The present volume introduces the first findings of the LearnInnov Project (Community Learning and Social Innovation). The chapters show the theoretical frame of the research project, its first results, its methods, and its future perspectives.
The LearnInnov Project has grown from its antecedents, the LeaRn Project (Learning Regions in Hungary, 2012-2016). The result of the LeaRn Project was a cartographical map of the learning regions, cities and communities in Hungary. Those learning regions, cities, and communities have been studied by statistical indicators of four ‘pillars’ (dimensions). These were: formal, non-formal, cultural and community learning activities of the local society in the socio-territorial units (towns, settlements, habitats). The ‘pillars’ were characterised by statistical indicators and the statistical indicators were quantified by census data. This data was collected from all the country’s socioterritorial units (settlements, habitats) and analyzed together. The main finding was that statistical data of three “pillars” largely reinforced each other – but community learning data differed considerably from others The data of cultural learning compensate for the shortcomings of formal learning to a certain extent, although formal learning cannot, of course, be compensated. We found three learning regions in Hungary, which have already developed and a fourth one which is emerging. Our urban areas develop into learning cities. Many settlements are trying to evolve into a learning community, but they are still isolated from each other.
These were the most important results of the LeaRn Project. However, we could not analyse the transformation processes at territorial and community level. How will a territorial unit transform into a learning community? What do their inhabitants need for it? How can it be supported? These issues are addressed in the LearnInnov Project.