Our workshop in Bilbao had 3 main purposes:
- To deliver intensive anti-rumour strategy (ARS) and anti-rumour agent training to representatives of network cities
- To visit and learn from projects and members of both the Bilbao and Getxo anti-rumour networks
- To provide a space for cities to share ideas and plans and revise the overall network programme accordingly
Anti-rumour strategy training was provided by Daniel de Torres, Director of Anti-Rumour Global.
This training covered the basics of anti-rumour agent training- understanding the social psychology underpinning the tendency for social categorisation, stereotyping and fear of the ‘other’, confronting prejudice and communications techniques and how to develop effective campaigns.
Hosted by Claudia Emmanuel Laredo and other members of the Bilbao local network, we heard about the far reaching work happening in the Basque region coordinated by a regional network ZAS, we visited three neighbourhoods where anti-rumour initiatives are taking place, with these embedded in wider strategy to prevent gentrification underpinned by the building of social housing. We heard from Ekain Larrinaga from Getxo Municipality about some of the anti-rumour initiatives happening there and in particular their method of data collection to create a Basque Tolerance Index
Some of the key lessons from Bilbao:
- Consolidating and extending the local network is essential.
- Taking things to people and building on what people like doing already is effective- develop projects out of what is popular culturally (such as the short story project in Bilbao) and hold events and activities where people meet and gather already.
- There are many ways of collaborating with universities from identifying and working with specific academics/departments/courses to involving students as anti-rumour agents.
- It is essential to target and work specifically with opinion leaders and political leaders
Some reflections from participants: