The ComeON! project is aimed at promoting active citizenship of both elderly and young people through a formative intergenerational volunteering experience
ComeON! - Community Projects for Social Innovation through intergenerational volunteering experiences
Today’s world presents unprecedented challenges to humanity - to the young, the adult and the old. Rapid advances in science and technology are having a major impact on ways of working, organizing, financing, learning, innovating and, in general, living. The Internet has given rise to an entire new economy and this is manifested in new professions, markets, industries, forms of government and so on. Simultaneously, we are confronted with a series of societal challenges such as the greying of the population, the environment, the realization of 21st century education and, certainly, the need to respond to the effects of the deep economic crisis of recent years with its dramatic impact on jobs and the quality of life in general. Not surprisingly, new terms such as apps, co-working, crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, open innovation, rapid prototyping, etc., coexist with others such as massive youth unemployment, precarious work, NEET, active ageing, etc. This is the background informing project ComeON!, aiming at stimulating experiences of social innovation based on intergenerational solidarity.
The ComeON! project is aimed at promoting active citizenship of both elderly and young people through a formative intergenerational volunteering experience rooted in the development of social innovation projects for community development.
ComeON! recognises that intergenerational solidarity is a need to give innovative answers to the challenges described, since all energies, knowledge, experience and resources are required, especially to male as difference at the level of communities and territories. The immediate benefits are well-known through the past experience of the partners in the ComeON! consortium. They include the digital inclusion of older people, the fall of the inter-generational divide, and the acquisition and practice of life skills (21st C education) for the youngsters. ComeON! project, however, intends to take these gains a significant step further by stimulating the creation of inter-generational teams who are challenged to contribute improvements to their communities through social innovation projects. By so doing, the project pursues and implements an experiential “education for life” that is an education that blends codified knowledge (predominating in the traditional school curriculum), with life skills (involving a large element of tacit knowledge) and character formation (involving fundamental values). In addition, the project considers “phyrtuality“ that is the integration of physical (offline) and virtual (online) activities in the experiential learning process, as an important “like skill” to develop through the practice of the social innovation projects (through the Phyrtual.org social innovation environment). This approach is essential if the challenges first described are to be faced by the young and the older together, contributing to their own personal growth and their communities at large.
The main project activities are the following:
- Identify and analyze the state of the art of intergenerational volunteering in 5 project countries;
- Develop, test and validate an innovative intergenerational and peer-to-peer learning approach and Phyrtual environment;
- Conduct dedicated transnational blended pilot training courses in the 5 project countries, integrated with concrete community work where seniors, secondary school students and teachers will identify and implement micro-projects for social innovation at local level.
By participating in the ComeON! educational experience, the project target groups will reinforce and develop transversal key competences and tackle simultaneously the challenges of active ageing, 21 century life skills and responsible citizenship. Elders will have visible active roles in their communities and they will either contribute and/or acquire methodologies and tools that will enable them to create, develop and implement projects and initiatives along the younger generations.
The project involve 7 organisations from 6 european countries:
- FMD - Fondazione Mondo Digitale , Italy (Co-ordinator)
- UEDIN - University of Edinburgh , UK
- FUNDETEC Foundation, Spain
- LUNARIA , Italy
- ISJI - School Inspectorate of Iasi County, Romania
- CCB - Cultural Centre Budapest , Hungary
- ICDI - International Child Development Initiatives, The Netherlands
The ComeON! project runs from 1 October 2013 until 30 September 2015.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Project N°: 538254-LLP-1-2013-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP