This is a reference for Stefan Georgiev

Summer Academy for Strengthening Democracy in the Euro-Med Region - Democracy & Education

The training activity took place
in Pravets, Bulgaria
organised by Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”

Aims & objectives

The main aim of the Academy was to engage participants in learning process of sharing own experiences and reflecting upon common solutions regarding the main topic of the Academy, namely what are the relations between Democracy and Education and how this bond could result in strengthening democratic processes in each partner country.
In addition, the objectives of the Academy were:
- To share relevant experiences regarding democracy development, in line with professional, personal and institutional background;
- To creating and supporting a positive and inclusive learning environment in unique intercultural group of learners and experts;
- To develop and enrich competences related to intercultural communication, leadership, cooperation;
- To develop deeper competences related to decision-making strategies and models
- To reflect upon the role of education and democracy in contemporary societies development
- To develop a common analytical product dedicated to the main topic of the Academy

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

The group of participants was composed of people with diverse personal and professional backgrounds coming from Bulgaria, Morocco and Tunisia. As a main organizer, the Bulgarian School of Politics has long term cooperation tradition with the other Schools of Politics, therefore the participants were coming from countries with the same family of associations. The total number of participants was 21.
The team of facilitators was composed by two Bulgarian facilitators.

Training methods used & main activities

For the whole duration of the Academy there were used diverse training and learning methods and tools, all of them in line with the main principles of non-formal learning. In this regard the following approaches were used:
- Leadership skills and team work competence related experiential activities
- Simulations aiming communication skills development with accent on intercultural communication
- Simulation of a TV debate followed by feedback and behavioral micro-analysis
- Role play on interculturality and the related competences
- Group discussion on the final analytical product, including brainstorming and prioritizing processes
- Discussion and simulation on strategic decision-making process

Outcomes of the activity

On one hand, a major outcome of the activity was the established team cohesion between participants coming from so many different backgrounds.
Another learning outcome was the developed and enriched competences, related to leadership, interculturality, communication and cooperation.
On the other hand, the group managed to prepare stakeholder analysis dedicated to the main topic of the Academy. The analysis was followed by a group preparation of a common analytical product, dedicated to the relations between Education and Democracy as main topic of the Academy.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

For this Academy, together with the other facilitator in the team, I was responsible for:
- Designing all interactive sessions, including the learning process being in line with the principles of non-formal learning
- Coordinating session content between the team of trainers and the organizers
- Facilitating all interactive sessions for the full duration of the program
- Facilitating the process of preparation of the final analytical product
- Providing participants with feedback
- Preparing a final report for the organizers

I worked on this training for 4 days as a full time trainer.

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