant in Development Education and Global Learning, who put the accent on the commitment that needs to be invested in the processes activated by DEAR projects, that often require several years to show results.

A permanent open space for the LADDER Tool Fair and exchange of practices has been set in one of the main rooms, giving the opportunity to share materials, ideas, and networking with people directly engaged in the implementation of DEAR projects and SDG-related activities. More than 170 participants attending the events had the opportunity to get to know the SDGs-related activities developed within our network.

The opening ceremony has been followed by 6 different workshops providing important reflections and exchange of methodologies, addressing the following topics:

  1. Best practices of Global citizenship in the formal education sector
  2. Best practices of Global citizenship in the non-formal education sector
  3. Empowering citizens and creating an enabling environment
  4. Reaching out to citizens: the example of Local Democracy Agencies
  5. Increasing ownership of SDGs: research findings on development education
  6. Reaching out to citizens: local actors in action (Category A Co-applicants)

On the stage of the Dwor Artusa, hosting the LADDER activities in Toruń, also the theatre play “In a Better World” had its enormous success. “An example how it is possible to represent SDGs through art. And this is the best way, since nobody is indifferent to emotions trigged by art” said a participant at the end of the play.

Among participants, also some Citizen Journalists of the LADDER initiative joined the activities, getting inspired by the topics discussed and getting closer to DEAR projects and SDGs. Aim of their participation was to provide them with the opportunity of meeting the whole network, gathering new ideas and information for their future works in the field.

The event was closed by the Closing Ceremony and Presentation of LADDER results, where Mr. Oriano Otočan, President of ALDA, Mr. Leszek Świętalski, Secretary General of URC RP, Mr. Mger Kuiumchyan, Deputy Head of Dnipropetrovsk Regional Counil, and Mr. Dirk Bocken, Coordinator of Round Tables from GENE, shared their impressions and wishes to foster these actions, ensuring a continuity and making them as much as possible sustainable in the future.

The events of LADDER project have been organised back to back with ALDA General Assembly 2017.

Useful links:

Photo gallery of the event
Minutes of the DEAR Tool Fair