This is a call for people that are both passionate for regional or local development and new technologies to help and facilitate the growth of community cohesion and cooperation throughout Europe - for the benefit of our villages, small towns and rural areas.
The question is: can the gap between education - rich urban environments on one side and and rural and peripheral areas be bridged by new and unconventional combinations between modern Internet technologies and the emergence of new learning channels and places in regional systems.
The answer to this question is crucial also for "bridging the broadband gap": the emergence of new communication infrastructures is very directly linked to feasible and practical ideas and models to use them and the concrete expression of needs.
We suggest a model of "Global Villages", that means that every region and regional policy in Europe pays increasing attention to the emergence of specific locations (be it central, be it decentral) that can technically and culturally, through competence and understanding, through linkage to the main local actors and the awareness of needs, facilitate a growing exchange of knowledge and experience between the regions, towns and villages of Europe.
To achieve that, they create or use internet access points like telecentres, libraries, community centers, educational places or places of entirely different nature and they start an interactive learning process by video communication including modren presentation technologies.
Such an approach towards a "Global Village" has been successfully started some time ago in the Austrian Village of Kirchbach in Styria.
We have been able to observe a constant interest from local population in educational activities that were totally unusual in a village setting - university lectures interactively transmitted from Graz and other places by video technologies - for now about five full years!! 80 lectures and even week-long congresses have been synchronously transmitted. The range of themes was broad: Positive Visions of the Future, Sustainability, Agriculture, Technology, History, Languages, Culture, Literature, Theology and others. One thing was important and unusual: there was a local person kowledgeable enough to even hold a lecture if the transmission would fail. And this very person was channeling the local questions to the remote speaker and continuing the discussion after transmission has ended.
We did a little film on that:
We have been encouraged by this success to think about a "virtual university of the villages" and move towards a more horizontal and peer2peer scheme of education, where we use in a sharing spirit our best offers to complement each other. We should share our best knowledge and our best offerings in order for others to do the same and we should create a community that guards fair use.
Thus we will multiply our possibilities and reach many people at many places at the same time.
So from this background we want to issue the following invitation:
From January 17th (arrival) to 28th /departure) we will bring people from all over Europe together who have some experience in the field. We want to augment the techniques and methods of videobridging in particular, on the background also of using stored videos as learning materials in general. We want to get and give new impulses. We can finance travel and accomodation costs for 16 participants supported by the Grundtvig/LifeLong learning program of the European union.
if you are interested, please continue reading here:
and if it is really for you, dont hesitate to send us an application!
Mag. Franz Nahrada
GIVE Forschungsgesellschaft - Labor für Globale Dörfer
Globally Integrated Village Environment
Research Lab for Global Villages
Jedleseer Strasse 75
Tel. +431-2725615 or 2787801-* (Hotel Karolinenhof)