IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN | Interview with Joke Quintens

May, 2018 – As part of the IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN: UN SDGSs and Societal Challenges SDGs Applied Design Reserach Program co-produced by SocialFare | Center for Social Innovation Italy and ELISAVA – Barcelona School of Design and EngineeringArianna Mazzeo, Director of the MasterLab in Service Design Systems of ELISAVA, interviewed Joke Quintens. 

IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN: UN SDGSs and Societal Challenges
SDGs Applied Design Reserach Program
[read more]

 

Joke Quintens is a master in history and graduated on migration history. From different roles she has built a strong reputation in “making city together”, where everyone – citizens, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, politicians and civil servants – play a role in shaping a city and society together. As a designer and facilitator, Joke is extremely skilled in participatory design. As the former deputy mayor of the city of Genk (Belgium), she was an innovative policy maker in transitions at city level, in the areas of participation, neighbourhood development, sustainable development, environment and equality. For over 20 years, creativity and “working together to move forward” have been a focus in her career, both in the social sector, in policy and in her activities as an social entrepreneur.

Joke Quintens lives and works in Marseille since 2017, a city with a certain scale and 2600 years of experience in migration, diversity and resilience. In Living Lab Moving Marseille she uses the city as a lab to learn, but also to connect people and projects in and with Marseille. In this context she also organizes Urban Field Trips, in which she introduces visitors to this fascinating city with inspiring citymakers and their projects from the bottom-up. Joke Quintens is an experienced and driven “transitioneur”, “matchmaker” and “facilitator”, who likes to share her experiences with the rest of the world.

Joke has three main activities:

Living lab Moving*Marseille: how superdiversity can be an accelerator of transformations in Marseille. This is done by several interventions: a chain of stories from citizens about their roots and “routes”; citizentwinnings of citymakers from Rotterdam and Marseille; matchmaking social innovators in Marseille and beyond; collecting voices from Marseille in stories and inspiring places.

Urban Field Trips: in which visitors can learn from the bottom up initiatives in Marseille and her superdiverse population and visit local initiatives and meet citymakers who are building from the bottom-up their very promising city near the Mediterranean.

Participatory design: designing and facilitating participation and co-creation projects in cities, organizations and companies with a focus on bottom-up participation. This approach gives not only common ground but also better solutions.

Joke is also an inspiring speaker who wants to share her experiences and insights with the world. As a curator she designs and matchmakes for festivals and activities on social and sustainable change.

 

What had most impact on your life / did you learn from?

 

Realizing Wetopia exists. Wetopia is a word I invented to explain how we can take action to build our community together. Civilians, activists, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, civil servants, policy maker. When people have little faith in politics, in the top down, it is necessary that we try to reshape our society together. Meanwhile people are already constructing Wetopia everywhere.

When you want transitions to work and systems to change, everybody has to be involved. Not only scientist and policy makers with their administrations. Everybody takes and can take responsibilities to accelerate transitions.

In Wetopia we see new alliances, also without government, al lot of regaining pride and self-esteem and the strength of a superdiverse community as main characteristics.

So let me tell you my personal story to explain what I mean with this:

I am a historian, graduated in migration history and started my career as a community worker in very mixed, but also deprived neighbourhoods in Brussels and Antwerp to strengthen people in their talents, in what they are good at. Then I decided to become a freelancer, an entrepreneur to facilitate organisations and cities in  societal change. I got involved in policymaking, participated at local elections and became the deputy mayor of Genk. I developed from that role a lot of projects together with civil servants, associations, citizens about sustainable urban development in a working class and superdiverse community.

Today I live in Marseille, another superdiverse city, the most African city of Europe and focus on social design as an active citizen and as a professional. I set up an Urban Lab to research how superdiversity can accelerate a city and I organise urban field trips on social innovation from  the bottom up.

And what do we always want, as engaged people? We want impact. We ask ourselves all the time how we can change things for the better. In every role. You can’t do it alone. To me it’s always about building bridges and focus on diversity as a strength. In all these kind of roles: from civil servant to scientist and from citizen to artist, we can make a difference.

Now, after more than 20 years, I decided to be a facilitator and a matchmaker helping people to make this difference.

I try to look at cities and society with different eyes and connect people and organizations who want to change their social and cultural environment for the better.

Choosing Marseille as a platform was a very conscious choice, because Marseille is the ideal laboratory to explore the possibilities of bottom-up initiatives in a superdiverse community. Our living lab Moving*Marseille explores these possibilities and tries to connect people and organizations who contribute to sustainable change.

 

Why impact through design in Marseille?

 

I am convinced that Marseille is a very interesting laboratory to research social impact through design and social innovation from the bottom-up. This, in the context of a city with 2600 years of experience with migration, a superdiverse working class population, a rebellious history, lots of social challenges – Marseille is the most unequal city in Europe – and a very active bottom-up community that explores new ways of activism and social change. This practice in a city as Marseille is due to an almost absent government in innovative social and sustainable solutions.

Let me share three examples of social innovation from Marseille that inspire me as Wetopian projects and are also very good examples of social design for societal change, addressing clearly the sustainable development goals.

The first social innovation, accelerating sustainable transformations, is Bernard du Bois. This is an empty temporary and legal occupied building from the national government as a hotspot to accommodate homeless people and to set up a new ecosystem with lots of partners to do this in a different way.

Lab Zéro is the laboratory of social innovations piloted by the Prefecture.

Marseille Solutions works with Lab Zéro to experiment solutions for social issues and intervenes in Bernard du Bois on the question of “zero non-recours aux droits”, using their rights.

Yes We Camp is in charge of the project and co-pilots it with Groupe SOS, in charge of the accommodation centre, and Plateau Urbain, responsible for renting the spaces for activities. They collaborate with initiatives of Belsunce’s social and cultural actors, like Centre Social Bernard du Bois, Cité de la Musique, Théâtre de l’Oeuvre.

And they work with residents, especially on the green aspect: on the roof of the building, the inhabitants will cultivate green to, once plants, disseminate to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood to vegitalise/green their streets even more than many in the neighbourhood already do.

In the future they want 50 structures to work on the site: companies, associations, all doing things in return for the target group.

Another example is Foresta. This parc was a not used piece of land on a for the sight strategic hill of Marseille, owned bij a company called Résilience. They invited Yes We Camp to use for at least 8 years the 20 ha / 50 acres land to do something attractive with it, meaning making a metropolitan park.

In Foresta, several kind of partners are involved. Next to Yes we Camp and Résilience some local associations dedicated to sport, culture, crafts, four community centres – Foresta is at the convergence of many priority areas – one cooperative of residents (Hôtel du Nord), some artists, urbanists (like Safi, Bureau des Guides..), the Technological Institute and a lot of inhabitants.

 

Last example is social innovation, working on the talents of the superdiverse community.

And in Marseille many companies take action to do their part of initiating projects and taking responsibilities for societal change.

Sylvie Bancilhon, the leading lady of Table de Cana, a catering firm set up, together with social innovation partner Marseille Solutions a project called “Des étoiles et des femmes” in which every nine months a group of women with lots of cooking talents can do an internship with a top and star chef. The impact of this journey is for those women life changing.

Christophe Baralotto, the owner of Provefarm, a pharma company initiated together with  Marseille Solutions Dégun sans Stage, which means: not without internship. In France every 14 year old has to do an internship of one week in a company or other structure.

Youngsters from deprives neighbourhoods often have no network to find an internship. That’s why this company, located in a technopôle near the northern neighbourhoods of Marseille took the initiative to convince in the first year 60 entrepreneurs to provide internships. The 2018 goal is 500 places for the kids.

Another project is the bank LCL, headhunting young people in sport clubs of deprived neighbourhoods and providing education to become a bank advisor because this youngsters have a great team and competition spirit and a diverse background.

 

What the design community can learn from Marseille are the attitudes from the bottom-up to accelerate sustainable urban transformations, and doing so, generating impact. Some of these attitudes are for instance: look with new and different eyes, make new and different alliances and use this new and different energy. Experiment, disseminate and use the diversity of the community. See it big, start small, go fast, accelerate optimism, don’t wait, act now, and do it together.

IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN by SocialFare and ELISAVA International open talk | Applied Design Research for SDGs

 

IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN: UN SDGS and Societal Challenges.
International Open Talk | SDGs Applied Design Research Program

Co-produced by

SocialFare | Center for Social Innovation Italy

and

ELISAVA – Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

 

IMPACT THROUGH DESIGN: UN SDGSs and Societal Challenges is an applied research program co-produced by SocialFare | Centre of Social Innovation based in Turin, Italy and ELISAVA – Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, aimed to improve and promote the generation of Social Impact through Design.

The applied design research program will focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and will involve professionals, researchers, public and private institutions as well as the communities in which the best practices of Social Impact Design are already being applied in order to define a programmatic and systemic proposal for the next decade.

Starting in Turin (Italy) on May the 4th, 2018, the program includes an Open Talk Series in Marseille, Barcelona, Matera, Roma, Zurich, Toronto, Boston, Shanghai and will be presented at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.

 

 

EUROPE


 

opentalk#1 | TURIN

Impact through design SDGs and Societal Challenges. The Italian Perspective

Friday 4th May 17.00 – 19.30 h | Rinascmenti Sociali, Via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino

 

opentalk#2 | MARSEILLE

The Marseille social design and bottom-up perspective

Saturday 19th May 16.00-18.00 h | Femmes D’Ici et D’Ailleurs,  4 Rue Mazagran, 13001 Marseille

 

opentalk#3 | BARCELONA

Data & the City. Design, Policy and Resilience. The Barcelona Perspective

Wednesday 23rd May 18.30-19.30 h | Elisava Design School, Rambla 32 08002 Barcelona

 

opentalk#4 | MATERA

The system food-design.  The Community Perspective

Saturday 2nd june from 11.30-12.30 h | Palazzo Lanfranchi, Via Carlo Levi Matera

 

opentalk#5 | ROME

Digital Social Innovation. Top down either/ or Bottom-up. Which sustainability through design?  The Public Interest Perspective

Thursday 7th June 11.00-12.00 h | Festival dello Sviluppo Sostenibile, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

 

opentalk#6 | ZURICH

Cultural devices: models of design and design of models. The Zurich perspective

Wednesday 27th June 2018 18.00-19.30 h | Cabaret Voltaire, Spiegelgasse 1,8001 Zürich, Switzerland

 

UNITED STATES AND CANADA


 

opentalk#7 | NEW YORK

Social Impact through design. The Design Schools and Policy perspective toward the transition to sustainability

United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), New York, United Nations

17th July 2018

 

opentalk#8 | TORONTO

Cultural impact. Principles and practices. The indigenous perspective and technologies.

3rd September 18.00-19,00 h | OCAD university, Toronto, Canada

 

 

ASIA


opentalk#10 | SHANGHAI

Design for city-making. Models and Collaborative cities systems for no-Western social impact.

30th October 17.00-18.30 h | Tonjii University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, China

 

END OF THE PROGRAM


TORINO

International Impact Through Design. The Festival

23th November | Rinascimenti Sociali, Via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino, Italy

 

SocialFare | Center for Social Innovation Italy

SocialFare is the first Center for Social Innovation in Italy. Research, community engagement, capacity building, and co-design are at the basis of our work to develop  innovative solutions to contemporary societal challenges, while generating new economy via social ventures. SocialFare is located in Torino, in the premises of  Rinascimenti Sociali, the place and convergence network dedicated to accelerate social impact knowledge and entrepreneurship in Italy.

 

ELISAVA – Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

ELISAVA is one of the most important schools of Europe, a pioneer in studies of Design and Engineering. The Centre, affiliated to the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, has 2.000 students from around the world. ELISAVA promotes education, knowledge, research, development and innovation in the field of design, engineering and communication. The School offers a college education that prepares students to meet professional challenges worldwide.

ADVANCED COURSE IN SOCIAL INNOVATION, SDGs AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

SocialFare and PerMicro will be academic partners of the International Training Centre of International Labour Organization (ITCILO) and the Turin School of Development in the “Advanced Course in Social Innovation and Sustainable Development: Entrepreneurship for Social Impact” held between 27 November 2017 – 09 March 2018 in Turin.

The Advanced Course combines the sound academic background of the Academia with the ITC ILO’s international training experience as well as the consolidated technical capacity of PerMicro, microcredit specialised company, and SocialFare, Centre for Social Innovation.

Deadline for application: 31 October 2017.

Download here the brochure and learn more about this advanced course!

 

L’International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO) lancia la prima edizione del Advanced course in Social Innovation and Sustainable Development: Entrepreneurship for Social Innovation (27 novembre 2017 – 9 marzo 2018, Torino).

SocialFare è onorata di essere, accanto a PerMicro, partner accademico del primo corso internazionale dedicato a Innovazione Sociale, Sviluppo Sostenibile e Imprenditorialità per l’Impatto Sociale.

La Turin School of Development propone un percorso di alta formazione che combina una solida base accademica, fornita dall’esperienza internazionale nella formazione di ICTILO, alla conoscenza pratica e tecnica maturata da PerMicro, impresa specializzata nel microcredito, e SocialFare, primo centro italiano interamente dedicato all’innovazione sociale.

Scadenza per le candidature 31 ottobre 2017.

Scarica qui la brochure.