"These third locations of exchange are a real opportunity in a region like ours with its employment difficulties."
Launched in Grenoble in 2014, Dialogues strives to create ties to foster the desire and power of all to act. In particular, the association helps the recipients of social welfare with a "third location" project. It already trialed a first social innovation project with the Chimère citoyenne, a space open to and shared by all, which was open for 18 months, from spring 2015 to the end of 2016, with the support of the Isère department.
Based on this experience, Dialogues wants to create a new place, open to all, fostering a different way of meeting, undertaking, consuming, acting, and experimenting. It plans to open a "community café" in the center of Grenoble, with the assistance of all stakeholders who feel the need to get involved for a dynamic and positive inclusion of the city’s most disadvantaged population: people receiving social welfare, the long-term unemployed, poor and isolated pensioners, people with mental and/or physical disabilities, etc.
Bringing together different worlds
This project to open the Chimère Café is fully in line with the social and solidarity economy. The main objective is to bring people and worlds together to create jobs and help involve or re-involve isolated and deprived people by encouraging them to volunteer, give their time, and project themselves into the future.
Beyond this main "third location" activity, the Chimère Café also intends to become a space to find solutions together. For social professionals, the idea will be to compare innovative practices and projects to produce knowledge that is useful for all by bringing perspectives, knowledge, and experiences together.
A decade of social innovation
The Dialogues association's approach is grounded in Isère's rich history of social innovation. In 2005, the Entr'Actifs association brought together people receiving social welfare, support professionals and civilian life stakeholders (business owners, employees, doctors, booksellers, researchers, etc.) to develop solutions together. In 2011, the opening of a first café, La Causerie, helped bring this openness to life by fostering networking and the emergence of a network. In 2014, the Chimère citoyenne project was launched by the Dialogues association.
Today, several researchers are involved in the initiative and Dialogues participates in an action-research on new "third locations" with the Laboratoire d'Innovation Sociale par la Recherche-Action (research-exchange platform), Maison des sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord, the National Institute of Youth and Popular Education (Injep, Department of the French National Education Ministry), and Philométis (think tank).
Concretely, the creation of the Chimère Café, which is supported by the Foundation, will lead to the creation of two jobs: a person in charge of the Café, hospitality, events, and networking and a person in charge of managing the schedules of the volunteer teams, administration, and helping with hospitality. Social innovation always starts on the ground.