A Learning Community
Changing roles
Community Innovation
General Outcomes
Learning Community Guides
What Xploit offers
Xploitation and beyond

The Xploit Mission

Community Profile tool

Xploit in Evora Portugal

Community Guide Story Hungary

Community Guide Story Romania

Community Guide Story Catalonia

Community Guide Story Wales

Community Guide Story Italy

New partnerships approach - taking the Learning Community/ region to the next level: Involving the business world

A learning community can be driven by the establishment of new strategic partnerships between key stakeholders in the community, often involving the local or regional authorities as an active partner. Such new partnerships will often include both private and public stakeholders.

The new partnership driver is first of all relevant to communities already in the process towards a learning community, and to communities highly dominated by for example public educations.
Most journeys towards learning communities start in the educational or social sector – addressing needs linked to adult education, unemployed youth, and activities for seniors, etc.
Most initiatives are taken by educations, NGO’s or the public authorities’ youth or social departments, sometimes in cooperation.
These first educational and social drivers are highly valuable and can have a considerable impact on the needs addressed and for many years. If successful, such partnerships can develop into strong consortia addressing important community needs.
At some point, however, it becomes clear that the action radius of such consortia might be limited. Other drivers are needed; new steps are called for; especially when policy introduces innovation fields such as technology, entrepreneurship and cross-sector partnering.

The biggest challenge is normally not including the cultural sector or the sport sector in learning partnerships; the major challenge is more likely to be the inclusion of the private sector, including enterprises and the financial sector. Public-private partnerships at community level are still very rare, not because of resistance in the private sector, but because a common language and understanding was never created at community level.
It is well-known that public-private partnerships are possible in research, but also well-known that a partnership between a kindergarten, an insurance company and a sport club is less likely.
Using new cross-sector partnerships as a driver for learning communities is therefore a big challenge, as it includes mentality shifts in all sectors.

Many threats should be taken into account when establishing cross-sector partnerships:

  • A mutual understanding of community missions cannot be taken for granted
  • The mentalities in the different sectors are very different
  • Many learning community initiatives are regarded public responsibilities by the private sector
  • The private sector is trained to look for clear impact and results, which is not often the case in for example empowerment initiatives
  • The participation of the private sector should not be reduced to charity or sponsorships
  • If carried out at high level, such partnering might overlook the basic values and principles of learning communities


If the cross-sector driver approach is successful, the new partnerships are very promising:

  • Cross-sector partnerships ensure a full spectrum approach to learning communities
  • Learning communities will be forced to focus stronger on the creation of community economies
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation will be more qualified when backed-up by cross-sector partnerships
  • The private sector will learn more about and appreciate the sider benefits of community initiatives, also from an economic point of view
  • It will be possible at community level to create new balancers between competition and collaboration
  • The cross-sector partnerships might offer a very strong learning community infrastructures, heavily benefitting the public authorities as well

The participation of the private sector should never be reduced to charity and sponsorships

Cross-sector partnerships should be exploited to the max, for example to create new economies in the community
  Supporting materials
  The Swansea Story. A story of strong women
  Xploit Community Paper Swansea
  Xploit - The Swansea Learning Experience

Swansea - Engaging communities with learning


A glass half-full:
how an asset approach can improve community health and well-being


Xploit project Results in short:

A learning community

Changing roles

Community Innovation

General Outcomes

Learning Community Guides

What Xploit offers

Exploitation and beyond

  Community Guide Story



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