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Despina Bakogianni

2019/20 Athens

Despina was born in Athens, Greece. She works as a freelance researcher in sustainable water management while also being involved in various international projects in the sector. She studied chemical engineering and holds a master’s degree in Environment and Development. In parallel, she has qualified in Education and Teaching Competence and trained in Special Education.

The interdisciplinary character of her academic background gives her the opportunity to examine the importance of environmental education as a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues. Being involved in mainly technical and scientific oriented projects in the field of sustainable water management, Despina spotted the emergence of an holistic approach that combines social and cultural aspects with the active engagement of community members.

Her START project Our Drops aims to bring together cultural and ecological aspects of water in Greek islands. Keen to explore the water management practices of local communities that have ‘been vanished’ over the years, and their relation with the cultural heritage of a place,  Despina’s engagement  in the 2019 fellowship program marked the opening of an effective path towards the realization of her vision.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Our Drops

“Our drops” aims to actively engage residents of Greek islands on water related issues and foster an intergenerational dialogue between elder and younger locals. The initiative has three complementary goals:(i)capturing stories and knowledge on water heritage by means of oral history, (ii)facilitating long-term dialogue on water sustainable use and,
(iii)raising awareness on social dimension of water and help safe water distribution. For this to be achieved interactive story telling activities, interviews and participatory workshops will take place with the ambition to help the local community translate its growing experience into a generation of stories. The initiative is going to be implemented in two Aegean islands: Syros and Sikinos with the active engagement of local community.

Host Institution

Kulturzentrum E-Werk

Kulturzentrum E-Werk e.V. in Erlangen has been one of the largest cultural centers in Germany for 35 years. It is operated by an association and a limited liability company and houses a movie theater and four performance venues of various sizes. We are visited by 250,000 - 300,000 guests each year. We educate multiple trainees and employ more than 130 people; we are also supported by nearly 80 volunteers. 

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