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“This opportunity is thrilling” – INSP’s new Intensive Learning Programme kicks off

Street papers from Serbia, Finland, Australia, the US and the UK will come together in the next few weeks for INSP’s brand new Intensive Learning Programme (ILP).

The ILP allows street paper leaders to undertake a week long placement at a well-established street paper, observing and learning about key areas of street paper operations and development.

The programme was announced late last year, and 20 street papers in 13 countries expressed an interest. Six papers will take part in the first round of placements.

INSP members form a discussion group at the INSP Global Street Paper Summit 2016 in Athens, Greece. Credit: thebigpicture.gr / Thanos Levidiotis

INSP’s Zoe Greenfield said: “We are delighted to announce the first placements in this pilot phase of INSP’s intensive learning programme. The exchange of ideas and best practice is at the core of what we do and we hope this new programme will continue to build the capacity and effectiveness of street papers.

“INSP would like to thank host street papers for backing this new project which shows just how strong and supportive our network is.  We’re looking forward to hearing about the placements once complete and sharing new resources with the rest of the network.”

The first placement will start next week as Janne Hukka and Hannele Huhtala from Iso Numero in Finland travel to Australia to spend a week with The Big Issue.

“Iso Numero recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, and as the pioneering Finnish street paper, it’s often been a rocky journey of trial and error. Our brief contacts with more experienced street papers have always been an invaluable source of ideas, support and motivation,” said Managing Editor Janne.

“The opportunity to spend a week working full time with The Big Issue Australia is thrilling for us – especially since the programme planned by Sally includes such a wide variety of activities from vendor meetings to financial planning and community events.

“We are looking forward to flying back from Melbourne with inspiration and practical advice that will help us kick start our next phase of expansion where we serve our vendors better and reach substantially larger audiences.”

INSP members form a discussion group at the INSP Global Street Paper Summit 2016 in Athens, Greece. Credit: thebigpicture.gr / Thanos Levidiotis

The Big Issue Australia’s National Manager, Sally Hines, said that she was looking forward to sharing ideas with the Iso Numero team.

“TBI Australia is delighted to be hosting one of the first placements for the Intensive Learning Programme,” she added.

“We look forward to sharing our learnings with the team from Iso Numero, but also hearing more about their experiences working in a street paper. The one-week immersion program enables us to dig deep into each other’s business models to build stronger and financially sustainable social enterprises to assist those most disadvantaged in society.”

On 13 March, Marko Tomasevic, Liceulice’s Coordinator of Distribution and Vendor Support, will travel from Serbia to Manchester, UK to spend a week with Big Issue North.

For the third placement in April, Street Roots in Portland, USA, will welcome Ranya O’Connor and Marty Peercy from The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma City, USA.

“It is a privilege as a young street paper to get the chance to learn from a well-established paper like Street Roots,” said Ranya. “We’ve admired the work of Street Roots for some time now and hope that we can learn and incorporate some of their best practices to strengthen our programme back in Oklahoma.

“If it wasn’t for the generosity of INSP and the willingness of street papers around the U.S. to share their knowledge and guidance with us, I don’t think Curbside would have come to fruition in Oklahoma.

“Being a part of this network of support gives us hope that our paper can one day grow to imitate the success of papers like Street Roots, The Contributor, Real Change, and other inspirations in the street paper community. Thanks for making this trip possible!”

The ILP is set to continue later this year with a German language placement, hosted by Swiss street paper Surprise. German-speaking INSP members who are interested in taking part should email zoe@insp.ngo.

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