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Train the Trainers


Plenary workshops

The cluster leader is the key actor in each cluster and responsible for the knowledge transfer to the islands of its cluster. In plenary capacity building workshops, cluster leaders creatively exchange knowledge and information, discuss good practices and priority areas that should be addressed in each cluster in terms of multi-level co-operation and eventually obtain a good overview of the knowledge and practices that can be transferred to its cluster.












Plenary Workshop - Madeira - March 2015

AREAM welcomed the SMILEGOV partners and some clusters participants for a one day capacity building workshop on Innovative financial mechanisms.

The theme of the fourth workshop on Madeira was to identify barriers to overcome within the area of project financing mechanisms. This workshop included invited participants – politicians and local heroes.

There were group discussions on four different stations: Capacity building and knowledge transfer concerning the following innovative financing mechanism for sustainable energy projects in islands.

1. Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Energy Service Companies ESCOs)
2. Crowd-funding / Crowd-lending
3. Energy Cooperatives (Coops)
4. Private Public Partnership (PPP)

The groups rotated so they had the chance to visite all four financing mechanisms.


Main outputs from the workshop:

- Presentation and clear understanding of four innovative financial mechanisms

- Experiment case-solving methodology

- Discussion and advices from experts


Some comments from the participants:

“A very active workshop where participants expressed their enthusiasm to share more knowledge and gain more insight to help them build up their specific projects”

“At first I was not sure that it could work but I must say that it was an excellent idea as each funding mechanism was given equal importance”

“The workshop created activity, commitment, knowledge and a will to learn more”
“This collective way of working and brainstorming helped me a lot to think in real conditions how to gradually build up processes to result to a successful financing”

“ It is always important for small regions and islands to find ways and means on how to tap into funds to generate capitals to finance projects.”


Get the feedback from some clusters participants, Watch the videos:
Smilegov Plenary workshop on Innovative financing mechanisms - video
Interview Ralph Monplaisir, SMEM, Martinique
Interview Denis Bredin, AIP, France
Interview of Robert Portelli, Ministry for Energy and Health, Malta
Interview of Damien Gatt, Ministry for Energy and Health
Interview of Matheo Alampitis and Andreas Demetriou, Cyprus
Interview of Georg Linkov, Mayor of Hiiu (Estonia)
Interview of Manuel José Biscoito, Municipality of Funchal, Madeira












Plenary Workshop - Samsø - October 2014

The Energy Academy in Samsø (DK) welcomed the SMILEGOV partners for their project coordination meeting and for a one day capacity building workshop based on an open /shared space concept. Reflexions were based on what are the responsibilities and key roles played by each actors involved in a sustainable energy project, how to facilitate a better ownership and share a common vision.

The theme of the third workshop was stakeholder involvement. The 1st day was an introductory to the workshop and included also a guided study trip, known as the Samsø Energy Safari, demonstrating the innovative sustainable energy production projects, followed by networking between the participants of the workshop.

The 2nd day was dedicated to knowledge and experience transfer activities in relation to the involvement of stakeholders in energy planning. The aim was the participants’ familiarisation with participatory planning and decision making techniques during the development of sustainable energy projects.

This workshop included invited participants – politicians and local heroes – and was prepared with burning questions!

Where are you in the process according to plan (ISEAP) or activity (project)?

• Are you starting planning?
• Are you implementing?
• Are you making spin off´s/new projects on the basis of earlier projects and good practices?


Main outputs of the workshop:

- Learning how to organise an open / shared space workshop

- Experiment how to actively better engage stakeholders

- Sharing experiences and gain more insight on common fields of work


Some comments from the participants:

“Interesting new ways of dealing with stakeholders, colleagues, citizens and other groups were practiced”
“Gained incredible knowledge and met interesting people”
“Very pleased with the approach taken for the workshop, useful for future meetings as it keeps the participants engaged within the conversation”
“The technique was the most interesting thing – Ideas and proposals”


Watch the video!








Plenary Workshop  - Malta - April 2014

Following the coordination project meeting, cluster leaders met on 10th April for the plenary workshop, focusing on capacity building and knowledge transfer, a work session was dedicated to the LFA (Logical Framework Approach) methodology.

The theme of the second workshop was a problem solving workshop. The LFA methodology was used as an example of how to deal with the process of working with an identified barrier.

The first part involved all participants in a role-play demonstrating a process example from Samsø in order to point out different roles in a development process.Then, some good experiences on energy and climate work/projects (biogas Gotland, electric cars Oland and Samso story) were highlighted through videos and presentations. The Strategic Guidelines ( a draft version at that moment) were presented.  Then, partners told each other of the progress in their clusters, pointing out one or more barriers. Finally the LFA (Logical Framework Approach) method was introduced. By grouping the cluster leaders in two by two partners tried to identify goals, purposes, activities and outputs in relation to specific projects.


Main outputs of the workshops:

- New insights on process and project planning  through role-play

- Sharing of experiences on specific projects between clusters

- Introduction to the Strategic Guidelines, new tool that was in development

-Learning the LFA methodology



Some comments from the participants:

“Working and thinking together can provide the impetus that islands need to move forward.”

“The workshop in Malta showed clearly that the project group were consolidated. The discussions were very good”

“Cooperation and a good process makes a good project and a good implementation”

“The key for a success project is a better initial planning.”







Plenary Workshop - Gotland - September 2013

On 26 September 2013 the island of Oland led a first plenary session with a specific discussion on the identification of the priority sectors. The theme of the first workshop was to identify barriers to overcome within climate/energy plans and policies relevant for island/community. These barriers were expected to be related to the different Priority Areas that had been defined in some of the clusters at that time. For other clusters, structuring the priority areas also became a topic on the first plenary workshop.

First, some time was spent on discussing a common value for some keywords. It was mainly seen by the partners as a good and useful first step, different key words commonly used can have more or less the same understanding depending on location, was also useful that the common understanding was related to islands special challenges. Having a common understanding of the terminology is very important at the basis of the project.

Then, partners discussed priority areas, trying to group them and link experience from different clusters with similar problems/priority areas. The categorising made a preliminary overview over the different priority areas so the basis was made for the coming work with common priority areas.


Main outputs of the first Plenary workshop:

- Setting-up of a common terminology

- Identification of priority areas



Some comments from the participants:

“The workshop created activity, curiosity, knowledge and a will to learn more”

“Workshops help us to find similarities and challenges in a casual way.”

“Our differences is what unite us to work on island’s sustainability”

“Sometimes is difficult to allocate a particular barrier in a group. Workshop is good for common problems than for individual problems, which have to be discussed in specific meetings.”



Strategic guidelines

The strategic guidelines on "enhancing effective implementation of sustainable energy action plans in European islands through reinforcement of smart multilevel governance" have been prepared by the Smilegov Task Force consisting of the advanced islands, Öland, Gotland and Samsø, demonstrating and sharing their experiences of good multi-level governance (MLG) practices for the implementation of sustainable energy action plans and projects.

Together with examples from the international literature, the Coopenergy IEE project and the rest of the Smilegov islands, the guidelines identify key elements of MLG - transferability on how to successfully implement renewable energy projects and overcome multi-level governance barriers. A surprisingly small amount of relevant studies on MLG has been identified at academic level which makes the subject even more important to investigate as MLG barriers in any sector, are also barriers for the sustainable development of the European Union.

Read more and download the "strategic guidelines for facilitating the implementation of sustainable energy projects".