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The project “Climate smart, ecosystem-enhancing and knowledge-based rural expertise and training centres” – RURALITIES, officially started on 1st October, 2022 with the main goal of contributing to the improvement and acceleration of rural development in Europe and Africa with a focus on 6 regions in Italy, Romania, Great Britain, Slovenia and Spain. The project is being implemented by 52 partner organizations, and the Institute for Development and Innovation leads the process of connecting stakeholders with project activities and coordinates a significant number of tasks related to the adaptation and operationalization of certain socio-economic methods.

First project board meeting was held on March 21 in Brussels, organized by the Belgian partner INAGRO. The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the presence of 30 partner organizations. The work was focused on a detailed progress evaluation during the first 6 months of project implementation and co-creation of plans for the next 6 months.
During the meeting, members of the project board and other present members of partner organizations also had the opportunity to exchange ideas, opinions and attitudes related to the implementation of project activities, recognize potential challenges, communicate certain questions and improve mutual interaction. The Institute presented its work package and a handbook and action plan for the engagement, connection and empowerment of stakeholders created for for the purpose of the project. In addition, the Institute discussed the possibility of using the System Thinking Methodology and citizen science as part of certain work tasks.