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Founding and managing the knowledge network Regiowaarde

What is Regiowaarde?

Regiowaarde ("region's added-value") was established to support the access, dissemination and application of knowledge for sustainable rural development. The idea behind this was that the combination of functions in rural areas is only possible through an integrated approach and collaboration of organisations from different sectors. But mostly, experience from practice determines how rural development can be implemented successfully. This tacit knowledge is not easily accessible as it is situation dependent and related to personal skills and experience. That is the kind of knowledge Regiowaarde focuses on.

Interactive Consult has fulfilled various roles for Regiowaarde in recent years. An overview.

Establishing Regiowaarde

logo St RegiowaardeThe idea for what later became Regiowaarde, was an initiative of a few professors at the Tilburg University. The spatial economic development in rural areas and the changes in the structure of higher education gave them reason to explore the possibilities of a knowledge centre for integrated rural development. Based on their idea Interactive Consult developed a business plan in 2004. As soon as some organisations were willing to participate in a network for rural development, we founded Regiowaarde in 2005. The organisational structure was set up, an action plan was formulated and we had a house style being developed.

General management

Early in 2006, a board was formed by representatives of the participating organisations Brabant Landschap, Maatschappij van Welstand, the Telos institute of the Tilburg University and the farmers union ZLTO. Interactive Consult has fulfilled the role of secretary/director for four years under the auspices of the board. The mission was: "supporting a sustainable regional development, integrating rural and peri-urban areas, by improving the accessibility to knowledge and local experiences and creating added values by applying and adapting."

Objectives, derived from this mission were:

meeting the demand for knowledge services of participants in the network,

organising activities for dissemination and application of experience,

supporting regional initiatives with application of practical knowledge and creating added value.

After the statutory term of four years, the board decided at the end of 2009 that Regiowaarde was no longer essential for the cooperation of the participating parties. However, the informal network of professionals in rural development that had arisen meanwhile, deserved to be continued. Therefore, the board resigned and appointed Marien Sonneveld as the chairman.

Initiating and organising knowledge dissemination

On behalf of Regiowaarde, Interactive Consult has brought about a range of knowledge exchanges. Mostly, the corresponding documents – presentations, reports, brochures – are downloadable from the website of Regiowaarde. Some illustrative examples:

international conference in Ireland about regional branding

study visits and workshops for the International Farming Systems Association

knowledge expeditions for NGOs from the Balkans

masterclasses about rural development

international workshops for submitting a proposal for EU funds

position paper for a conference of mayors and aldermen

lectures on the significance and usefulness of regional branding

expert meetings for regional initiatives

Interim chairman

Currently, we are managing the transformation of Regiowaarde into an expertise network, targeting on professionals at home and abroad (administrators, consultants, researchers, policy makers, project managers, etc.) that from their occupation and / or personal interests are active in regional development.

More information

See the website of Regiowaarde

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