The Verso Foundation wanted to create a community of young people capable of growing, planning, and constantly renewing themselves, well anchored in the place to which they belong yet with a vision that’s open to the world. The Urban Creativity Lab of Arezzo is the training and experiential incubator supported by the Foundation.
The point of departure for UCL’s creation was a series of critical situations:
- There is a lack of space for young people to meet, share, learn, and create common projects with observable effects on their community.
- Educational authorities have outdated methods, lack a complete, inclusive, and resource-oriented vision of human beings, and don’t adequately consider innovative experiences in various fields.
- There is not enough willingness to regard the relation between young people’s needs and ideas and their time and experience. Rarely are young people asked basic questions, such as: what would you like to achieve? What do you need?
- It is necessary to create a space for personal, non-therapeutic growth, directed at the exploration of self – a space within a group where people can discover their inner world, deep and vital needs, and qualities to be taken into society.
- Places are needed for cooperation and non-competitive group work.
Foundation Verso’s educational model pursues four basic needs: inspiration, training, planning, encounter.
INSPIRATION: is about the meeting between young people and persons who have had extraordinary experiences, journeys into innovation, and the sharing of useful, high quality material.
EDUCATION: courses requested by kids or proposed by our operators. In order to make plans based on the real needs of the teenagers, the training courses are divided into 3 areas: knowledge of self (psychology, personal growth, spirituality), knowledge of the world (economics, politics, environment, art, work, culture), concrete experiences (social artistic activities, IT, communication, etc.).
PLANNING: An important goal of the laboratory is learning the necessary steps for transforming an idea into a project, and a project into a reality. To this end, we discuss, approve and organize together each activity and aspect concerning management of the space. Staff members are responsible for the individual projects and look after all phases up to their realization.
ENCOUNTER: We aspire to build a place that can feel like a second home. And you come to a home not only to “do”, but also to “be”: stay a while, study with others, rest, or meet new people.
We have also started a network with the city’s resources: schools, associations, cooperatives, cultural workers.
The Urban Creativity Lab (UCL) is open every afternoon from Monday to Friday. The UCL is in Arezzo, near the Casa dell’Energia in Via Leone Leoni.