Communities in control – the way to a successful community project

Ambition: Together we’ll change the world, one community at the time.

A webinar brought to you by the Province of Drenthe in the Netherlands. 

Tune in to the Osiris YouTube channel for this live stream on September 15, 14:00 CET

In OSIRIS as in numerous other regional and local programmes, policy makers and authorities strive to improve the wealth of a region, trying to make it more viable, more resilient and more sustainable. This is a praiseworthy endeavour, often considered a real opportunity by residents of that region.

But the real incentive for action by a community lies elsewhere.

• A facility or amenity is closing or disappearing

Communities look and find alternative ways to run these facilities and to keep them viable.

• We can do it better, cheaper, closer to the people

Residents have easy access to these community services – questions, problems, complaints are dealt with and solved immediately. A much cheaper way than via the ponderous road of a local or regional authority. Communities seek cooperation between community workers and local contractors. Villages often choose a co-operative structure for building local power and local entrepreneurship.

• We want influence, control

In the UK this community movement was translated into government policy: the Right to Challenge. Authorities saw the positive impact on civil society when communities were much more in control of their physical and social environment. Also communities were able to considerably lower the costs of services that used to be the responsibility of local authorities. The Right to Challenge means that a community can challenge a local authority or public service by saying: we can do this better or cheaper than you can. Other countries copied this. The Dutch parliament adopted legislation along these lines as well. So in The Netherlands we have our own ’Right to Challenge’.

“Together we’ll change the world, one community at the time!” (quote from Locality, the UK organisation of British community initiatives and businesses).



14:00 Welcome by moderator Marije Kattenwinkel

14:05 Communities in control - steps to a successful community project - Jan van der Bij

14:20 The role of Osiris in Drenthe - Gerard Meijers

14:30 Voices of stakeholders

            - Rolina Esschendal – Eexterveen community centre 

            - Marcel Endendijk – the craft businesses project 

14:45 Comments and discussions led by Marije Kattenwinkel

15:00 Webinar closes