The world is moving to a digital-first society, as relationships, institutions and workplaces are increasingly becoming mediated by technology. However, there is still a lot of work to be done towards representativeness, openness and transparency. We need a strategy on how adult education can promote democracy in the context of digitalisation.
EAEA Grundtvig Award 2021 called for initiatives that successfully apply participatory processes and methods in building digital citizenship and advancing democracy. The winners of the award were selected in two categories: local/regional/national initiatives and transnational initiatives.
Putting democracy into practice
The winner in the category of local/regional/national initiatives is #GEMMA “il Sapere è Prezioso – Knowledge is Precious”. The project fosters the adoption and implementation of the Digital Agenda on the territory of Umbria and develops participative models that make all citizens actors for democracy and social change. #GEMMA has been acknowledged by the jury to “be a complete project that does not only address issues of democracy in our digital era but additionally creates a learning culture in the community”. The initiative is funded by the European Social Fund and led by the Municipality of Montone.
“Winning the Grundtvig Award means re-affirming the right to lifelong learning for all citizens and the need for new initiatives inspired by the principles of democratisation of learning, strengthening of critical thinking and digital inclusion. It supports us in giving a voice to actors at the territorial level, such as municipalities and associations, that need to reinforce social bonds within communities, developing a more equal, supportive and resilient society”, say Anna Schippa and Giuseppe Calderaro from the #GEMMA project.
Education for digital transformation
“Digital Transformation in Adult Learning for Active Citizenship” (DIGIT-AL) -project is the winner in the category of transnational projects. The project identifies approaches, topics and tools, that address the digital transformation in adult education. It also explores the potential of Education for Democratic Citizenship/Human Rights education in learning about digitalisation. The Erasmus+ funded project is coordinated by Arbeitskreis Deutscher Bildungsstätten (AdB) and involves partners from six other countries.
According to the jury, DIGIT-AL is right in the heart of the award theme and offers a great integrated perspective. It also addresses active citizenship, which is usually neglected in adult education. The project consortium has done an excellent job in identifying critical issues and producing easy-to-use materials.
“The Grundtvig Award is a great honour for us”, says Nils-Eyk Zimmerman from AdB. “It motivates us to continue on our path and work to ensure that more adult Europeans can learn fundamentally about digitalisation as a major political and social issue. Perhaps it will also encourage others in adult education to address the issue in a similar way”.
Honourable Mentions have been awarded to the projects “Digital Skills Passport” (Lisbon City Council) as well as “SAE – Smart Adult Education” (Aretés società cooperativa) for their excellent contributions to digitalisation and democracy.
The winners will be presented to the EAEA community at the Annual Conference 17 – 18 November, together with last year’s winner, Larissa Learning City.
The EAEA Grundtvig Award was launched in 2003 by EAEA in order to recognise and celebrate excellence in adult education. It highlights project results that produce new ideas, new partnerships, new methodologies and a new understanding of how we can work in adult learning.
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Contact information / Comune di Montone
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