Dr Derek Barter, ALL Institute member and Dept. of Adult and Community Education and Jennifer Lloyd Hughes, Civic Engagement Coordinator with MU’s Experiential Learning Office, have just secured EU funding as part of an international consortium for Foundations for Futures Europe (FFE). The aim is to develop a network of Higher Education and Civil Society partners to engage citizens in debates and discussion groups around the future direction of the European project. The FFE network consists of Maynooth University; the university of Novi Sad, Serbia; Pecs University, Hungary; The European Anti-Poverty Network, Ireland; The Hellenic Anti-Poverty Network, Greece and URKRAFT, Sweden.
The geographic span of the consortium from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea, the banks of the Danube to the Atlantic ocean will provide partners with a unique opportunity to explore the common socio-political and economic views and experiences of European citizens, across a range of age cohorts and within the context of social and digital inclusion. Project Partners will use innovative, inclusive, and creative technologies such as live recordings, podcasts, story mapping and on-line discussion platforms to engage a broad range of groups including people experiencing poverty, migrants, young people, older communities, and people with disabilities. The FFE consortium will also seek to build on the learning from this project to create a sustainable digital network, an educational resource pack and an open access journal focused on citizen engagement with European social policy and economic, social, cultural (ESC) rights.
Maynooth University as the lead partner brings its own unique approach to widening the conversation using place-based adult and community education, curricular and co-curricular engaged learning, and campus/community collaborations, such as the Communiversity.
Both Jennifer and Derek are happy to discuss the project with academic departments, schools, centres, and institutes who want to know more, or explore how involvement in this project could benefit their engaged research agenda and expand their European networks.