FutureLabAE project addresses two main issues: the situation of democracy in Europe, where an increasing number of citizens, who, discontent with the political establishment, start leaning towards xenophobic and populist parties or choose not to vote at all; and the alarmingly high number of people in Europe who lack basic skills, especially digital skills, leaving parts of the population unable to benefit from the digital transformation. Adult education has a role to play in supporting societies and individuals to cope with these two issues.
Challenges for adult education organisations and providers (including trainers) and possible solutions:
- Adult education organisations are often compelled to be reactive rather than pro-active and change-oriented; education can have a three-way relation to change through:
- a reactive activity – helping adults, organisations and society to adapt in the changes that has already taken place;
- a proactive activity – helping to anticipate future situations, or
- a change oriented activity – helping to create new competences and practices which are a necessary condition for any change and/or development to take place.
- Adult education staff and trainers are frequently themselves not prepared for changes in societies. They are often busy to adapt to changes in society and have little resources and competences that are needed to reorganize training provision in a more change oriented way.
Aim and objectives of the project
FutureLabAE will provide adult education organisations, staff and trainers with:
- a space for discussing with and learning from each other
- knowledge, expertise and tools to become more pro-active in order to develop innovative, change oriented provision which will have, on a medium-term, an extremely positive impact on low-skilled learners and the society as a whole.
Partners developed very concrete recommendations that will allow policy-makers to support the AE sector in the challenges above mentioned as well as to draft policy initiatives on digitalisation and democracy more coherent and impactful.
- Increased knowledge on the challenges linked to digitalisation and democracy among AE organisations, trainers and policy-makers
- Improved methodologies and practice of AE organisations and trainers
- Improved advocacy capacity of adult education providers and organisations
- Increased and improved involvement of providers and organisations in the shaping of policies at the European, national, regional and local levels
- Strengthened cooperation among providers, organisations and policy-makers within Member States and across Europe.
- A collection and analysis of change-oriented practises in the fields of digitalisation and democracy, which is a source of inspiration not only for AE organisations, staff and trainers, but also to policy-makers at different levels
- Two online courses (which include live and interactive webinars) on digitalisation/democracy and adult education addressed to AE organisations, staff and trainers
- Two hands-on methodologies for change-oriented workshops on digitalisation and democracy
- Project conclusions and recommendations for policy-makers and stakeholders (on European, national, regional and local levels)
- Guidelines for AE organisations and staff on how to work more pro-actively and more effectively with the topics, in order to successfully reach out to and support people with low digital and civic competences
Two workshops were done:
- Workshop on digitalisation and Adult Education – Helsinki (Finland) – 11 December 2019
- Workshop on democracy and Adult Education – online 1 March 2021
Two regional multiplier events are foreseen:
- Central-Eastern Europe multiplier event (Slovakia) – Online event “Empowerment for change” 17 February 2021
- Southern Europe Regional multiplier event (Portugal) – Online event “Change-oriented adult education: from a local perspective to a European dimension” 8th July 2021 (9:30 – 12:15 Lisbon Time)
The final conference took place online 23 June 2021, back to back to the EAEA General Assembly.