What happened in 2014?

Posted on January 12, 2015

New GLEN member: Development Perspectives
GLEN warmly welcomes Development Perspectives, a respected Irish NGO with great experience in development education, among its members! Development Perspectives (DP) runs its own reciprocal, non-formal training cycles with Tanzanian and Liberian global education NGOs and GLEN is excited to learn from and build on the experiences of DP in piloting the Global Partner Network and fulfilling GLEN’s new vision. Development Perspectives sees a potential in the cooperation to work more within a European context and to broaden its activity with other partners around the world.  DP would like to contribute to the Global Partner Network as envisaged and set out in the Visionary Document.

Thank you, Laure!
Laure Heinrich, Chair of the Steering Committee, left GLEN in December 2014 to explore adventures in her new role as project manager within Engagement Global to oversee co-operations between Germany and African countries. Laure has been with GLEN from the start, and even a bit before, working in ASA as an intern to support the French – German exchange. She has played a key role in the development of GLEN as a network through a decade and has the widest perspective on its operation. Thank you Laure for all your enthusiasm, professionalism, dedication and energy and we wish you a lot of joy and success in your new role!

Cycling Alternatives * NEOlution
This summer, 85 people from 14 countries set forth with their bikes to challenge the feeling of being alienated from our political and economic institutions, our interaction with nature and the environment and the way we live and work together. Instead of merely criticizing, we sought the exchange and interaction with people and places who try to live and experiment with alternatives and at the same time we were a social experiment ourselves by practicing self-organization, group decision making and how to combine a daily cycling and seminar routine. In three tours – reflecting three possible solutions to the topic of alienation through permaculture, solidarity economy and self-organization – we cycled from three different places in Germany and Poland to a small village in Czech republic. During the three weeks project we were a mobile community and seminar having workshops and discussions on our topics, but unlike a normal seminar, we interacted with the initiatives we visited and the people we met on the way, thus stepping out of the “seminar house” an onto the streets. In the end we met in Valec in Czech republic and had a final seminar, bringing the people and the experiences of the three tours together. Alas, we faced the specific difficulties of a mobile seminar that can not rely on a 5-star carefree seminar house and especially we realized during our final event it is hard to have a seminar whilst being exposed to the elements, the cold and the tiredness of pulling heavy trailers through a hilly countryside.
But in the end after three weeks of discussions, practical actions and work-mobs, street action, broken tires, trailers, racks and wheels, rocky streets and scrupulous traffic, intense group conflicts and powerful moments of conciliations and solidarity, helpful initiatives and critical pedestrians, too much rain and above all, uncountable slugs on the road and on our bikes, in our tents and shoes – we think it was and is an experience worth continuing and therefore we will continue to cycle coming spring from southern France to northern Spain. Have a look at www.cyclingalternatives.org to oil your chains, pump your tires ring your bells and join us!

Evaluation internship and workshop in South Africa
GLEN’s first evaluation internship by interns Joseph Dhossou, Judith Blume and Magdalena Mazurek, supported by NGO Credi-Ong director Martial Kouderin in Benin, 2011 was a huge success and gave a lot of valuable feedback for GLEN’s development, especially in relation to its cooperation with Host Partners globally. GLEN therefore decided to continue to make evaluation internships where European GLENnies, together with a local intern, contact all Host Partners in the locality for their feedback on the training programme to improve cooperation. This year’s evaluation internship was organised in South Africa, with the help and coordination of Stephen Granger (Cape Town Municipality). The two GLENnies, Halina Zawiszova and Hannah Wolf were supported by local intern Kyran Wright. The GLEN internship was concluded with an Evaluation workshop in Noordhoek, a consultation event where Host Partners and GLEN representatives met to discuss the findings of the internship research. The results were very fruitful and have been giving much input for the Strategy Process. The event report as well as other related documents and a short movie will be published early 2015.

10th anniversary
GLEN celebrated the anniversary of its 10th training cycle during the 3rd day of the Shake it and Shape it Seminar in October 2014 in Slovenia. Thank you to all of you who took part in GLEN’s life in the past and the present, we look forward to exploring the GLEN journey together. Happy Anniversary! Here’s a picture of the wonderful cake (thank you, Katja for arranging it!)

Final results of the Vision Process
After a six-month-process that included a Visionary and Networking Seminar, a wonderful Task Force drafting and finalising the vision, an online discussion and very constructive comments from around the world, the GLEN Network introduced its new Vision earlier in the year.  In its Visionary statement, GLEN presents its new vision, mission, long-term goals and values & principles. GLEN wants to follow the international trends in global education and based on its experiences as European network, to foster the development of global partnerships and to establish itself as an innovative education program in global learning. How  to get there? The GLEN network needs to discuss topics such as “how to build global partnerships”, “what are the aims GLEN wants to follow with global learning?”, “how to deal with privileges in a European and global context”, “how to adapt the cycle in order to improve the quality of our global education program, in partnership and dialogue with different stakeholders?”, and more! Among others, on the Visionary and Networking Seminar, the concept of a Global Partner Network was drafted, which needs to be further discussed and developed. For that, GLEN launched the Strategy Process in the autumn, planning its strategy for the next 5 to 6 years. The starting point was the “Shake it and Shape it” seminar in October 2014, addressing all open topics and launching working groups to develop concrete plans and ideas. Please find more details of the process here.

Strategy Process: Working group phase started successfully
The working group phase started as second main step of the Strategy Process in the end of November 2014 and almost 50 people signed up for the four groups.  In these working groups with an amazing composition of host partners, members representatives, alumni and participants the main topics of the Strategy Process will be discussed deeply: “How could the global partner network pilot look like?”, “What is our target group and do we use the whole potential of the MTC?”, “How can multipliers be involved in the best way?” and “How can GLEN act more sustainable?”. We are very happy, that so many people are eager to shape the future of GLEN and want to send a big thank you to all group members and especially to our four great facilitators Florian, Ilona, Maja and Simona. The groups are presenting their results through webinars in the online discussion, which is starting 1st of April 2015. For more information, please contact the Strategy Process coordinator Dominique Pannke (dominique.pannke@impuls.net)

GLEN historical overview
GLEN members, multipliers and other stakeholders address long-standing questions, topics and issues of the Network during the Strategy Process, as this reflection will provide relevant input to draw the path towards the goals stated in GLEN’s Visionary document. The historical overview aims at producing a summary of the background of these areas of interest, so that we are aware of the past discussions and carry an informed line of discussion. The topics of the historical overview were determined by the members of the “strategy process coordination group” (Dominique Pannke, Laure Heinrich, Michaela Cermakova, Andras Martoni) during the strategy process design in August 2014 based on the Vision Process and also numerous evaluation reports, in an attempt to topically cluster widespread discussions about GLEN’s future. These topics are (1) Organisational framework and decision making, (2) Global Partner Network and the role of host partners, (3) Target groups of GLEN, (4) Funding and financial viability, (5) Sustainability, (6) Structure and quality of the MTC and other activities. It’s important to note that the current document is an initial version that necessarily selects some pieces of information or perspectives and disregards others, trying to contextualise the past happenings and organise relevant information in a digestible format. Also, the content of these papers are almost solely based on documents (meeting minutes, event reports, the former strategy process documentation (2008-2010), the structure study). The historical overview is not a static document, it’s open for various interpretations. If you have a different understanding/memory/perspective of any part of these documents, please share it with the GLEN community. The document is available here to download, and will be available for comments on the website in January 2015.

Challanging the crisis!
The EuropeAID project Challenging the crisis, in which GLEN is an associate partner, gave an update on its progress during the “Local changes for global justice” conference (Rome, October 2014). In the first phase of the project a survey was conducted with 3,288 young people on their attitudes towards global development and social justice, the report will be published early 2015. Elaine Mahon, project coordinator, also added that based on their research on civil society organisations, local movements often don’t connect to global problems and big NGOs did not align their messages to the changes in the time of crisis. The second phase of the project built a team of 60 Young Global Advocates who came together in July 2014 at the Global Youth Forum in Brussels. Watch their declaration where they explain the topic that they have chosen for their youth-led Europe-wide campaign in 2015: ‘Cohesion through Social economy’ For more information and latest news, please visit their website.

Global Citizenship Education
Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has been included in Goal 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on education, which is a major advocacy success and a concrete outcome of the Brussels GCE conference in June 2014, where GLEN also participated. Sustainable Development Goals are designed to succeed the Millenium Development Goals, the process is led by the UN. You can find more information on the DARE Forum’s DEEEP4 project website here and here.

Evaluation of ten years
“The whole process of global learning really inspired me: I gained new knowledge, raised my awareness, identified values and internalized them” – words that are music to anyone’s ears in the NGO world. This time the compliment was addressed to the ten-year old GLEN in the frame of its evaluation research. “The study aimed to assess the impact that the learning process had on the personal and professional lives of participants who completed the cycle over the ten years; to see the long-term influence on their engagement in civic participation and the competences and skills they developed and can utilise in their work” explains Kordian Kochanowicz, evaluator at the Warsaw-based ASSIST-IN Co., who was tasked with the research. “Additionally, GLEN was also interested to see how the ‘European dimension’ played a role in the ‘global education’ training. As the Network partners with many organisations worldwide and envisions becoming a global partner network, the role of the European identity as well as the relationship with those organisations in GLEN’s life is a very relevant topic.” While quality and impact assessment has its limitations when it comes to ‘global education’ and education in general, Kochanowicz successfully captured some of the personal changes of the participants that were triggered by the programme. The evaluation was carried out between December 2013 and May 2014, with input from an extensive online survey to involve all GLEN generations and additionally several one-on-one interviews. To read more about the evalution, you can download the Executive Summary from here. For further information, please get in touch with us.

DEEEP Leadership Development Course (LDC)
What kind of leadership do we need for a systemic change in society? What kind of values, principles, actions lie behind the Great Transition. Or how to build a resilient world social movement that could facilitate a profound change of current system? These are only few of the questions the DEEEP LDC tries to adress. Named Explorers Journey for Systemic change, the course aims at developing skills and competencies  for facilitating a systemic change of around 50 participants from all over the world. The course is structured as a 7 monts long course based on the Hero´s journey approach with a combination of online as well as physical meetings.  Built around the Great transition concept the Explorers journey tries to help the participants to tackle the core issues of systems change, to facilitate a discussion  and networking among a variety of CSO practicioners, leading to action experiments within the respective systems  of the participants.

Would you like to know more about the course, organisations and concepts behind the course?
Leadership Development Course: http://deeep.org/leadership-development-course/
The Great transition initiative: http://greattransition.org/
Smart CSO´s lab: http://www.smart-csos.org/
Common Cause for Vaues and Frames: What values help create today’s social norms and institutions, and what, in turn, shapes these values?: http://valuesandframes.org/

Some interesting links to search for more:
Leadership Development Course: http://deeep.org/leadership-development-course/
The Great transition initiative: http://greattransition.org/
Smart CSO´s lab: http://www.smart-csos.org/
Common Cause for Values and Frames: What values help create today’s social norms and institutions, and what, in turn, shapes these values?: http://valuesandframes.org/

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