Learning from Context

Building social competence from local knowledge
Conference
Berlin, Südblock Aquarium
22-23 September 2017

Learning from Context

Building social competence from local knowledge

Registration

Traditional forms of education and training for employment are increasingly focused on chasing job market demand through specialisation. Meanwhile, a multiplicity of voluntary, self-organised, citizen-based initiatives is breaking new ground in experimenting with skills and competences. Local communities and neighbourhoods provide a fertile soil for innovative practices of sharing and caring, inventing alternative modes of production and economies, building new paradigms of solidarity and commons, developing forms of bottom-up city making and constructing their own narratives in the folds of global urbanisation.

Such modes of learning outside formal settings (both informal and non-formal) have received much attention over the past decade, especially as a means to counter social and economic inequalities. Often innovative and successful in the short run and in response to a specific context, these practices struggle to find continuity, self-sustainability and produce radical change at different scales.

The Learning from Context conference aims at confronting and setting in constructive dialogue different experiences of urban education, knowledge exchange and capacity building.  The conference will pay special attention to:

  • the valorisation of knowledge produced in informal, bottom-up initiatives to improve employment and neighbourhood-based welfare;
  • the learning process and skills developed in voluntary engagement within local communities and their recognition, measurement, acknowledgement;
  • tools and techniques to improve the capacity of communities to understand their contexts and to better devise appropriate solutions to local challenges;
  • how new forms of co-productive city making lead to the development of skills that are complementary to the urban planning profession or practice;
  • how collaborative economic paradigms can improve the resilience of neighbourhoods in crisis;
  • how artistic and communication skills  can be employed to fight exclusion and counteract stigmatisation and gentrification.

The conference is the closing event of the EULER Erasmus Plus project coordinating training programs in the cities of Antwerp, Barcelona, London and Berlin. It aims at presenting the participatory toolsets developed by the local laboratories in the four cities and enhancing reflection, sharing and dissemination of the produced knowledge in a profitable confrontation with similar experiences.

The conference will have a practice-oriented multidisciplinary approach. We will favour presentations introducing concrete experiences and tools rather than theoretical papers. We encourage non-strictly academic formats and interactive presentations.