Local and policy workshops in the Ústí nad Labem Region

Jan Píša and Vladan Hruška organized in Autumn 2022 local workshops to present and discuss the results of their research focusing on agents of change in Ústí nad Labem Region.

In December 2022, there was a ‘policy workshop’ in Ústí nad Labem focusing on the policy recommendations derived from our research. First, general development tendencies of Ústí nad Labem Region were identified and the role of local, regional and national authorities in their shaping were analysed. Here, also the constraining agency of some agents was discussed. Later, the recommendations were presented and discussed with representatives of the academic sphere, local, regional and national authorities and other people. We discussed the role of the public administration in the construction of the capacity to act possessed and used by agents of change. Visitors (including municipal, regional and national officials, academics, and representatives of regional development organisations) also focused on the role of the education system in this process.

Local workshops took place in the research locations – towns Děčín and Most. In Teplice Jan Píša presented his research within another event held by a local NGO. Each workshop was organised in the premises of local NGOs targeting at the promotion of cultural activities and community development in their places. After the presentation of research results, main development problems of each town were discussed as well as key development actors contributing to their solution. Here the attention was paid to their capacity to act – power, competencies and skills which could be mobilised for solutions of local problems. Both workshops were attended by people engaged in local development – active citizens, local journalists, members of local NGOs and local government. Therefore, the range of opinions on the future direction of local development trajectories was quite diverse. Although in many cases the participants did not share identical views, the discussions were conducted in a correct and friendly manner and from the researchers’ point of view served as interesting feedback on the research methodology as well as on the findings.