Many associations work in Strasbourg in the field of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS). Behind this briefcase, and often vague, hide Strasbourgs and Strasbourgs who are committed to better preparing the world of tomorrow. In order to better understand the SSE, but above all to discover its actors and actresses, we met several associations in Strasbourg. The first: the CyberGrange, a third place of digital inclusion, located in the Neuhof district.
During our visit to the CyberGrange building, students work on their projects in the FabLab of the third place† It must be said that with a dozen 3D printers, professional equipment, a thermoforming machine, laser cutting and digital embroidery machines, there is a way to create beautiful objects.
Among the student projects are T-shirts, in the spirit of football shirts, with “CyberGrange” written in French, Arabic, Russian and Turkish, to represent the different communities of Neuhof. There are also wonderful cookie cutters, which tell the history of the neighborhood through the ages, as well as a puzzle/building game to help kids get to know their neighborhood better, with the added bonus of 3D printed figurines for schools and small LEDs for learning to code.
“We have collectively responded to a need identified by everyone in the neighbourhood”
Indeed, at the CyberGrange it is impossible to conceive of projects without a strong link with the Neuhof district. As Virgnie Manina, responsible for coordinating the project, explains: ” It was found that an entire generation of Neuhof has not used digital in their lifetime† They used it for network problems, but not to get a job or access their rights. Digital was not a tool “. Based on this observation, the director of the Solignac college and a dozen actors in the associative life of the Neuhof wanted to pool their resources and knowledge in 2019, so the CyberGrange can change the lives of people nearby, transforming it digitally into a tool that serves them every day.
The start of 2020 will then be dominated by the determination of an action programme. Except that the confinement comes in March. And in the Neuhof district, very poorly equipped with computers while everything was done remotely, the CyberGrange will show the full extent of its calling. The third place equips 270 families while training them in the use of digital technology. It is also setting up a home delivery service, as well as a digital portal offering mutual assistance in the area.† As summarized by Virginie Manina: “ These are simple things but show a daily painting nearby. We brought a collective response to a need identified by all in the neighborhood †
Supporting residents in the digital transformation of society
Now more structured, the CyberGrange aims to respond to the digital transformation of society. For a very simple social reason: everyone is influenced by digital technology. † It is not only the elderly who feel destitute, but also the young, the precarious people. Sometimes they manage to mislead digital applications, but it still scares everyone “, emphasizes Virgine Manina. Before adding: It’s like we all live in one place with a language we use everywhere and yet we only know four words. It leaves a lot of people on the ground “. That’s why the CyberGrange uses digital technology to answer the many questions we ask ourselves: ” Digital also means understanding how it can become an answer to social and societal issues †
For example, CyberGrange, through its mediation center, has set itself the task of helping residents better understand digital technology. They offer to teach them how to use computers to ” that they create a digital identity, secure their email, learn to do research as explained by Mohamed Amara, Digital Mediation Center Coordinator. They also offer training on more specific needs, such as EXCEL training, and collective workshops to bring digital autonomy † Many people depend on others, especially to print and scan documents For 9-13 year olds, they also have a coding club on Wednesdays from 2-4pm and Saturdays from 10-12am, where they introduce them to coding and robotics, to understand how a game works on a daily basis. basic and even make a game through block coding lines.
† We want to make concrete changes in people’s lives » : an economic, social and solidarity mission
As another mission, the CyberGrange also wants” opening real doors to paths of excellence in math, code or design “, as described by Matthieu Turpin, project manager. † We have an immense role that we are trying to make visible. It is important that there is a diversity of activities for the residents of the neighborhood, so that they can to make choices later. But you have to show them that they are good at it. Virginie Manina even tells the example of a young person who was hired to help families with digital technology during incarceration. While he was hired for a work-study program, the company let him go with the Covid. The CyberGrange hired him for two years and now he’s getting a bachelor’s degree.This sums up the likes of third place:” In fact, we use just about any pretext to get people to work †
With this in mind, they also support entrepreneurs in city policy priority areas with the RSA in establishing their businesses. This year, the device will support 30 people, compared to 10 last year. It will allow you to understand how social networks work, also with a design part with creating a logo and a website.† In its projects, the CyberGrange collaborates with other partners: We never do it alone. We try to make the project succeed so that people can earn a living from it. “. As Virginie Manina explains:” We want to make real changes in people’s lives.”
And it can also go through restoring their self-confidence. Indeed, in addition to training and job search support, CyberGrange also gives the residents of Neuhof access to the FabLab. A place accessible to everyone, where you can learn how to create downright stylish objects, but also find your way around job vacancies† For example, CyberGrange offers parent-child workshops, as well as training courses, which you will find here, with a focus on limiting overconsumption and the participatory dimension of residents.
† I think the SSE is a way of looking at each economic project differently †
Finally, all CyberGrange’s activities are moving in the same direction: using digital technology to help the residents of Neuhof, in all areas of their lives. It represents their vision of the SSE, as summarized by Jérôme Tricomi, who will take over the reins of the project: “ I think the SSE is a way of looking at each economic project differently. Our idea is how we make people live while responding to economic and social issues, more than profitability For example, they have made available an e-learning platform free of charge to the residents of Neuhof, with many accessible resources. There are online courses, tutorials to carry out administrative procedures… For non-residents, this subscription costs 50 euros/ year, which makes it possible to pay that of a Neuhof resident.
Yet the CyberGrange does not represent this vision of the SSE, without reflection on ecology. As Jérôme Tricomi explains: “ Ecological issues must permeate our thoughts and ideas, especially about the digital and social transition “. For example, they plan to set up a cycle of Repair Café-style events at the base of a building this summer to try and build more sustainable things.” We envision a local recycling center, where all the objects that pass through it are repaired and then returned to the neighborhood. With beautiful things that make you happy †
Teach digital technology to residents who are less aware of this tool, support precarious populations to work, let people create beautiful objects, show they are good at coding and regain confidence and prepare for the future of model economy of each project, here are the CyberGrange’s various missions. The third place therefore uses digital technology to support the residents of the Neuhof, but not only, with changes in society, which is increasingly built with digital technology. All this in an ecological, economic and social approach. But above all solidarity.
*Supported but not rated by the City and the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg