Start date: 01 May 2015,
End date: 29 Feb 2016
The financial crisis has been one of the biggest concerns for European society from 2008. However, there is a deeper crisis of human values and principles which often passes unnoticed. The unlimited growth of a society living in a planet with limited resources is besides unsustainable, a big problem not only for us as human beings but also for the rest of living creatures in our planet, who cannot do anything about it.
Fortunately, the willingness and motivation to change this situation is increasingly latent in today's society. As a proof, social movements, alternative economies and political approaches are getting more importance during the last years. Therefore it is pretended to take advantage of these circumstances to create a critical thinking spirit in the participants about the lack of human values and to analyse possible solutions.
This study took place in Iceland with 30 youth workers coming from a wide range of countries. Some of the ones with higher unemployment and recession levels in Europe as Greece, Italy, Portugal or Spain; and some others with a much theoretical lower impact as Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Sweden or Iceland. The main topics to discuss were the principles on which the Economy for the Common Good are based:
- Human Dignity (Human Rights)
- Solidarity and Cooperation (Sharing, community work ...)
- Social Justice (education, health care, social security...)
- Sustainable Development (ecological footprint, planned obsolescence ...)
- Participatory democracy and transparency.
The applicants chose from one of these topics, and prior to the event they had to analyse how it is currently functioning in their countries of origin. Later on, they created and participated in activities such as analysis and critical thinking, participatory discussions, field visits, role-plays, real case studies, and social statistics in order to find alternatives and solutions that can improve the social, political and economic realities of their countries. Under this context, we presented "Back2values II" with the following objectives:
1) To promote critical analysis of the current social, economic and political realities, and to raise awareness of alternative proposals and social economies as for example the Economy for the Common Good.
2) To deepen the causes of the lack of human values across the five categories mentioned, facilitating the search for solutions by empowering critical thinking.
3) To create a space where participants can share their experiences, vision and best practices on how to promote citizen participation in specific activities as youth initiatives or training courses.
4) To disseminate and promote the different European programs such as Erasmus +, with a special focus on youth development initiatives focused on the recovery of human values.
5) To acquire tools to support a non-violent conflict transformation and mediation both at social and organizational levels.
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