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Theories, Models, Methods, Practices, Case Studies

The C2City Knowledge Center is led by experts engaged in developing a diverse set of tools and materials, culminating in a knowledge portfolio that supports the set-up of a full-blown Education City.  These materials explore the theoretical, pedagogical, economic, organizational, and ethical facets of the Education City concept.

Ra’anana: Paths to Urban Innovation

Future Center, Innovation Incubator, School Uniqueness

Shiri Falk-Neikrug

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It’s not every day that people wake up and begin acting as a group. It’s not every day that a city decides to shake away from its comfort zone and make a change. This is a special story about a brave and demanding decision to be groundbreaking, innovative, paving the way for one’s self and for others.

Many initially thought (and quite rightly so) that a process born through decisions made by the municipality and policy makers and then transferred to the performing sector would be accepted with a frown rather than enthusiasm. They were surprised to find that most ideas were received in the field with open arms, stimulating creativity and creating three practical branches: the social-educational entrepreneurship hothouse, a Future Center and a school uniqueness project. Each of these ideas contain countless others, which, each in its own way, come together to form a shared urban-communal story whose end is yet to be told.

In the past three years, along with a continual focus on excellent performance and concrete, measurable results, Ra’anana has allowed its people to take an occasional time-out and turn their attention towards their being, the process, personal and group growth and the conceptualization and fulfillment of dreams.

The surprising match between Ra’anana, whose image was that of a satiated, stagnant city, and the Institute for Democratic Education (IDE), with its spurs of innovation, has created a strong, refreshing experience, leading to the development of three educational programs whose essence is “educational innovation from a democratic point of view.”

Unlike other cities, the process in Ra’anana did not begin with strategic mapping and a large-scale plan, but evolved slowly, adding additional layers almost each year. What is the urban story at the foundation of the activity? Maybe the Future Center, which would serve as a platform for continued growth and for influencing and changing urban culture. Maybe something else to form essence. Time will tell. 

This is Ra’anana’s urban story. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship characterized by groundbreaking innovation.

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