12. April 2023

Start of the 2023 fellowship

With a kick-off weekend in Berlin, the fellowship “Thinking of Europe in Times of Transformation” was launched in March. It allowed the fellows to get to know each other and start developing the projects they will work on for the next 6 months.

From 3 to 5 March, our four fellows, arriving from four different countries, met for a kick-off event in Berlin. After a welcome and first getting to know each other, the afternoon included a brief introduction to Understanding Europe and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft who is funding the programme.

The focus of the first day was on the expectations and understanding of the Fellowship by the participants. Samira Brahimi, former fellow of last year’s “Thinking of Europe” programme, joined the Fellows on Friday afternoon to share her experience and knowledge with the team.

  • All photos by © Stefanie Loos

On the second day, the Fellows were joined by Ajša Hadžibegović , a youth work specialist at the intersection of policy, education and research. Ajsa has facilitated learning, innovation and collaboration processes with youth and other actors. Since she was also involved in last year’s program her collaboration was very valuable for Understanding Europe.

Throughout the day, the Fellows learned more about the structure and implementation of the toolbox and discussed how they will adapt their work to this new tool. The day continued with the understanding of the needs analysis conducted in the network and was followed by the introduction of the pedagogical approaches of UE that will be used when developing their course topics.

In the afternoon, it was time for some planning! Each Fellow had some time to think on their idea, its implementation, their overall goals and further steps. At the end of the day, we went for dinner and closed off the day with a very fun escape room activity.

The focus of the last day was the overall planning of the Fellowship. There was time to set goals for the next few months and find if there were common goals where Fellows can maybe collaborate together. After conducting this task, there was some time for open questions and feedback was exchanged.

What’s next?

In the coming weeks and months, the Fellows will work intensively on creating new courses based on their individual topics and re-working the existing workshops to fit them in the toolbox structure. Network feedback and tests in schools will take place in order to ensure a user-friendly experience and implementation both in the schools and the network. The next meeting will take place in July 2023. Until then, we will introduce you to the Fellows and their projects in more detail!