The panel discussion on how to build local communities was attended by Piotr Jaśkiewicz, President of the Science for Environment Foundation (Fundacji Nauka dla Środowiska), the leader of the PAFF Local Partnership in Koszalin established in the 2nd edition of the Program. Special guests of the panel were Paweł Chorąży, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Development and Marek Twaróg, Editor-in-chief of Dziennik Zachodni. Among the panelists there were also Tomasz Mirończuk, representing the Institute for Market Economics, Dagmara Sypniewska-Skwara, Vice Director of the Municipal Public Library in Sopot and Filip Salamon, a holder of a Prof. Roman Czernecki EFC Foundation scholarship. The role of moderator was played by Prof. Cezary Olbracht-Prondzyński, who represented University of Gdańsk.
On the basis of experiences gained in the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program, Piotr Jaśkiewicz spoke about the keystones to start the process of local communities activation. “Do something for yourselves but in such a way that others also can benefit from it. It works in each place where I act,” he said. Comparing the civic leader to a “social engine driver” whose aim is to make the train move, Piotr Jaśkiewicz recalled also experiences from his participation in the “PAFF Leaders” Program.
Tomasz Schimanek, representing the Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland and Jacek Królikowski, President of the Information Society Development Foundation were asked to comment on the discussion. They spoke about basing joint activities on positive emotions and about the power of joined potentials, referring to the example of the “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program.
The Program was also presented at the Mature Initiatives Forum, where the Congress participants could learn about all details related to its implementation.
The Civic Congress is a place of a public debate on further directions of civic society development in Poland. Each year it is attended by ca. 1,000 people, including representatives of central and local administration, NGOs, academics, students’ organizations, business as well as residents of various regions, towns and villages. The Polish-American Freedom Foundation has been the Congress partner since 2005.
The “PAFF Local Partnerships” Program serves to initiate and develop cooperation of participants of PAFF various undertakings aimed at setting up partnerships that implement projects important to local communities. Over five editions of the program, a total of 38 partnerships have been set up in 85 communes, involving almost 500 partners.