The massive pandemic of COVID-19 virus in VMU AJMD “MODUSAS”

The massive pandemic of COVID-19 virus has also reached our non – profit organization VMU AJMD “MODUSAS”. It was as unexpected as for everyone in the Lithuania. All public places have been closed including our main meeting spot – university.  We had no other choice but to cancel our events such as “The Great Vileika battle”, shift the dates of the projects’ activities and other events we organize were we experience face to face co creations. I am not going to lie we had week of break down were each member of our organization had to get their mind up.

It was necessarily to switch from hands-on learning to digital platforms and online campaigns, storytelling, challenges on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Let me show you few examples how we are handling it.

On international Earth day (March 20th) we created a challenge were people were invited to share their favorite picture of nature and write a short description why it is so.

21st of March is the international day of Down syndrome.  On this occasion, we invited everyone to change socks to a different color to express their support for people with Down syndrome and a motto of this event was “Rock your socks”. (The shape of the sock is like chromosomes, and Down syndrome is caused by trisomy on chromosome 21.). You can see our digital co-creation in the picture below!

The next day we ran a campaign to celebrate international #worldwaterday. Here we presented a short storytelling about importance of water in our life and introduced few facts related to it.

On the 28th of March our organization promoted an international event “Earth hour” with a motto “Connect2Earth”. We invited people to join massive co -engagement were people had to shut all the lightening down in their house for an hour.

One more amazing example about how our organization remained “active” is then we joined a massive challenge where we invited people to stay at their homestays. VMU MODUSAS’s chosen reason to #stayhome was to see our favorite and lovely administrator Laima.

In conclusion, from face to face experience we had to focus more on digital area where we are trying to reach people to co engage threw social media.


LBDLC chronicle

During our two-day partner gathering in Toulouse, in February 2020, we had the opportunity to meet with the team of “Le Bruit de la Conversation”, a young local organisation, that presented us their actions, and more importantly, made us test them !

“Le Bruit de la Conversation » (« The noise of conversation ») was born in 2016 from the ambition of a group of architect students: they wanted to empower inhabitants by helping them to “own” their urban environment. This meant for them to include inhabitants in each and every one of the steps of urban design, in order to “contribute to the creation of unique, inclusive and friendly territories where common spaces are seen as opportunities to work together and experience sharing”.

We could quickly realize that their project and ours where intimately related. As we are questioning ourselves about how to enable citizens in improving engagement in their own communities, LBDLC is working on different levels to improve inclusion of citizens in urban designing, by co-diagnosing, co-planning, co-conceiving, co-executing and co-appropriating. We are all fans of co-doing!

From LBDLC portfolio – Our scope

LBDLC is also a “education populaire” collective, so for them “experimenting” is way more powerful that “listening to”, when learning and discovering. That’s why they chose to present us their tools by making us “live them”. Thanks to that, we got to try out some tools that could become useful in our work with our own target groups.

First, we tried “The thermometer”. Each one of us received a cardboard thermometer and 20 images of spaces, people, activities… that we had to classify from bottom to top according to how they inspired us freedom. By doing this, each one was confronted to their own thinking and feelings about those images, and we got to express ourselves, individually. The restitution was also very interesting, as it allowed us to realize how different (or similar) our perspectives can be.

To discover the pitch-description or their organisation, they proposed us to work in two groups. Some of us played a charades game, with words like “architecture”, “sociology”, “urban design”, “citizen consultation” … A great challenge for a multi-cultural and multi-lingual group. Yet, we got to understand each other and, in so, revealing the essence of this multidisciplinary organization.

The other group, after debating about the LBDLC’s description, got to try their “cooperative pencil”. We mastered it! But it took us some minutes to get the hang of it, and of course, communicate about our common strategy. Great team building!

To end this time together, our impact assessment team ask LBDLC’s workers some questions about their needs. The most important, for them, was a change in policies that gives recognition and importance to consultation, not as a press campaign, but as a way of actually building co-design cities and territories. Also, in their work, they would like to have more tools on how to mobilize inhabitants faster and deeper, how to know their needs.

We hope that some of the work that we will be doing in Co-Engage project will be useful for “Le Bruit de la Conversation”, as well as other stakeholders. So we collect those expressed needs very carefully, and we will do our best to include them in our next steps.