The aim of the INTERFACE project is to support Fragile Communities in finding innovative and entrepreneurial responses to the problems affecting them. Fragile communities are urban and rural communities (city quarters, towns and villages) that have been experiencing a persistent demographic, economic and social decline – an issue which has become a policy concern in all European countries.
The “Fragile Communities” approach stems from Iceland, where this bottom-up approach was applied in various communities affected by depopulation. The main idea is to stimulate and activate the community resources, by launching a grassroots process accompanied by coaches and trainers allowing members of communities to find innovative and entrepreneurial solutions for the betterment of their living environment.
The INTERFACE project will also build on the curriculum and training materials that were developed in the “Furthering Innovative Entrepreneurial Regions of Europe” (FIERE) project. These materials will be further developed in the INTERFACE project, and the partnership will create and implement a long-term coaching programme for community members and representatives of local authorities.
The key principle of coaching is a creative process that inspires beneficiaries to maximize their personal and professional potential. The role of the coach is to ask questions and be passionate about helping people pursue their own solutions, ensuring and emphasizing clients’ ownership and responsibility of his/her ideas and solutions. This approach will be crucial, as the focus of INTERFACE project will be on self-empowerment of fragile communities striving to define and achieve their own goals.