Symbiosis participated in the kick-off meeting for the EPIC project held from 29 to 31 January 2020 in Vicenza, Italy. During the kick-off meeting, organisation delegates held several plenary sessions and workshops to establish the best working methods and revise the entire project work plan and strategy.
The first and second day presented the different work packages, introduced the communication aspects of the project and jointly reviewed the financial and administrative processes.
On the final day, the EPIC consortium moved to the Villa Miari, where the neighbouring municipality of Santorso hosted the public launch of the project. After a warm welcome by Franco Balzi, Mayor of the Comune di Santorso,, Dolinda Cavallo, EPIC Project Manager at ALDA, presented the key objectives of the project and the main activities. The event continued with a panel discussion among Local Authorities and NGO representatives about the bases for the creation of inclusive communities through welcome practices, digitalisation, and narrative. Marta Siciarek, EPIC partner representing the Metropolitan City of Gdansk and Ron Salaj, Multidisciplinary Activist and one of the authors of the Council of Europe Manual We CAN! Taking action against hate speech through counter and alternative narratives, presented some good practices but highlighted that there is no ‘magic formula’ to address such as a complex phenomenon: political will, strong inter-sectorial collaboration and stakeholders’ engagement, understating of the local population concerns towards migration and addressing them in a natural and factual way, bringing visibility of the migrant voices to the public sphere and raising awareness about the positive impact of well-managed diverse societies are some of the ingredients for a potential successful recipe.