On 18th of October, within projects LiveRur, Smart Villages and Carpe Digem, Kungota, a development-oriented municipality, successful and excellent in promoting tourism, agriculture and entrepreneurship in rural areas, hosted a stakeholders’ study meeting. By sharing ideas and experience, participating stakeholders from Šmarje and Kungota were able to review their own practices, and, most importantly, learned about new opportunities and consequently ICT solutions.

The study meeting started at Intergenerational house, established by the Municipality of Kungota in the year 2013, where the visiting stakeholders were greeted by Ms. Tamara Šnofl, Kungota’s mayor. By presenting the background and concrete programme activities, stakeholders were able to find out that Intergenerational house hosts and organizes numerous activities and events and is developing as a core hub for a wide range of diverse smart actions ensuring intergenerational involvement within the municipality and beyond.

The meeting continued at family estate Leber – Vračko, where stakeholders were introduced to successful intergenerational managing of a family estate by Barbara Leber – Vračko led by two young sisters, who are modernizing the farm with new technology and new approaches.

To better understand the sociohistorical and geographical characteristics of the pilot area of Šmarje, the meeting proceeded by driving along Austrian wine road past Vineyard museum Kebl, where Ms. Pika Radmilovič presented Vinotour, the first international project of Nordic walking between vineyards, created in close cooperation with Tourist Association Svečina and nearby Austrian municipality Ratsch an der Weinstrasse.

The event closed with visiting Leber excursion farm, which can be found only a stone’s throw away from the Austrian border. The farm, known for its wines, has a tradition of more than 200 years old. Still, the Leber’s are a good example of combining tradition with progress – for instance their vine cellar, though completely renovated in 2011, still preserves the original story of wine-making process.

For regions and different stakeholders to realize their full potential, such study meetings are encouraging bottom-up approaches, which are acknowledging local contexts, networks and challenges. But more so still, they have proven to be most efficient when creating opportunities that offer possibilities for economic, social and environmental progress.

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