The week from the 13th to the 19th March 2017 the Italian NGO Vicolocorto hosted in Pesaro the seminar on ADR – Alternative Dispute Resolution, part of the European project “First ADR Kit for Youth Workers”. The project was born thanks to the cooperation of five countries, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Norway and United Kingdom, and it aims at designing new methods and professional tools to promote mediation and dispute resolution techniques into youth education all around Europe. The first phase of the project was mostly theoretical, whereas this second phase in Pesaro was meant to implement everything they had previously learned. The atmosphere was positive, energetic and creative from the first moment: the participants met again 6 months after the first meeting and the activities and the Italian sun contributed to their well-being throughout the process.
From the beginning it was clear that they all wanted to challenge themselves and try to concretely create new tools to use, in order to give back what they had learned: we can say that their enthusiasm was contagious. From the beginning every country had its chance to express their opinions and share ideas. Every one shared with the plenary the good practices they had already started to put into practice in their associations, and it was clear that they all thought this wasn’t enough: they still needed a lot of hard-work and a pretty full week in order to create something innovative and valuable.
Day by day the participants were getting more and more tired because of their devotion to the project, but also more and more satisfied of their creative process. The aim of this second phase of the project was primarily the designing of 10 educational workshops on the topics covered by ADR : each country had to create 2 workshops and all the workshops had to be tested and evaluated by the whole group of participants. The days dedicated to the workshop planning were really intense because every country was focused on its task: you could feel their brains working, their commitment and their desire to create to inspire others.
The best part of the week was indeed the delivery of the workshops: every country managed to create something inspiring that could be applied in several different contexts, and applied to different target groups. The feedbacks that were given were really constructive and helped to improve the methods and tools that were used. In this part of the project, cooperation was particularly crucial: every and each one has something to give and share with the others. The workshops were all very different, some used role-play, some used games, some were delivered on the beach, some others required costumes; what they all had in common was the detailed study of one or more peculiar and important aspects of conflict resolution.
Beside the workshops, the seminar also aimed at realizing and testing simulation and educational games that could be applied in the context of ADR. Everyone was really surprised by how useful games can be: they are engaging, flexible and fun to play with. Of course, there’s a lot of work behind its designing, that’s why the group started first with a brainstorm regarding what they already knew about games and about their purposes; and then continued to work on new ideas to create new ones or to adjust the already existing ones. The Norwegian group had the opportunity to run a session to show practically how simulation games can be used in the context of conflict resolution. The one they introduced was called “Mission Z: one last chance” and they had designed it in a previous project: everyone engaged curiously and participated. That was a good way to show how to design a simulation game and how it could work in different contexts.
All things considered, this was for sure a very intense week, that brought to the conclusion of the second phase of the project. If we had to resume the whole seminar with three words, that would be for sure inspiration, cooperation and creativity.
Daniele & Virginia – Vicolocorto