This is a reference for Liga Rudzite

EUtopia? Lab 2019

The training activity took place
in Riga, Latvia, and Bar, Montenegro
organised by Latvian NA and SALTO SSE RC
March - October 2019

Aims & objectives

The aim of the lab was to provide youth field professionals with an opportunity 1) to explore the complex and diverse realities of young people in a changing Europe and 2) to prepare to better respond to those realities by applying values-based perspective of diversity and reshaping their youth work practices.

The objectives of the lab were:
- to create a community of learners ready to engage in a challenging, self-reflective, long term, dynamic learning process;
- to identify the relevant socio-political and cultural conditions that influence the lives of young people on local and European level;
- to challenge/ radicalize the concept of diversity, exploring it from a values-based, rather than from a normative policy perspective;
- to develop the most relevant competences for reconsidering and reshaping youth work practices that fit the current challenges;
- to develop participants own intercultural competence, as defined by the ETS Competence Model for Trainers and the ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers to Work Internationally;
- to incorporate principles of slow youth work in diversity related practices;
- to discover opportunities to incorporate values- based approach to diversity within Erasmus+ activities and to support international cooperation among participants.

The lab consisted of an online learning phase, 2 training courses, a personal project phase in between the two training courses.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The training course was for 20 participants from the EU and Western Balkan countries.
The core team consisted of 2 international trainers, and two representatives from the NA and the SALTO SEE RC.

Training methods used & main activities

We used a blended learning approach with on-line learning and residential learning phases.
We used non-formal learning methods throughout both residential labs and during the practice phase. We used mostly various types of knowledge pooling and discussion methods, to engage the participants in a common group learning process, build empathy, and practice skills for diversity work.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants critically explored the concept of diversity and self-reflected about their competences in relation to that. They evaluated youth work practices that respond to current socio-political challenges, and explored ways to engage in a more diversity-related work. Participants developed and tested new approaches and tools for diversity work.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I was one of the 2 trainers, responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating the overall lab, as well as supporting participants in between the residential lab.

I worked on this training for 10 residential training days and 2 months online learning days as a full time trainer.

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