By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. It’s definitely a changing world, or to use a popular metaphor it’s a flat one. New jobs, new platform, new technologies, new forms of energy. New ways to learn, to live or to survive…
New ways to create information, to influence public opinion. New concept of work itself. It’s the world of flexibility where the personal skills must be adapted all day round to all this changes. It’s both the world of hope and the world of fear and it’s now a hard world for dreams like the European union one. That’s why we strongly believe that networks are one of the answers. We can see them like neural connection of a whole European brain. Networks connect. Connect people, ideas, territories. They break barriers and help where the fear is based on prejudice. Networks carry on the idea of Europe, helping to manage cross cultural differences, share knowledge and skills, cluster stakeholders interest, share innovations and best practices.
Networks in our point of view are decisive to strengthen the impact of European union policies, and play an essential role to build the concept of European citizenship. In education, helping networks to grow and than making possible the connection between people and institutions all around Europe is a key factor to avoid the coming back of walls… I mean physical, and cultural walls. That’s why our motto in ETN (that mean Education and Training Network) is: Learning by Moving.
Where moving it’s the idea of perpetual changes. Nowadays we are all connected to everyone. Social media are the new contest of human relations. We could be everywhere being at home. We can talk with the world without going out from our little room. New technologies are great because they bring the entire world in our pocket, but could be also, a new form of wall, in a very dramatic way. That’s why we believe that moving is a great answer and a great way to learn. That’s why we create connections, every day.And every day we help people to meet each other: we help students to get new skills, we help companies to meet the energy, the freshness and the dreams of European students from all around Europe. Every day we help teachers to improve writing project skills, we offer them software platform to manage their projects, we help them to introduce student’s mobility as “a must” in the school programmes. Every day we take care of hundreds of students in our 6 training agencies in 5 European countries. Every year we host 4000 students and teachers under Erasmus+ projects.
Think about this data: 1 out of 3 of these students and teachers go back in the city where they had work experience with parents, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend as a way to share this “second home” they’ve found abroad. One of our agencies is in Sofia. It’s always a little bit hard to convince schools to send students to Sofia the first time. After the experience it’s hard to convince students go back to their home. It’s this the magic of mobility. So… moving changes, in many ways. It helps students to understand that there’s a world outside the little room at home. It helps them to understand that Europe is a great place to be, and differences are richness, that skills work everywhere, and ideas are always appreciated, doesn’t matter your religion or country where you come from. All this people mobility is the extraordinary result of European programme like Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus or, now, Erasmus+.
So, helping youth and adult people to move, to meet and to learn by moving is in our DNA. It’s our mission and it drives us to create new services like the Experience Pro where we combine travel with informal learning. So we have for example photography courses in Sofia, or flamenco courses in Malaga, or ceramic art in Rimini, or 3D printing and modeling in Berlin. Also we have structured courses for teachers on CLIL, Cross Cultural Management, ECVET implementation for mobility project, European projects development. Our aim is to make new generation feel that there is a network of experiences, opportunities, people, places they can be part of. And we need Europe as a common destiny and our future. Helping networks to grow and promoting people mobility is the insurance policy for the European dream for the Intelligent, Sustainable, Inclusive Europe we want.
The great hope are all the children born thanks to Erasmus and Leonardo’s exchange programme that has created the real first generation of Europeans.
Again, this is the prove that dreams and love could really save our world.