Village Innovation Talk / Brochure For Geneva /
2nd Version







Format A4, very good paper, backside and frontside printed


Connecting innovative people and villages around the globe. Sharing knowledge and results - strategies and breakthroughs. Presenting……

Village Innovation Talks.

Combining streaming, community interaction, local discussion and community building

7 years of real life experience in village trials in Austria convinced us of the power of broadband videolinks if they are applied correctly. We developed a videobridging "protocol" linking different groups of people physically present in community centers- to educate, share and learn from each other. This structure facilitated remote AND local dialogue at the same time, supported knowledge transfer AND local community building simultaneously.

We discovered that the best teachers for villages are the villages themselves.

Whilst our village partners started out with linkages to universities, we all soon saw the growing potential of v2v (Village to Village) - connections. In 2005 a parallel congress was held by sharing a week-long event from a village at one end of Austria to a village at the other end.

These "Days of Utopia" were followed by similar events. A highlight was the "Bioversity" to reach out to local bio farming communities in Austria and abroad while the main event was held in our "spearhead" village, Kirchbach

In 2011, at a onlime meeting facilitated by GKPF, we formed a new international partnership. .
We brought this v2v communication to a new level when we conected innovators from 6 villages in a trial multicast in December 2011.
The themes presented by the villages demonstrated the diverse fields of interest, and simultaneously, the vast array of potential solutions and knowledge that could be communicated and shared.

The next phase of the project will address the following challenges:

1. First and foremost: '''Connecting the “doers”(practitioners) from different villages for mutual learning and encouragement.
2. Overcoming lack of knowledge of:

  • opportunities for village evolution and fields of innovation
  • funding sources
  • legal framework and rules necessary to access funds and implement projects
  • the technical knowledge that is sometimes missing at the beginning of the project.
  • strategic planning tools
3. Instigating the ability to improve ICT infrastructure adequate to the current and future needs of the community.
4. Helping support the local political and planning process for rural innovation and help the key actors to overcome inertia and deal constructively with dissenting opinions.

We want:

  • to work with candidate villages to identify possible topics and locations. A hosting village will agree to host an f2f meeting around a topic that is of key interest to them, either based on expanding an existing project or initiating a new one. The topic should reflect their “needs” as they will drive the agenda of the event.
  • those "hosts" to invite suitable guests from other villages (based on aproposal by the organising team) and prepare and hold a broadcasted discussion
  • public viewings of these discussions to be held simultaneously in many other villages and communities. There the audiences will be encouraged by local moderators to submit questions and engage and participate fully in the outcome of the Village Innovation Talks
  • a “Village Innovation Platform” to be set up to be the "voice of the talks", promote and stream the events and document the outcome and learnings and allow for search, storage and retrieval of past talks based on locations and topics. Televised extensions to home viewers are very welcome.
There is a lot of additional services and support we hope to offer through this network, for example

  • forming educational networks that share capacity, experience and content
  • provide a forum where networked CSOs (civil society organizations), public services and SME services can be developed and rolled out
  • enhancing the reach and opportunities of existing SME’s and also support rural startups.
  • facilitate SME support services – for example: training, payment processing, access to network for generating new ideas and solving problems
  • database of advisors – possibly a mentoring program to bridge capability building and implementation phase of programs
  • access to intellectual contributions under open source commercial use licenses that connect community with business.
  • Virtual enterprises or virtual forms of social integration
  • Access to tools and help with Business Model Generation and testing, Service Design, Business Planning and Rapid Prototyping methodologies
What is needed ?
  • Our ability to implement depends largely on the initial support we will get.
  • On one side, we are still experimenting with various formats and options and studying them to find the optimal configurations.
  • On the other side, we think that local infrastructure and the network itself can sustain themselves if run as a social enterprise and capitalizing on the ability to use such infrastructure for vocational education, business training and many other fields that will be outlined in the handbook we will produce for community videobridge centers.

A new type of globally inspired village can emerge, one that can grab and engage the interest of the young, provide opportunities for the active and working population and give security and hope to the elderly. To support this, we created the

Global Villages Network.


Technology today enables a truly unprecedented level of connectedness. There is great and growing potential to use technology innovatively to augment traditional village life.

While global communication and alluring messages entice people - especially younger people looking for greater opportunities and choice - to already overcrowded cities, rural areas are in decline. Yet a new type of village is emerging, one that can connect the beauty, silence and simplicity of rural living with sophistication, creativity and culture. Urban based services, connections to specialists in all walks of life are available by using technology to create globally connected "village plazas" that facilitate local dialogue first and foremost.

Global Communication then becomes an inspiration, like an acupunture needle stimulating the bodies own force.

Will we see the Global Village turning into a Globe of Villages?

Our partnership started with two projects that show great promise. On one side there is GIVE laboratory, a group in Vienna that since the nineties has been weaving connections for a global network of village innovators. GIVEs founding director Franz Nahrada was an initial speaker at the European Broadband Conference 2007, organized the Austrian EU presidency event on digitized cultural heritage (CULTH) as well as conferences on telework and urban planning in the communication age. On the other side there is Ideawerk, a thinktank of IT professionals that reaches into the corporate world, yet is commited to village life and the idea of a village innovation center in Bittelbronn near Stuttgart.

The cooperation of this core group with a growing number of partners, among them active village innovators, TV and media producers, village renewal associations, municipalities, village development enterprises, enterprises with targeted products and services, networks of creatives like architects or engineers, scientific institutions, dialogue facilitators and socially responsible investors forms the backbone for the Village Innovation Talks and the resulting Global Villages Network.

We invite you to partner with us!

Please contact f.nahrada@reflex.at