EIT-ClimateKIC Community Lab


Community Lab aimed to empower local stakeholders in coal based regions of Poland, Czechia and Romania to explore and optimise how futures literacy capacity building processes could help imagine a wider range of futures so they are able to identify and pursue new pathways for just system transformation.

Another goal of the project was to map the CEE ecosystem of organisations which actively support transition to a low-carbon economy in Poland, Czechia and Romania as well as identifying and reaching out to key change makers in the respective regions and organising communication, promotion and outreach activities. 


We engaged key organisations from the project’s hard coal and lignite-based regions into co-creating the future transition throughout the Community Lab programme, mapped the CEE ecosystem of organisations working in the field of coal transition in Poland, Czechia and Romania. Subsequently, we introduced with close collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC, a systems thinking approach to just transformation of the ecosystem. Moreover, we helped civil society organisations (based in coal-based regions) to create visions of sustainable futures, and formulate their roles and responsibilities in addressing the key challenge that the participants of the IdeaLab encapsulated in their future-orientated project concepts (experiments).


We have managed to build and grow a community that wants to be part of the transition process, that trusts our established directions and actively contributes to the transformation of their local communities. We have empowered people through future literacy, critical thinking, and personalised consultancy services to implement local ideas that give added value to the community.

The project obtained letters of support from the local authorities. Representatives of civil society organisations from the coal regions attended the community-building meetings where the biggest transition challenges -specific to each region – were defined in order to determine further actions and steps to address the challenge. 

The key challenges were the following: lack of frameworks to ensure adequate citizen engagement; fixed mindset & resistance to change of local community; bad reputation & image of the region; difficulty in starting a new career path or re-skilling.

As a result of this activity, we selected and funded 3 winning micro-level experiments based in 3 CEE countries: Poland, Czechia and Romania, which addressed the identified challenges. We assisted the selected experiments with mentoring and expert advisory. 

A Community Lab business model was co-created with local communities and handed over to EIT Climate – KIC in order to ensure its long-term financial sustainability and viability.