FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Complete this online form or send us the attached Application form to firstname.lastname@example.org
This initiative is open to collectives not individuals. A collective can have the form of a social movement with recognizable structures and goals without a formal legal recognition, a legally existing civil society organization, a citizens platform seeking to gain institutional power at municipal and/or city level via a political candidacy, an established city council, or other forms of collective action that centre their practices in a specific location that is not generally recognized as a region, state or similar delimitations.
The second edition of the award (2018-19) will look at the three issues of the first edition: Energy, Water and Housing plus an additional one: Food systems. We expect to keep adding issues based on our capacity, and aim to organize at least three annual awards. You can also can also apply to several issues simultaneously under the same application.
We hope that by participating in this award you will amplify your local efforts into a global one, by helping others understand what is effective in challenging and transforming the unjust status quo. The world needs inspiring stories, and you might have one that triggers transformation practices in other regions and places.
Practically, by participating your initiative might be featured in the Atlas of Utopias 2019 and may eventually become one of the 3 finalists in the area(s) you participate in (Water/Energy/Housing/Food Systems).
The finalists' stories will then be explored by local journalists, commissioned by us and our media partner(s) and shared worldwide.
After a popular vote the Peoples' Choice Award from each category will be announced and one delegate from the winning initiative will be invited to an international conference in Amsterdam in December 2019. The December conference will be a unique opportunity to share your experience and connect with other practitioners, scholars, journalists and other collectives that will strengthen your international exposure and networks.
We understand that for those challenging corporate power, authoritarian regimes, environmental degradation, inequality and injustice in all its forms, it is hard to allocate time to sit down and reflect on your political practices. If you have limited capacity to fill in the application form, we have some capacity to assist you in the process. That way we hope to help those at the frontlines with a lot to share but little time to spend on reflection. To ask for this support, please do contact us and we will assess your request.
The Transformative Cities initiative is launched by a group of regional and international organizations (in alphabetical order): European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability (Ecolise), Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C) and the Transnational Institute (TNI).
Transformative Cities Atlas
If you are eligible, your experience will also be analysed, alongside other candidates, by expert evaluators in different fields to draw out both the strengths and potential of your collective work. The result will be a Transformative Cities Atlas, which will systematize your story and seek to provide opportunities for mutual learning.
Telling the story
Three key experiences for each issue focused on in the 2018-19 award (i.e. Water/Energy/Housing/Food Systems) will be chosen for public promotion as we want to share the most inspiring stories with as wide a public as possible, adding up tp 12 stories in total. The Transformative Cities Initiative will commission a local journalist to get a fuller story, to dig deep and pull out the inspiration, colour, dynamics and people behind your collective action. This will help you to tell your story to others, which can both strengthen your cause and inspire others to follow your example.
Have a look at last year’s stories, which were made in partnership with Open Democracy. For this edition we will expand our media partnerships. Are you a Fearless Media outlet and would like to explore forms of collaboration? Please do contact us.
To engage the public, the top twelve stories will be voted on by the global community that we are creating. Although the popular vote will technically identify a series of ‘winners’ that get the "Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award ", our goal is not to create competition between different political practices, but rather to put a spotlight on transformative practices and encourage their spread internationally.
The Transformative Cities Initiative is not just focused on the award, but wants to build a network that allows participants to learn from each other. One of those opportunities for mutual learning could be the annual New Politics Conference organised by TNI and its partners to which we will invite cities both those starting out and those with consolidated practices- to exchange and learn. All results and lessons will be published under Creative Commons licence. You can see how it went in the first edition in this Laura Flanders Show episode about Transformative Cities.
After a popular vote the People's Choice Award from each category (Water/Energy/Housing/Food Systems) will be announced and one delegate from the winning initiative will be invited to an international conference in Amsterdam in December 2019. The December conference will be a unique opportunity to share your experience and connect with other practitioners, scholars, journalists and other collectives that will strengthen your international exposure and networks. The initiatives will also be invited to appoint a person to become an evaluator for the next edition of Transformative Cities.
The Transformative People 's Choice Award does not involve monetary compensation. What the Peoples Choice Award brings to you is the possibility to give visibility and strength to your experience, facilitating its replicability and scalability. Our experience from the first edition is that the Award is an excellent way applicants to reach new audiences. Furthermore, by participating you will meet contacts involved in transformative experiences from all over the world and participants in mutual learning processes, either physically or online.
These are the key elements of a Transformative Practice:
- Equity and participation
- Capacity to inspire collective action
- Transferability and replicability
- Accountability and Transparency
- Solidarity and Public ethos
- Sustainability and efficiency
- Fairness of labour conditions and the recognition of care and domestic work
Yes. If you did apply and did not get the Peoples Choice Award we encourage you to apply again, probably your initiative has grown stronger and you have more inspiration to share.
If you are not sure about your eligibility, please do contact us.
The concept of “city” is a highly contested one, scientifically or politically. For the purpose of the award, we define cities in very broad terms as the locations for place-based struggles for basic rights. We understand that cities have certain strategic advantages to advance social, environmental and gender justice - in terms of combining critical masses of people as well as potential for more accountable governance. This will encompass transformative practices happening in urban and rural areas and in areas that could be described as both.
We are deeply aware that struggles in cities cannot be divorced from the rural, as the whole political economy of cities is deeply dependent on processes of production and extraction from rural areas. These interconnections must be better understood and analysed if we are to see how transformative these practices really are. Transformation must be local, national and global, but we also believe that transformative efforts within 'cities' are increasingly reflecting these interconnections within their very work and we hope to reflect that in this initiative.
No, however you need to be a collective with recognizable structures in place and set goals. That usually means to have at least a well-functioning website and a number of examples of your collective actions. If you have doubts please contact us.