OSMOS is an empowerment service for communities that want to engage in the place-based economy. We help community actors – local administrations, civil society organisations, elected officials, members of a local business community – to apply system thinking in order to develop a common vision of what a local sustainable economy could look like in their specific socio-economic, geographical and cultural context. We also give advice on the strategies that will be necessary to transition towards a place-based economic system that puts community values and healthy ecosystems at the top of its agenda.
OSMOS has grown out of the TURaS* project and builds on five years of extensive academic research on sustainability and resilience in different European regions. From the outset our central objective was to produce knowledge and methods that are relevant for local authorities. The team included local authorities from London, Rome, Brussels, Dublin, Rotterdam, Sofia, Ljubljana and Stuttgart who helped co-creating the services provided by OSMOS through pilot projects and real-world tests all over Europe.
Observing local initiatives in practice helped us to define the contours of a place- and community-based economy. It is an area of activity that builds on existing natural and human-made assets in order to deliver value to local communities. It is also a policy field that requires the active involvement of local and regional authorities as “bridging actors”. Indeed, the focus of OSMOS is on the transition process towards a more sustainable economy and the role that territorial authorities can play to bridge the gaps between various types of stakeholders, different geographical scales as well as multiple types of knowledge. We provide specific governance tools in form of “bridging strategies” and insights about how these strategies can be implemented in practice.
Given the specific challenges encountered in your context, OSMOS will identify a panel of international experts from different fields (urbanism, ecology, landscape planning, economy, geography, engineering etc) in order to match state-of-the-art research with the need for action in your community.