On 25.4.2024, we met in Padna for the second time in a series of meetings within the framework of the Smart Era Horizon Project, which aims at a community-based transformation of the European countryside. The event, which was once again very well attended, this time focused on sustainable tourism and the circular economy, and of course we thought of both topics together with sustainable mobility and environmental education.

The meeting was opened by the presentation of two excellent good practices – started by Mr Sandi Drandić, Director of the Bale Tourist Board (HR), followed by Ms. Ms Metka Šori, Head of CUP Komunala Izola. Both presented practices were certainly a source of inspiration that the participants of the subsequent intensive SEROI+ workshop certainly found infectious, as the three groups made a series of interesting proposals and, above all, provided a working vision.

The first practice presented the development of the municipality of Bale, while Mr Drandić presented an entrepreneurial experiment, Mon Perin. Mon Perin is a trade association and a company of the same name, founded in autumn 2005 by the citizens of Bale, the municipality and the “friends of Bale”, which includes Croatian citizens who do not live in Bale, but were willing to invest capital in the project. The municipality and the local population have retained a majority in the ownership structure with profits being invested in the community, ensuring a balanced development of the municipality.

The second practice, the Useful Objects Centre, was set up by Ms. Ms Šori contextualised the project within the framework of the circular economy, highlighting the importance and role of environmental education and, in particular, intrinsic motivation. The project, which was launched by Komunala Izola, Okolje Piran, the green tourism agency Istraterra and Laky Sorting, a company that collects and processes used textiles in the local area, started in May 2019 in an effort to tackle the problem of waste. Located in the city centre of Izola, at 7 Mužčeva Street, it encourages the awareness that “old is better than new”, making a conscious choice of second-hand products, aware that the planet’s resources are limited and that it is necessary to change consumption habits.

The second session, like the first working meeting, was dedicated to the intensive implementation of SEROI+ workshops.

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