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Norilsk Nickel intends to make life for industrial cities in Russia easier

MURMANSK, March 4. /TASS/. The Murmansk region on March 4 hosted a forum of social technologies, which was a platform to share ideas on how to make life in mono-industrial cities more comfortable and interesting.

The forum’s organizer - the Norilsk Nickel Company - said the event’s more than 500 participants represented mono industrial cities Zapolyarnyi, Nickel and Monchegorsk, where the company’s industrial facilities are located.

"At events of the kind, participants learn experiences of other cities, add their own ideas, discuss them, and thus the quantity turns into quality, first of all quality of life in those cities," head of Norilsk Nickel’s charity programs department Igor Sukhotin told TASS. "The joint effect of several hundred active, involved people gathering in one place usually results in concrete projects and initiatives."

The projects

The forum’s participants presented themselves, found counterparts for improving jointly life in their cities. They learned about practices in other cities and received skills for implementing projects. The master classes, seminars and other forms of training were organized by experts from Moscow.

"We wanted the delegates to leave the forum with clear understanding of how they could develop live in their cities, what each of them could do and what may be done tomorrow already," head of the charities department said.

Three in four projects in the forum, which experts called the best, were devoted to caring for vulnerable locals and homeless animals. For example, one of the projects invited active people to collect mushrooms and give them all to those who cannot go to the forest for health-related or any other reasons.

The second project suggested organizing a service, which authors called "granny on demand." Nannies could come to families for some short time, as children at those families do not receive enough attention, games or teaching from their busy parents. The third project was on pendants for homeless dogs, which could playback "Take me home" in calls for those ready to care for the miserable animals.

Main idea

The forum’s another task was to teach activists to implement projects by affordable means. The delegates saw the presentation of a project called "Good Neighbors." The project’s head Sergei Kuznetsov told TASS about mechanisms, using which people can solve many every-day problems in the city all by themselves, how they may improve quality of life or organize leisure time. Without waiting for support from officials, people may begin saving on house maintenance fees, may improve comfort and security in their houses, may care for the environment. Some cities, where the project has been used, already have positive results, and the Zapolyarnyi mono industrial city may follow suit, the project’s head said.

There could well be other ways to implement a project. The forum’s organizers presented Norilsk Nickel’s World of New Opportunities charity program, where activists could compete in social projects for grants to implement their initiatives and to take training in social entrepreneurship. Thus, the program offers the full cycle from an idea of how to develop a city to turning it into a project and to finding means and instruments to implement it.