The aim of the ECORL -Economy Co-Responsibility Learning- project is to provide an innovative and concrete response to adults’ needs concerning the knowledge, understanding and use of economics and finance.
The process of globalization and the recent economic crisis have plunged the traditional system of managing and investing citizens’ savings into deep crisis. Individuals are faced with an economic downturn without being equipped for it and without the basic knowledge to be able to deal with it.
We believe that social inclusion also depends on the economic education of citizens: not knowing the rules of the economic systems and not having access to information is one of the main causes of the impoverishment of people in Western societies.
A recent survey conducted by the Università Popolare di Firenze revealed that almost 90% of the adult participants know little or nothing about economic systems, they are fairly familiar with the forms and traditional tools of economics and finance, but they know little about the new forms and tools of the social economy. 70% use the Internet to keep abreast of economic issues.
More and more adults are asking to be kept up-to-date about the economic and financial systems and forms of sustainability of a responsible economy. This necessity becomes a primary need in a time of economic crisis where the demand arises for new skills that equip citizens to deal with the basic issues of saving, investment, business creation etc., so they can better defend themselves against the crisis and consciously pull through it.
The ECORL project is targeted at adult learners students, employees, unemployed and retirees who wish to stay informed about new economic issues.
In a perspective of global interrelations, the project unfolds with a comparison of the economic systems of other countries: Croatia, Albania, Lithuania, Spain and Italy. These countries differ in Human Development Indicator and Gross Domestic Product and represent different economic growth patterns. Moreover, in these countries there is an insufficient level of adult economic literacy with respect to market changes and new non-traditional forms of economy such as social business, cooperation, the sharing economy, micro-credit, and the social economy.
During 2 years, the project aims to provide adults with new basic skills in the field of economics and finance as key areas to tackle and overcome the current crisis in a responsible manner through:
- a comparison between the different national social economy systems;
- the testing of 10 training courses, 2 each country, put together by experts and “prosumers” (producers and consumers of knowledge, goods and services) in collaboration with adult learners;
- the use of a collaborative learner-centered methodology on the topic of the social economy;
- the creation of 50 OERs, 10 each country, as a result of the collaborative courses;
- the mobility of 40 adult participants, in order to learn the good practices of other countries; the learners will have the opportunity to know the best practices of the European YUNUS Social Business, the Center founded by Muhammed Yunus, international historical forerunner of the “social” approach to the economy.
- the dissemination of results at schools, businesses, universities and associations through video and digital resourses;
- the creation of a European network of adult economic literacy sharing the new forms of economy and the best practices of each country.
The ECORL project will have an important impact on the formation of direct and indirect participants, their lifestyles and choices of critical consumption.
For this reason, the results of the project will be useful not only in the adult education sector, but also in the training of professionals and in higher and university education as the topics addressed are wide ranging and transectorial.
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