On the 4th of November, we implemented the first #EAYW webinar called “Innovation in Times of Disruption“, which was part of the larger webinar series “Learning as a field in times of disruption and change” that is running from November 2021 to April 2022.
We started with some optional well-being activities, where the participants could relax, laugh and stretch a bit before the start of the content part of the webinar. It was fun and engaging and we felt relaxed and ready for the two hours filled with topics related to innovation and learning in these times of disruption. Here we exchanged our perspectives on questions such as: How do we respond to disruption and change? How are we doing? Where are we? What are we learning from this? Are we able to innovate? Is innovation a sign of resilience? Or a matter of survival?
In the beginning, participants reflected in small groups about how they were feeling in the midst of the ongoing changes and what we were learning as youth workers in this present time. The overwhelming feeling was confusion, but it was connected with a feeling of renewal, a state where people become more confident, competent and comfortable with the situation. In the discussion about learning, participants shared that they were learning a lot about new methods and approaches, digital literacy (and at the same time digital poverty!), transforming activities to new formats, flexibility, patience, resilience and focusing more on local activities.
Afterwards, we focused on the concept on innovation itself and its meaning in the field of youth work. We had the chance to listen to a short input by Federica Demicheli and Dragan Atanasov, who shared a definition and some main characteristics of innovation in youth work. The definition belongs to the outcomes of the recent EAYW study, which will be published in December. One of the main conclusions of our researchers was that innovation should create value while being value based. This means that it should encompass the values and principles of youth work and strive to create positive social change, in particular for young people.
In the last part of our webinar, we had the opportunity to listen to Peter Mitchell, from organization Lernlabor, Berlin, who shared their experience in hybrid learning. Peter believes that these kind of collaborations present opportunities for creating synergies between offline elements and digital exchange. Having that in mind, he presented two cultural projects that his organisation was implementing and explained how they had used technology to make collaborative work with different youth artists. One of the projects was called a:part Berlin – Poltava, where 17 young artists based in Germany and the Ukraine preformed at a live hybrid event, and which included both technological and creative preparation. Check out the project at this link and get inspired by this cool example!
After an engaging two hours’ session, we closed our webinar and announced the next one, which will focus on “Recognising larger trends, seeing interconnections with youth work”.
If you are interested to participate in our second webinar, we warmly invite you to apply! It will happen on 16th of December, 9.30 (10.00) – 12.00 CET and include an input by Dr. Peter Merry, who oversees learning and innovation for change-makers at Ubiquity University. Find more information HERE! See you there!