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What are SEED’s working principles? An comprehensive workshop on transnational cooperation and learning

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By Lenny van Onselen

On the second day of the transnational meeting in Kozáni, the SEED Consortium had a two hour workshop on transnational cooperation and learning. In this workshop, the partners reflected back on previous transnational and regional meetings on insights, goals and approaches. They exchanged examples of transnational and regional learning and explored values from all the partners. The final results were CoVE SEED working principles and goals based on common values.

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The first step was to explore dilemma’s retrieved in WP3 after analysing transnational learning in the CoVE SEED project. The members were asked to arrange themselves among an imaginary line choosing a side according to four dilemma’s:
1. Going faster by focusing on our own regional CoVE versus going better but slower by cooperating in CoVE SEED.
2. Have more online meetings which is more sustainable versus traveling and meeting face-to-face which increases the carbon footprint but reaches a deeper level of transnational learning.
3. Applying new tools such as codesign versus following our usual well-known approach.
4. “Let’s get started!” Versus “Think before you act.”

The exercise helped to understand the different viewpoints of the members. For the first two dilemma’s the majority had no specific preference and stood in the middle of the line. The conclusion of this majority was to seek for a good balance within these dilemma’s to achieve an optimal way of working and learning. The third dilemma appeared to be not a dilemma at all for CoVE SEED partners as the majority wanted to apply new tools and approaches learned in the project. With the last one there was a clear divide when most people wanted to start whereas the Greek researchers preferred to think first. Later on the divide was nuanced by the Greek researchers as they did not wanted to think for too long and the others agreed that a little thoughtfulness could help to get a better grip on what is actually needed in the project.

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The second step was to discuss in small groups seven insights resulting from researching regional versus transnational learning in WP3. The project members shared their experiences related to those insights. We ended the session with summarizing these experiences of the CoVE SEED members in five learning points, which were:
1. Explore new ways of interdisciplinary and multilevel learning for students.
2. Developing post-graduate education and lifelong learning for professionals bottom up in collaboration with companies.
3. Talk to the target group! For example, involve students and use their experiences in developing new education.
4. Learning about collaborations between university, VET-education and companies from other regions.
5. Take home new approaches such as teaching with AI, virtual glasses, Miro board, codesign, and project-based learning

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The last step was to find a common ground. First, the members mapped values on personal, organizational, and regional level. In small groups, values were compared. The goal was to seek for common values and reflect on how to organise ourselves, how to engage with others, and formulate a common goal. Finally, we created a bigger picture together with a symbolic tree: the core values of CoVE SEED as roots, a way of transnational working as stem and guidelines regional dissemination as the crown of the tree. We did not make a prioritisation in these values as they all served as a basis for the guiding principles of CoVE SEED (see picture). Two fundamental goals are placed central in the tree’s crown: protecting the environment and accelerate sustainable energy transition. The transnational guiding principles and regional goals will be used in the remainder of the CoVE SEED project.

To conclude, the workshop resulted in a better understanding of each other’s viewpoints on CoVE SEED dilemmas, five learning points for improving education and collaboration, and transnational guidelines and regional goals based on common values for future collaboration.

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