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Changing the Alps together

Jul 14, 2021
Integrating marginalised groups better, reviving ghost towns in the Alps, or organising a meeting on “Rural Commons”: the first “Alpine Changemaker Basecamp” (ACB) in Valposchiavo/CH at the beginning of July 2021 saw around 30 participants from the Alpine region further developing their projects for a liveable future in the Alps.
Image caption:
Young ideas for a good life in the Alps: the “Alpine Changemaker Basecamp” on the marketplace in Poschiavo/CH. © Katharina Söldner

“We draw an imaginary map for your project so that, at every point of development, you know where you are and what you have to do”, explains Michael Schuster, design anthropologist from BASIS Vinschgau Venosta/I, in his workshop on integrated project development. That it can be helpful to look at the same situation from different perspectives was shown by Serena Curti and Umberto Anesi from the Trentino School of Management/I in their seminar on creative thinking approaches. For the cultural philosopher and cultural manager Jens Badura from berg_kulturbüro, who co-initiated the project, what was most impressive was “the naturalness with which the transdisciplinary exchange took place”. Christina Thanner, project manager at CIPRA International sums it up: “The ACB brought together the most diverse group of people, with a wide variety of ideas and disciplines.”

Of Alpine herbs, mass tourism and mental health

Promoting biodiversity, discussing systemic design principles, recognising the potential of vacant buildings: the numerous workshops and excursions offered participants new tools and abilities to concretise their projects. A mountain centre for mental health and the treatment of eating disorders, an art pavilion on the topic of mass tourism, bivouacs in abandoned barns: the diverse projects also let participants learn from each other’s experiences. “The people here really motivated me. It was great to see how other participants approached me with ideas and tips for my project”, enthused Stefanie Schorz, who wants to build a sustainable bouldering area in the Schluchsee/D region. For Claas Beeser, who wants to create housing for young people in Piemont/I, it became clear: “The central question is not whether something is possible, but how. That’s why I talk to as many people as possible who are different from me, to get different perspectives.”

The ACB was the first pilot project of the transdisciplinary “Alpine Changemaker Network”, an association of organisations from the fields of education, regional development and the environment. They are accompanied by a reflection group that evaluates the conception and implementation of the base camps. The network was initiated by CIPRA International and Jens Badura from berg_kulturbüro. The Polo Poschiavo and its director Cassiano Luminati hosted the pilot project. The “Alpine Changemaker Basecamp” is funded by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland.

Further information: Alpine Changemaker Basecamp — CIPRA (e)