DIGI Firms LTD bucovina.institute@gmail.com +40 0230/ 524128

Cologne, Germany

21 – 23 January 2019

‘The use of digital media in Social Firms practice: a European comparison’.

Fourteen experts from six different organisations from five EU Member States attended our first meeting of the European strategic partnership on ‘The use of digital media in Social Firms practice: a European comparison’. The meeting was held 21-23 January 2019 in Cologne (Germany) and was organised by the Diocesan Caritas Association (DiCV) for the Archdiocese of Cologne. As participants arrived on 20 January 2019, we had an opportunity to get acquainted ahead of the meeting at a dinner for attendees. We had agreed in advance to English as a conference and working language.

The workshop began on Monday with welcoming remarks by Dr. Thomas Möltgen, Member of the Board of the DiCV and Ms Andrea Raab, Director of the Europe and Labour Market Policy Department. Next, Ulrich Förster, Assistant for EU projects, presented the agenda for the next three days of the workshop, the aims of the project, and the technical content involved.

During an introductory round, each project member had an opportunity to briefly introduce him- or herself and his or her professional background; Ulrich Förster then offered an overview of Erasmus+ designed to clarify the programme framework and the European context.

Afterwards, the partners had an opportunity to present the work and missions of their social undertakings. The aim of these presentations was to provide all of the stakeholders an overview of the different conditions in the respective countries in the context of vocational training for disadvantaged groups.

In the afternoon session, priority was given to the aims of the strategic partnership, the administrative framework and a shared understanding of the respective tasks involved. It was agreed, among other things, that the partner organisations would develop and test at least one project on the use of digital media in their respective social operations. In addition, a brochure will be jointly produced that presents twelve examples of good practices from European countries that make innovative use of digital media in the context of social operations. A project website is being headed up by the partner organisations CEFEC and Institutul Bucovina.

On Tuesday, Laura Wuttke, Yvonne Söffgen and Miriam Padberg presented a variety of model rehabilitation projects from TU Dortmund University; these were received with great interest. The project ‘EJO – Electronic Job Coach’, for instance, breaks work steps down into modules, displaying them through photos or pictograms that can be displayed on a smartphone or tablet. People with cognitive impairments such as memory loss can then call up the work steps in the workplace if necessary. This ensures that work orders can be completed in the manner prescribed.

VIA4all and LernBAR are projects that apply ‘Augmented Reality’ with the aid of special glasses for use in the vocational training of people with disabilities or health limitations. Fitted with computers, sensors and displays, when required the glasses provide a variety of information and supportive services.

In the afternoon, the group visited a social operation run by Alexianer Werkstätten GmbH in Cologne-Kalk. In the ‘Alex Office’, people requiring professional rehabilitation have an opportunity to complete a programme in web design/graphics. Experts were on hand to provide an extensive presentation of the content and framework conditions for the qualification programme.

The third day of the workshop was dedicated to further planning of transnational workshops. Dates for the workshops were scheduled through to the end of the project period, with agreements reached on the substance of the workshops.

Andrea Raab also presented opportunities for political and social participation by disadvantaged people through digitalisation, along with the use of digital media for lobbying work by social operations.

To secure the results reached, all of the lectures and the results of group work were set down in writing and will be sent to all of the workshop participants by the coordinators. Materials and individual images of the meeting will also be published on the project website.

Partners were encouraged to provide third parties with suitable information about the meeting and its content, and to make use of all the opportunities for public outreach and dissemination of the progress and results of the project.

The meeting ended with a group lunch. Diocesan Caritas Association Cologne/January 2019

Meeting in details: http://df-kunden.de/ebooks/erasmus/