We wish for…
Some look forward to opulence, others keep it distinctly simple: Christmas promises many good things and also challenges. Christmas commerce becomes a symbol of alienation and emptying of meaning in modern societies. This may inspire us to give meaning to the celebration itself.
We wish you to feel a bit of the magic of birth and being born, to experience joy, hope, love and light – together with those familiar to you and in an environment that allows you to open up and enter into dialogue.
Considering the person who is being honoured, his birth and being born is described as an announcement for more justice, for the power of the powerless, for liberation from poverty, for valuing those who are marginalised, for love of enemies. Quite a programme. Christmas, a beginning…
Our learning platform is online
General economic education courses
Would you like to understand how money is created? What the different facets of inequality are and how to address them? What economic growth, climate change and sustainable development are all about? Why we live in a “debt economy” – and what about global justice? Do you finally want to learn something about taxes without having to yawn? Then immerse yourself in courses that colleagues from universities and adult education institutions in seven European countries have written for you on these and other topics.
We offer a short version for an overview of each topic, as well as background information for those who want to learn more. For those in a hurry, we have prepared a short introduction to each course. Adult education trainers will also find methodological suggestions (didactic exercises) for integrating socio-economic issues into their educational work. Learning is not a one-way street: You can deepen your knowledge in interactive exercises. Exchange ideas with others via the forum. Get in touch with us via the chat.
The materials are freely accessible. Registration is not required.
In our handbook you will find all courses summarised.
St. Nicholas and the art of giving
Celebration on 06 December 2022
FULL HOUSE, but almost no one wants to be in the picture, especially not when we are doing laughter yoga. This was the start of our celebration on 6 December 2022, followed by an excursion into the history(s) of St Nicholas, his veneration in the various countries of Europe, references to Luther’s disapproval of saints and his replacement of St Nicholas by the Christ Child, as well as the origins of Father Christmas in 19th century illustration and poetry in the USA. (Coca Cola manikins appeared from 1931 onwards.) People with Christian, Muslim, Jewish references, “pagans” and otherwise spiritual people from Germany East and Germany West, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Kazakhstan came into conversation. Nicholas – he was obviously a rich man who shared with others. We ended up with alms and almsgiving. “Very warm. Lovely atmosphere.” “Many things were new to me.” That was the summary of two participants.
Resilient Work in Europe
Workshop in Lublin / PL, 27.09. – 01.10.2022
In the framework of our project on work and resilience in the context of upheavals, wars, insecurities, the project participants – researchers and trainers of adult education as well as learners – came together to discuss courses of the emerging learning platform and to test the methodological parts. Contributions to the “gig economy”, the changing labour market through digitalisation and overlapping crises, the questions of skills for a labour market of the future and others were discussed. In order to increase the comprehensibility of the courses, contents are “translated” into audio-visual material. The colleagues from the Spanish partner organisation gave an introduction.
After three and a half days of work, the participants were able to look back on intensive debates on various questions around the ‘broad field’ of work and different approaches to reflecting on it. On their return journey, they also had new contacts with colleagues from other educational institutions in Europe and didactic suggestions for political-economic education work in their luggage.
Public transport and the air we breathe
European Meeting in Athens / GR, 1-4 September 2022
As part of our project “Climate+Change through Democracy and Inclusion“, a colourful group of 17 interested people from Sofia (Bulgaria), Berlin, Rome (Italy) and Athens (Greece) came together. They are volunteers, have fled to Europe from Afghanistan or Syria and/or are otherwise unable to travel because of a small purse.
The focus was on the consumption of CO2 through various modes of transport. For this purpose, the Greek partners distributed an overview with pictures of the underground, tram, bus, long-distance trains, airport, ship harbour and motorway. The question was: What is financed by companies, what is financed by the state? Does this influence the quality of the service? What options are there for reducing CO2?
The result was striking: in Greece, the intervention of the “Troika” in 2015 privatised most of the previously state-run infrastructure. The German FRAPORT runs the lucrative airports, the Piraeus port is 67% owned by a Chinese company, the management of motorways and national roads is in private hands. In contrast, Athens’ public transport is financed by the city. In terms of quality, no conclusions can be drawn about ownership. However, political control of the reduction of CO2 is made more difficult when a state cedes control to private parties, as the logic of profit maximisation is paramount with them.
The air pollution from cars was striking for the guests, as were the mini-oases and “pocket parks” to improve the air. They captured their impressions in photos and videos – and learned to work with a padlet on this occasion. In September 2023, the art works of all encounters will be published when weltgewandt invites to the exhibition opening in Berlin.
Civic education with refugees and migrants
Event on competences 45+, 29 August 2022
Adult education is often still equated with qualifications that increase one’s chances on the labour market. However, in addition to the training of competences, it is also empowerment. How this can be “translated” into educational work with migrants and why a systemic perspective, not one that focuses solely on the individual, is indicated, was discussed at the presentation of the handbook that was developed in the framework of the project “Upskilling 45+” with colleagues in Romania, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain. Empowerment – to put it simply: Encouraging self-confidence and self-organisation is oriented towards an understanding of integration as the “renewal of a whole”. In the best case, socio-political education recognises a learning task for all and works towards shaping this process democratically. Understanding, participation and co-determination, self-reflection and the desire for change – which does not have to go hand in hand with (new) experiences of powerlessness – are conducive to this.
Soft skills and digital competences can only be conducive to this. The online course, which was also introduced during the event, offers suggestions for this.
“Wow, that was rich in content again.” “I found it very nice and inspiring.” “Exciting, an important topic.” These were the comments of some of the participants.
“We want to know everything about history.”
Discoveries at the Long Night of Museums, 27 August 2022
“It was very great.” “We were a good group.” Participants in our museum project dived into the atmosphere of the Long Night. In the Pergamon Museum we swapped roles: An activist from MULTAKA e.V. gave a guided tour in Arabic. Those in the group from Syria and Iraq translated what was said for all 14 people. What well-informed project participants we have! Then we went on to the Humboldt Forum and the Berlin Exhibition. Not a word about the Palace of the Republic, which stood on this spot. Well, yes. Still, it was intense, inspiring and very enjoyable.
Seeing old things anew
Photo tour through Marzahn, 11 August 2022
During our visits to the museum, we had taken time to look at exhibits from different perspectives and exchanged our impressions. Back in Marzahn, we went into resonance with the surroundings with the camera, put objects, houses, people into the light and rediscovered many all too familiar things. The transition was made possible by a dream journey. We were “on the road” in a balloon, saw places, houses, streets, shops and objects anew from above and then photographed them “from below”. It’s amazing what you notice when you “see” with the camera – and what you don’t.
On 27.08.22 we will visit museums again – during the Long Night of Museums. Admission is free for ten interested people, we will pay the entrance fee. Please register by 14.08. at email@example.com, keyword: “Lange Nacht”.
What would he say about that today?
Visit to the exhibition “Karl Marx and Capitalism” on 29 July 2022
The second museum visit as part of our project “Seeing through museums in a new way” took us to the exhibition on Karl Marx (1818-1883) at the German Historical Museum. The life and work of the philosopher, economist, publicist and “activist” of the labour movement are presented and this is embedded in his environment as well as the developments and upheavals of capitalism in the 19th century. The exhibition offered versatile access: in German, English, in easy language, sign language and in Braille, via audio collages, learning installations and a game. This was very well received by the participants.
The presentation on Marx’s critique of religion and his critique of society were able to convey a certain impression of what it means to think in social contexts. In contrast, the presentation on Marx’s critique of financial capitalism seemed abbreviated. The information blocks on four types of alienation were informative: one of them was the strangeness between people caused by the desire to possess and competition.
We will discuss how up-to-date Marx’s observations are at the next meeting on 11 August 2022, when we will reflect on the previous museum visits and go on a photo safari – through Marzahn.
Visit to the Puppet Theatre Museum Neukölln, 26 July 2022
Berlin has a lot to offer, yes. Even a puppet theatre museum. The staff brought the history of puppet theatre from the Middle Ages to the present day to life for the participants of the museum project. It is little known that puppet theatre (the “other theatre”) not only has a long tradition, but was originally intended for adults. The group was able to experience cultural history on the concrete object. The museum and the exhibition on the upper floor clearly showed that they were designed with love and commitment. The participants were able to hold individual puppets in their hands – and “talk” Pinocchio to a witch and even the devil. They were thrilled!
Note: The Puppet Theatre Museum offers puppet theatre performances, guided tours and workshops for kindergarten groups, generally interested people and students of social education. Changing exhibitions and performances also highlight current aspects of puppet and object theatre.
“We have many stories in our heads”
Experiencing theatre play on 20 July 2022
Two feedbacks from the well-attended meeting as part of the project “Taking in spaces”. Everyone brought pictures or objects related to Marzahn. In small groups they were put together and silently created an installation from them together. Then everyone wrote a poem about it. In German, in Arabic. And then recited it with verve. It was an intense three hours! The next meeting will take place on 3 August, see Events.
Note. We do not take group photos, not everyone wants to be found on the web.
Making differences talkable
Working Meeting in Athens, 6-7 July 2022
Colleagues from Finland, Greece, Poland, Serbia and Germany met to discuss the further course of the project, the contributions to the emerging learning platform, its design and related questions within the framework of the cooperation on transformations in the history of the respective countries (“Moving Memories. Creative Drives for a Changing Europe”).
There was also a daring attempt to look not only into history but also into the future and to ask for European solutions to current problems. The positions on the war in Ukraine, for example, could hardly be more different. A look at the history of one’s own country and thus the political socialisation of the assembled adult educators can help. It is a great advantage that the exchange is embedded in a group context that has developed after two years of joint work. This makes it easier not only to communicate what is perceived as “socially desirable”, but also to distinguish between person and position. And, of course, to dance through the streets at night…
Climate + Change through Democracy and Inclusion
Workshop in Rome/Italy, 16-19 June 2022
weltgewandt is coordinating the second project on climate change and ecological issues with organisations in Athens, Rome and Sofia – now with the participation of citizens from around the institutions.
At the beginning of the workshop, the group came together through exercises on gestures and voice from independent theatre work. Together, the participants developed small choreographies on the theme of “energy”. In this way, the overall theme of climate+change was linked to the focal points of the encounter in Rome: Waste and “green” urban development.
In the area around the Via del Trullo in the southwest of the city, the participants explored the works of art with Mario, the artist, poet and original inhabitant of the neighbourhood, which are the result of once illegal actions to beautify the neighbourhood. Various other initiatives by residents made clear how self-organisation can promote cohesion and, for example, transform a courtyard society into a veritable bio-sociotope. In discussions with architects and in the open field, the focus was also on how residents can make abandoned land fertile. “Urban gardening” is the key word, apparently all over Europe.
A few kilometres further and also in contrast to the cultural metropolis of the city centre, the group visited the “snake building” in Rome-Corviale. They gained impressions of a place that holds many potentials and yet still struggles with the sins of technocratic-fixated thinking. “I felt younger. That’s the solution – meeting different people.” “We do ours. We are Rome. Not them in the city.” Voices of two residents.
Low-skilled adults and cultures of bureaucracy
Working Meeting in Florence/Italy, 14-15 June 2022
The term “low-skilled” may apply to one or the other. But to what extent? If you take a closer look, it appears to be a kind of makeshift category, an attribution from outside. For there are people who cannot read and write. Instead, they are all too often adept at other things. There are people who have emigrated, who struggle to learn the German language – but who have a diploma in their pocket. And there are managers who at best think about the next day. So “low-skilled” could be the “qualification” of people who do not fit the “average” or “mainstream” of educational biographies.
How they can nevertheless uncover their competences, make them fruitful and develop them was also the subject of our working meeting in Florence/Italy. The colleagues from five organisations in Italy, Romania and Germany discussed the educational materials developed for this purpose. During the clarification of organisational questions, different cultures of bureaucracy were discussed. No, it is not only Prussian traditions that could be referred to. Obviously, the High Gate, the Ottoman Empire, also left its mark. This is probably a lot about trust and the controllability of large empires…
Not only FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREECE
Working Meeting in Naas/Ireland, 9-11 June 2022
As part of the project “Women’s Perspectives on Society’s Divisions“, the colleagues from Estonia, France, Ireland, Poland and Germany are also developing an argumentation guide for difficult situations. That is, when it comes to open discrimination or strategies of making women and their competences invisible. Especially in surprising moments, the reactions are often “FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE”. The project participants are looking for other ways – and tried them out in exercises on the difference between observing and evaluating and on addressing needs. Why the terms anti-feminism and feminism are not used will be discussed later. In autumn at the latest, after the final meeting in Marseille.
Culture shock and “body literacy”
Working Meeting in Lund/Sweden, 01-03 June 2022
The district government of Cologne coordinates a cooperation with colleagues in Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, France and Italy on opportunities to facilitate young migrants’ entry into working life. weltgewandt contributes to overcoming culturally conditioned inhibitions through non-formal methods, especially from non-formal theatre work. This includes, among other things, dealing – as creatively as possible – with experiences of culture shock, but also different interpretations of the body, body language and “self-care” in a broader sense. These and other questions were the subject of the working meeting in Lund, which was attended by two colleagues from each participating organisation. They presented the learning modules they have developed so far. Afterwards, the set of methods that is now being developed was discussed. From now on it is a question of: Continue in the small groups and look forward to the next meeting, which will take place in November in Lille!
The Digital Euro: Curse or Blessing?
Discussion on a current topic
weltgewandt e.V. invited to the Wolfdietrich Schnurre Library in the Education Centre at Antonplatz in Berlin on 19 May 2022 for a debate on the planned introduction of a Digital Euro. Dirk Schrade from the Deutsche Bundesbank (German national bank), Dr. Norbert Häring from the Handelsblatt (newspaper on Economics) and Dr. Dirk Ehnts, spokesman of the board of the Pufendorf-Gesellschaft, came. The latter questioned the economic necessity of a digital euro – that is, of “electronic cash”. Digital payment has long been common practice and works well, he said. “We have the solution, but we don’t know what the problem is” – to which the digital euro should provide the answer. Dirk Schrade referred to the reasons for the intended introduction: a) technical developments – less cash would be used especially in some countries and b) currency competition. He was referring to the Libra project, now Diem project by Facebook (now Meta). Its worldwide implementation would have affected the power of central banks in favour of large corporations. Dr. Norbert Häring, on the other hand, warned against the abolition of cash and the associated loss of privacy. He pointed to the danger that a digital euro could go hand in hand with the introduction of a social credit system on the Chinese model. Corresponding pilot projects are already being implemented in Bologna, Rome, Vienna and Bavaria, he said.
“Democracy must be defended” said Dirk Schrader and emphasised that much depends on how a digital euro is designed. A consultation of the European Commission is currently underway. All citizens can participate. You can read the feedback on this topic via this link.
The recording of the debate (with German audio) can be found on our Youtube channel:
Work meeting in Berlin, 18-19 May 2022
For the first time since November 2019, it was possible for all project partners to meet again ‘live’ – at the final meeting of the “Fresh-up Economics” cooperation. Countless video and hybrid meetings lay behind us. Nevertheless, a group had grown together whose members worked together constructively, with expertise and commitment. And this despite the fact that the differences, for example in the favoured economic doctrines, could hardly be greater. A challenge and learning experience for all, which was balanced with a great sense for the factual references and arguments, but also the interest in meeting and a positive personal ‘connection’. This and more was addressed in the evaluation. The final steps were also agreed to make all project results known appropriately in the six languages of the project group – in Europe.
Grasping the Museum. New approaches
Workshop in Iaşi / Romania, 15-18 May 2022
Museums are often seen as places created by and for so-called educated citizens. People with a smaller wallet, poor educational experiences, but also those with hearing or visual limitations are often left out. The UNLOCK | “Unlock” project aims to counteract this. During a workshop with colleagues from Italy, Greece, Spain, Austria and Romania, we, from weltgewandt got to know assistive technologies for the hearing and visually impaired. Prof. Demmys Leonard Rusu, President of ANPEDA (National Association of Teachers for Hearing Impaired Students “Virgil Florea”), introduced the participants to new methods that enable deaf people to access works of art by means of audio examples. Similarly, the participants were able to get a tactile impression of some of the exhibited works during a guided tour of the Historical Museum. They had been reproduced for visually impaired people with the help of 3D printing technology.
The frescoes of the Voroneț Monastery in the Bukovina region, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, again offered insights into examining and appropriating the centuries-old cultural technique of storytelling through images. Such knowledge transfer without words can provide inspiration for dealing with reading difficulties (as through the usage of pictograms). There is still much to be done to “open up” museums to people who may otherwise be less inclined towards them. Our European cooperation is at least helping to spread positive examples of this across countries.
Empowering low-skilled adults
Workshop in Lecce / Southern Italy
From 3 to 7 May 2022, we experienced an inspiring and instructive workshop within the framework of the European project ETAd. Behind this abbreviation stands a group of colleagues from five partner organisations in Romania, Italy and Germany. The aim is to promote the individual skills of so-called low-skilled adults and thus take steps towards equal opportunities with them. During the five days in Lecce / Southern Italy we shared our methodological knowledge and tested materials that have been developed for educational work with the so-called low-skilled. More about the project
Bringing history to life
These were hard topics that we addressed during our one-week workshop in Málaga / Spain at the end of March/beginning of April 2022: terrorism in Spain, the Thirty Years’ War, Nazi propaganda in occupied Poland, the “resettlement” of Greeks after the war in 1922. It was even easier to learn about the beginnings of women’s movement initiatives in Serbia or the integration of Somalis in Finland. Nevertheless, through interactive methods, the topics came to life and were touched without being overwhelmed by them. An often exhilarating, moving and very stimulating form of learning, especially in European horizons.
Comments from participants: “Maybe I can be patient in my private life more easily now that I have seen how different we are and yet how well we can get along.” “Drama is a powerful method.” “Impressive how it was possible to address the personal level, the society’s level and the relationship to the present. See more on the project website.
Not a Mystery
European Workshop on socio-economic education
Housing, health, environment, social inequality, climate justice – almost everything has an economic dimension. You don’t have to have a higher education to understand such connections. This is the approach of a cooperation of colleagues from Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Estonia, Ireland, Spain and Germany. They met from 22nd to 26th February 2022 for a five-day workshop at the WSEI University in Lublin/Poland.
Contributions on topics such as growth, sustainability, taxes, different economic schools, migration, feminist economics, social inequality and the further digitalisation of money were discussed. The reflections were embedded in the joint testing of methods for teaching questions of general economic education in Europe.
Feedback from one participant: “Now I have an idea of European cooperation. A very fruitful and inspiring experience.“
More information on the website of the “Fresh Up Economics” project.
weltgewandt e.V. coordinates the European cooperation on socio-economic education. During the workshop in Lublin, questions were answered about the project idea and the results – and who would benefit from them.
Online course on Climate Change
We are happy to launch the online course of our project “Change the Change. Climate Change as a Challenge of Adult Education”. It is free of charge and accessible to all. Registration is very simple and quick.
The topics are:
- The greenhouse effect, the Paris Agreement and the world of tomorrow. A story of knowing and not willing to know,
- Controversies about climate protection and climate protection policy,
- What comes first: climate protection policy or social justice? Is there a conflict of goals?
- Water and water wastage,
- Natural disasters and their connection with climate change (e.g. floods, fires),
- Cultivating green spaces by promoting public spirit and raising awareness of environmental protection through civic engagement,
- Waste recycling and its impact on community life,
- Developing local communities with minority (Roma) citizens: linking social work and civic education as an approach to reach non-privileged citizens,
- How to create and maintain a MOOC for adult education teachers and trainers?
The individual modules are in English – in easy language. They are aimed at adult education stakeholders and interested citizens.
Click here to register. After entering your name and password, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail and can then log in. You will find the introduction and an overview of the modules under “All courses”.
See also our article on EPALE, the European platform for adult education.
Photo Mike Newbry on Unsplash
Europe live per World Café
These questions were discussed in the first round of the online World Café on 19th January 2022 which brought together 23 women from six partner organisations from Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and Poland. The answers could not have been more different: The Estonian participants talked about the island of Kihnu, which is matriarchal. Their Polish interlocutors spoke of the fact that women are still claimed to be inferior through religious views. The independent women’s movement in the GDR in the 1980s was mentioned as a positive example from the German past. When asked about the reasons for the differences in Europe, it was noticeable that equality was/is apparently greater in regions where the (Catholic) Church has rather little influence.
What about the situation of elder women in society? This was the topic of the second round. It was unanimously stated that they tend to be overlooked, made invisible. They do not appear in advertising and there are hardly any female presenters in the media who are older than 50. Nevertheless, older people have often developed wisdom, are experienced, have acquired knowledge and have lived their own lives. This contrasts with recognition: because of part-time work and lower wages, they are considered “less successful”.
The time just flew by and the participants were impressed by the wealth of thoughts and questions, which in themselves are already “full-length”. Find more information on the project website.
Kick-off meeting Financial Literacy
weltgewandt e.V. hosted a first meeting with colleagues from Lithuania, Poland, Denmark and Norway on the project on Financial Literacy on 20th and 21st December 2021. The topic and the educational materials that are being developed were discussed in an imaginative and committed way. Icelandic, Spanish, Romanian and French horizons of experience were also discussed – especially these countries are (additionally) reflected in the biographies of the participants. European perspectives… More information here and on the project website .
Moving, but powerful
“We work together very seriously and it is still joyful.” “We don’t just make a project for its own sake, we live it.” Feedbacks on the working meeting in Warsaw from 11th to 13th December 2021 with colleagues from France, Ireland, Germany, Estonia and Poland within the framework of our women’s project. Normally, such meetings focus on organisational questions. That is not inspiring per se. So the participants also devoted themselves to the results of the project so far – the joint collage, our “free-style story chain” and the development of a handout for speaking and acting in difficult situations.
The most intense session was about the photos of public spaces and the experiences, associations and thoughts that the participants connected with them. An exchange that was often moving. And at the same time it shed light on the societies in whose context the experiences were made.
This made the meeting an intense encounter. And this in an atmosphere of respect, mutual interest and a desire to put creatie approaches into practise. “It is very encouraging to come together with other women. It helps me not to be isolated.” “I have been learning in every minute when I was here.”
Take part! Your perception of public spaces
The underground, the backyard, the museum, the marketplace, the library, the hair salon, the unlit way to school, the park, the train station, the pub, the concert hall, the workplace, but also Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: people often move around in public spaces. How do I experience them? What feelings, what associations, what considerations do they trigger in me? Right now?
We invite you to go with your camera / smartphone to public spaces, take a picture and / or write down your thoughts, feelings, ideas, wishes, hopes, experiences. Each word, each picture counts. Give the inner censor a break. Feel free to express what comes in your mind.
Send your photo / text to firstname.lastname@example.org. Write in the subject line “WP – public spaces”. We are happy to get it until 15th January 2022.
Try it! The team of colleagues from Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, and Poland is curious to get to know your perspective. Our idea is to create an online gallery and to publish the submissions on the project website.
Delicate Topics: Taxes and Migration
„Tax is a crucial part of the story of injustice in the world. Unfortunately, many people hear the word tax and recoil – it seems dense, boring and perhaps a topic best left to the ‘experts’! This guide will help you as a facilitator understand just what tax is, why it is so important, what global trends threaten fair tax collection, and what might be done to help solve tax injustice globally.“
This is how the Irish colleague’s contribution to the learning platform in our cooperation Fresh-up Economics begins. We discussed it in the project group of colleagues from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Spain and Germany. We all agreed: This article makes us want to deal with the topic!
Migration is a complex phenomenon. It affects societies in different ways, be they receiving countries or those from which people leave. When the well-educated go abroad, gaps remain. The receiving country, in turn, benefits. Education costs can be saved and the population structure can be maintained if young, qualified people come. Wages do not have to rise because there are more workers. But what if people do not come voluntarily, when they need to flee war and hardship? What if they are older and their qualifications are not recognised? How differently are people affected by migration: the individuals themselves, the companies, the citizens? The contribution of the Polish colleague from the WSEI University in Lublin stimulated discussion. This is exactly what we want to achieve.
Feminist Economics and Ecological Growth
They are like a „conversation salon“ as we know it from the age of enlightenment. Our regular online meetings on economic topics as part of our project “Fresh-up Economics“. This time, the Czech and Estonian colleagues presented their contributions to the learning platform. Feminist economics is seen in contrast to the neoclassical school of economics. The difference in the view of human beings is particularly striking. Neoclassical economists start from the assumption of “homo economicus“, who always makes rational decisions, is free of any social influence, pursues his interests and has unlimited needs. Feminist economists, on the other hand, assume that human beings are relational ones who are shaped by various influences such as gender, age, social status, values, and so on. Accordingly, people’s decisions would be influenced by various factors – if only because of unequal starting points.
Economic growth and sustainability – is that possible? What is it about “green growth”, “de-growth” or “social limits to growth”? And what does “decoupling” mean? What are the different approaches to sustainability? A topic that can provoke lively debates. The colleagues brought their knowledge to the table. For example, the reference to the growth dilemma or to a socially acceptable, sustainable “degrowth” of economic development.
Time and again, methodological questions came up: Are the statements clear enough and easy to grasp? Does clarity come at the expense of complexity? How can both be combined in a meaningful way – if only to enable a diversity of perspectives? But without confusing?
Not exactly in a dignified salon atmosphere, but it was a cultivated exchange this time too, factual, carried by respect and the interest in learning new things.
Museum and integration
How can people get interested in going to museums? How can museums open up so that visitors see them as their own place? These questions also guided the third five-day workshop in the framework of our UNLOCK project from 10th to 15th October 2021 in Madrid. The programme was intense: Presentations of examples of good practice, such as from MiméticasLab on how museum objects can be made accessible to the visually impaired. Workshops on the perception and production of sounds, on cameraless film-making and on the perceiving time via theatre work. Inputs on photo theory and art mediation, on culture mediation at a cultural centre, on crowdfunding for NGOs and a city quarter tour on community mediation. And of course talks with museum educators and cultural mediators on site in the museum: the activities of the Archaeological Museum of Madrid are particularly impressive.
EQUITY in Napoli
Project meeting from 3rd to to 5th October 2021 in Naples, Italy: Colleagues from vocational schools, NGOs and public administrations from six countries are working together on modules they are developing to promote equal opportunities and inclusion for young migrants and refugees in VET. Step by step, topics have been identified in connection with preferred methods, on which they will continue to work in transnational small groups. After xxx video meetings it is clear: online meetings take energy, personal encounters give energy. And all this in a city that is as interesting as it is steeped in history! You can find more information about the multi-year cooperation on this page.
Inequality and economic “schools”
Inequality, what’s this? And what different economic “schools” exist? This was the subject of our most recent online meeting as part of our „Fresh-up Economics“ project. Two further contributions to our learning platform were discussed. The Austrian colleagues presented a socio-economic understanding of inequality that goes beyond the usual interpretation of income inequality and also takes into account, for example, the global inequality in the consumption of CO2. They emphasised that inequality is not a “natural” given, but is produced by society and its power relations. It is expected that inequality will continue to increase. What kind of welfare state would therefore be needed to enable a good life for all? How can be ensured that the discussion of inequality also refers to the big issues such as climate change, digitalisation (platform economy, etc.), migration, the future of pensions?
The “economy” is often associated with a certain way of looking at it. But far from it. Embedded in historical contexts and along the different understandings of work, the colleague from the Spanish partner organisation went into ideas from Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes and more recent authors. As so often this year, this was a stimulating meeting – next year then as a ‘real’ encounter.
POL, theatre, video production and beyond
European workshop on Climate Change
The term “Climate Change” seems now on almost everyone’s lips. It provokes emotions and is hardly missing from any political statement. This can create a paradox: a word becomes an empty phrase. This is one of the reasons why Christoph Mayer’s lively transmission of knowledge, called a lecture, was so well received at our workshop in Berlin from 24th to 28th September 2021. It was about the characteristics of global warming, the burning of fossil fuels as a central cause for it, the often underestimated methane as well as the political possibilities to deal with all the problems – in principle.
For five days, colleagues from Sofia, Athens, Rome and Berlin tested adult education methods to make the topic of climate change in all its complexity the subject of their work. Together, they overcame the (inner) burden of producing videos for our online course (MOOC), tried out forum theatre, discussed the Popular Opinion Leader method (POL), playfully explored the pros and cons of climate protection policy, and explored in an authentic place how people can unite and do something for the city’s climate and their own salad plate. For example, through urban gardening. At the same time, many of the shared inspirations and didactic approaches stimulated many new questions. That’s education… See more on our project’s website.
Information about the video and the Forum theatre method you may find on our Youtube channel.
Upheavals in the Past and Today
Workshop with colleagues from 6 European countries in Lódz/Poland within the framework of our „Moving Memories“ project. The topic was applied to various questions such as new approaches to discuss the Greek Revolution 200 years ago, the Spanish Transition, the wars in Yugoslavia and the German-German unification process. A broad repertoire of methods was tested together, sociometry, educational drama, learning with pictures, biography work, etc. Conclusion of a participant after a few days: „I’m still full of impressions from our meeting in Lódz, and I am very grateful that I had a chance to spend such a productive time with all of you.“
See more on the project’s website, http://www.moving-memories.eu/
Gender stereotypes and Gesamtkunstwerk
Five-day workshop at the end of August 2021 with colleagues from five countries on gender stereotypes, among other topics. In contrast to what is often the case with transnational encounters, the exchange was not provided by the inviting organisation alone, but by all participants. It was thus a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’. This ensured a variety of methods and active cooperation. Clichés and ‘traditional’ role models were discussed during a world café. In addition, they were found in idioms, jokes, films, newspaper headlines, advertising, and music and satirised in pantomime scenes. In conversation about this, the participants talked about cultures of gender arrangements in the partner countries. The view over the ‘national fence’ was inspiring and had something liberating. Find more on the project’s website.
Bringing dreams into life
Blended learning activities, what is it? Not only educational workers but also learners from the partner organisations come into contact with each other. Via virtual exchange through an email list, WhatsApp group or entries in the Padlet. But also through concrete, personal encounters. This was the case in Berlin in August 2021. The focus was on self-perception and self-expression, perspectives on one’s own world and those in the wider environment. It was particularly moving for the participants to track down their own dreams, wishes and hopes. All too often, women are oriented towards turning towards others and putting aside their own perceptions. So the Map of Dreams was a new experience: in the ambience of the Mauergarten, they created collages of their dreams for a ‘happy life in good company’. Following on from this, concrete goals were derived from the dream images and thought about how they could be ‘tackled’. Afterwards, not much was said about it. Because most of the women were not familiar with it. But real art treasures were created. Find more on the project’s website.
Climate Change and Forest Destruction
Global warming and energy production are two key words that come up when talking about climate change issues. This was also the case during the workshop of colleagues from all partner organisations, which took place in Athens from 5th to 10th July 2021. The focus was on the exchange of methods to make aspects of climate change a topic in adult education. The participants got to know techniques of the photographic reportage using the example of the destruction of nature by wild fires in Greece (this year already in May). They went ‘into the field’, took pictures and learned tips and tricks for post-production. How can I arouse curiosity? How can I tell a story with a picture? And at what point does image editing simply serve the purpose of manipulation? “Moving, inspiring and motivating,” was the feedback of one participant. More on the project’s website.
Controversies about Climate Change
For some, the reduction of greenhouse gases is not going fast enough. Others doubt that climate change is happening or is caused by human activity. Rarely is a distinction made between climate change, climate protection policy and the way how climate change is under discussion. Different views are nevertheless indispensable for a democratic culture and its freedom of speech. If many people get involved, a broad process of awareness can be triggered, and the instrumentalisation of the issue by one side or the other can be disenchanted. And at the same time, the dramatic nature of the change could become clear. How to deal with it? What makes it so difficult to change the climate change? What needs to be transformed in terms of the energy supply? Is the arms industry the No. 1 climate polluter? To what extent should citizens change their consumption behaviour? What structural changes are necessary? When are moral arguments aimed at individual behaviour convincing? These are some of the questions discussed during the workshop from 5th to 10th July 2021 at our partner organisation Action Synergy in Athens. The contribution to our online course “Criticism of climate protection policy – arguments and counter-arguments” was presented and will be published in August. More on the project’s website.
Additional remark: Of course, flying to Athens to talk about climate change is a contradiction in terms. In future, for projects applied for from this year onwards, there will be the possibility of “green travel”, i.e. financing train or bus journeys at the price actually incurred. After all.
Erasmus accreditation for weltgewandt e.V.
“Enriching lives, opening minds” is the motto of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. It enables multi-year cooperation between organisations from EU countries as well as worldwide and thus joint work on topics, the exchange of methods and the development of freely accessible educational materials. But the programme includes even more: the further training of staff members and long-term volunteers from educational organisations abroad. This can range from participation in courses to a job shadowing of several months at a partner institution. weltgewandt e.V. is now also active in this field and has received the Erasmus accreditation for adult education for the current programme period (2021-2027). We are happy!
Moving to talk about Moving Memories
After so many virtual meetings, the colleagues from the 6 partner organisations met each other for a hybrid encounter in Belgrade / Serbia from 27th to 29th July 2021. Yes, we spoke about questions to organise, evaluate and disseminate the project’s activities. The exchange included, however, more: We spoke about the content part of our contributions to the learning platform. So for example the Greek revolution 1821, the re-settlement of Karelians to Finland, women during the transformation of the 1990s in Poland and partly, the German-German unification process. One may read the issues and ask: Are they really intersting? They are! The partners’ focus lays on transformations in the past and how they are discussed today. This discoursive approach encompasses a view on hidden aspects of an issue. And this may provoke astonishment and deeper insights. We enjoyed a very intense and rich of content meeting at our partner organisation, the DAH theatre in Belgrade.
Virtual Round Table
Exchange on Great Transformations in Europe’s Past
There is a lot of talk these days about a „Great Reset“. weltgewandt is coordinating a two-year cooperation with partner organisations in Finland, Greece, Poland, Serbia and Spain on upheavals or Great Transformations of the past. The title is: “Moving Memories. Creative Drives for a Changing Europe“. So far, the view beyond the country’s borders can only take place virtually. And yet it is great when people from Helsinki, Málaga, Berlin, Athens, Lódz and Belgrade sit at an “online table” and exchange ideas on the project topic… So on 09/02/2021. And soon again.
Money, Nature, Welfare: socio-economic education
Three feedbacks on the 5-day webinar from 16-20/11/2020 within the project “Fresh-up Economics” which is coordinated by weltgewandt e.V. The 18 colleagues from 7 countries discussed contributions to the learning platform on socio-economic learning. They learned from and gave feedback to articles on Modern Monetary Theory, Climate and Economy, Debt, Europe and the Global South, Economic Strategies to Manage a Crises, Public Goods and Social Welfare, and more. Refreshed and full of experience introduced the Irish colleague the use of interactive online tools. Mentimeter, speakeasy, jamboard and padlet were immediately applied in the partial testing of the didactic parts. Such workshops are a non-sensual-sensual experience and can not replace the ‘real’ ones. Nevertheless: better than expected!
Of Value: Water and Waste
Webinar: How to create a Wiki?
“Consolidating information. Like a last part of a lesson.”
“Learned to make use of plugins.”
Three feedbacks of the three participants who got the chance to attend a more than two hours webinar on how to create a wiki. Hold by Anna Dobrowska from CosmoCode, she explained the colleagues from our consortium how to create pages, manage the admin section and the navigation, and introduced in the world of plugins for this wiki. An inspiring, rich of content, and encouraging learning experience!
Wiki with new address
During the project on digital literacy, a wiki on technological, social and political aspects of digitalisation was created. It is now permanently available at this address. The project participants are looking forward to your comments! More information about the project can be found on the project website in five languages.
weltgewandt on Telegram
We now also use this channel to spread information about our own activities and inspirations from others. Our address is: https://t.me/weltgewandt. We are pleased about your interest – and subscribers.
The art of giving feedback
During the two-year cooperation “Fresh-up Economics” we create together a learning platform to enhance socio-economic education for adults in Europe. This is itself a learning process. It became clear during our last video conference on 06/08/2020. In a good sense. On the one hand, we discussed the contribution that was developed by the colleagues of the University of Vienna. The topic: “Climate and Economy“. On the other hand, the project partners gave their feedback on the contribution of the Estonian colleague on “Public Goods and Social Welfare“. The comments were differentiated and factual. Then the discussion turned to the question why we try to be multi-perspective. And what does that mean? Would we overburden the readers when different interpretations of individual topics – corresponding to the different schools of thought in economics – are mentioned? It turned out that the partners are at home in different cultures of thinking economics. This is what makes the cooperation so charming. It would be nicer, of course, if we could come together for a physical exchange and discuss some questions more intensively. But we’ll stay on, online.
Fresh-up Economics: website online
weltgewandt e.V. coordinates a two-year project with organisations in six EU countries on socio-economic education. The consortium aims to provide inspirations for a better understanding of economy and economics. A six-language learning platform is currently being developed for this purpose. For selected topics, it will contain short versions in easy language for all citizens. The detailed version is intended for adult educators and interested people who would like to obtain detailed information. The didactic parts may encourage trainers and teachers to include socio-economic questions in their educational work. Due to the current corona crisis the publication of the first parts of the learning platform had to be postponed. The reason for this is that the partners would first like to test the methodological parts together and revise them if necessary. Until then we will publish short articles on individual topics. The website is now online. More information about the learning platform can be found on this page.
“A very, very nice description of the necessary steps.”
“I got a global image on wordpress websites, pages, posts, plugins, menus.”
“A good example of distance learning.”
Four feedbacks on the internal webinar about building one’s own website with participants from Focsani/Romania, Málaga and Berlin on 21st July 2020. The idea of sharing this knowledge came during the project Empowering Digital Literacy and results from a raising interest in the world of digitalisation and the wish of being not only a consumer but also a producer of content. The three-hours interactive webinar encompassed basics like developing a website’s concept in the beginning (idea, aims, target groups, main messages, etc.), writing draft texts, respecting authors and photographers rights, and others. In the practical part were shown the world of designs/themes, how to create a page and a post, how to translate them, and what should be taken into consideration when arranging the menus. Some plugins were presented. A separate part was dedicated to the page builder elementor. The main aim was to stimulate motivation and to leave only a small place for the fear…
… to do it oneself.