Name of the project: Transformation Europe Lab Training Course
Date: 5th until 13th October 2020
City/Country: Velden am wörthersee, Austria
What was the main topic of the event?
Carol Väljaots – Non-violent communication
Oliver Martyn Vahar – earning how to be an active leader in a non-violent society.
Hanna Sults – Non-violent communication and taking action in community.
Mikhail Shipilenko – How to act wisely and be the active leader in a civic society using non-violent communication.
Artemi Sintsov – Learn about how it is possible to influence the society in non-violet way. And to start developing projects that would address the issues we are interested in at the local level.
What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?
Carol Väljaots – The biggest learning moment for me was the action plan that we made. It concluded all of the material that we had learned during the project and it was a great way to get to know ourselves better.
Oliver Martyn Vahar – How to learn and create a project throughout.
Hanna Sults – How to manage myself in uncertain situations.
Mikhail Shipilenko – One of the biggest learning moments for me was the realisation of the impact of personal feelings and emotions, and how they could be framed and conditioned by the setting and environment. During the training, for example, there was an exercise with some sense of exclusion programmed into it: assignment given to a group was organised the way that it was not possible to involve everyone into the work, so that meant that some people were less invested into it and did not share the feeling of ownership over the outcome. As a result of it, when facilitators asked someone from those less involved to destroy the work of others, it was relatively easy for them to perform that act, when for others that would be rather an uncomfortable experience. That was a clear demonstration of how exclusion and alienation makes people more likely to be weaponised by destructive forces and less prone to protect the world they live in. On the same note, other practical exercises like active listening or, on contrary, deliberately not paying attention, enacting the prisoner dilemma, playing the mind game with fork and knife crossed or uncrossed, which created the sense of confusion and again the feeling of being excluded – all these were the examples that showed how individual emotion is usually a key driver of social processes, of conflicts, and is also at the root of any communication and civic activity. The whole learning process during the week of the training was built around this idea of giving the ownership and initiative to people, to students themselves, to ignite their (our) emotion as the main force that creates motivation and inspires to become leaders who will share that knowledge and attitude. Constant focus on feedback, on inclusion into the teaching process that non-formal education techniques master, asking powerful questions and allowing the answers to emerge, giving the time and space for them to mature – like planting a seed with a hope for it to grow rather than forcefully trying to pull the crop out of the soil – that all was a very new idea to me and it was especially impressive to watch it in action, to see and experience myself how it works from inside the process.
Artemi Sintsov – Getting perspective of what are characteristics and values of the society and what are mine. Also, the understanding of new approaches to problem resolution.
Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?
Carol Väljaots – Yes, ofcourse. The project motivated me to be even more active in the field and maybe even go for a ESC project.
Oliver Martyn Vahar – Yes, actively participating in other projects and trying to make a change in my community.
Hanna Sults – Yes, I plan on doing volunteer work in NYH.
Mikhail Shipilenko – I would like to continue being active in the field. This training course inspired me to take more action and try if not to implement the plan that I worked on during the project then to join some existing community or organisation and bring my time and efforts to creating impact I see necessary in the world around me. I would like to join as a part-time job some local or a wider European NGO to support the values that I share and that might be a bit at the low ebb nowadays. I’m also thinking of volunteering for short-time projects and linking my future education with the topics that had been touched during the training.
Artemi Sintsov – First of all, I will deal with the implementation of our project
Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?
Carol Väljaots – Yes! I always try to bring my friends to projects because it’s something that you will never forget and that’s a promise.
Oliver Martyn Vahar – Yes, it was very informative and an interesting experience. Made new friends and learned about things that I didnt know of before
Hanna Sults – Of course, there’s so much to learn about yourself, communicating to others and the topic in hand. You make good friends, improve your English, learn and have fun!
Mikhail Shipilenko – I would definitely recommend this experience to my friends and I honestly regret that I did not have much opportunities to participate in anything like that earlier myself. This training course is a good way to learn new skills and hone the existing ones, it puts oneself into a supporting (and challenging at the same time) environment that facilitates growth. It brings together people from different backgrounds and creates the sense of unity that makes learning fun and natural. I find this experience strongly suggested (if not obligatory) for everyone growing up in Europe, as it demonstrates European values in action, gives an active encounter with the cultural variety, which is essential to the global community today. It also gives an opportunity to practice English, to communicate with people for whom it is also not a native language, which is an important skill as well. Public speaking, sharing own ideas in a team, performing during the playful learning activities – all these are the means to “step outside of the comfort zone”, to challenge oneself, to push the limits and established frames, to develop and grow. I feel that this experience helped me change my perspective and get free from habitual and trodden paths by broadening the horizon and changing the context, it helped me also reconsider some life decisions, which is probably a good thing too. Last but not least, it is a good opportunity to travel, to make new friends, to meet people from different places, share the experiences with them, and create memories that will likely be among the most treasured in life.
Artemi Sintsov – Because it provides an opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills and, by communicating with people from other countries, to get a broader perspective on the state of society.
More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!
Mikhail Shipilenko – Especially I am grateful for this experience to the trainers and organisers who made it all happen and exceed all possible expectations that might have.
Artemi Sintsov – Obrigado
This Project was financed by European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme