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Gamification for Environmental Sustainability

- a professional development training for youth workers & youth leaders -

- in Vienna, Austria from 24 to 31 August 2024 -

GENESIS OF THE TRAINING:
Climate anxiety is currently one of the most pressing problems affecting youth. At the same time, young people see protecting the environment and fighting climate change (34%) as their top priorities in the latest Eurobarometer on Youth report. Both the climate prioritization and climate anxiety underline the importance to increase our efforts for environmental and sustainability issues and address them through innovative and practical approaches that bring solutions, instead of amplifying the problem or increasing the hype. At the same time, many youth are now distancing from climate action to some destructions caused by climate groups. Therefore, youth workers are needed to help regain and retain the interest of young people in the issues of climate, environment, and sustainability, and to ensure the continuous and positive involvement of young people in climate-related activities. For this purpose, we decided to use an innovative methodology/learning approach which is gamification and game-based learning, especially Board Games. This stimulating and innovative approach would enable the exploration of the engagement strategies and mechanisms inherent in the dynamics of board games, and the potential to infuse them with significant educational purposes through purposeful play. By doing so, these games can become powerful tools for increasing awareness, building a sense of initiative, driving solidarity, and doing activities for the environment & and sustainability. As Diane Ackerman says “Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning”. 
Hence, our training for 30 participants from Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. with the support of ERASMUS+ of the European Union, aims to provide youth workers with a more comprehensive approach, namely Purpursful Play, as a pragmatic and innovative approach that can tackle several youth issues on the local level.​ In order to maximize learning outcomes, interculturality and intersectionality play a key role in the program of the training.

LEARNING EXPERIENCE:
The core activity of this initiative is a specialized training course designed for 30 participants, aimed at fostering a collaborative learning space where they can delve into the intricacies of gamification. This includes understanding its foundational principles and mechanisms, with a focus on integrating board games as a dynamic tool within educational frameworks that emphasize environmental sustainability and climate education. This exploration takes place within a richly intercultural learning context.

Participants will be equipped with the necessary concepts, tools, and techniques to craft board games that not only entertain but also educate young individuals on environmental sustainability. They will engage in hands-on, small-group collaborations to design games that tackle various environmental issues, thereby translating theoretical knowledge into tangible educational resources.

The culmination of this course provides participants with a unique chance to test their created board games, allowing for a practical evaluation of their educational impact. Furthermore, this process opens up a platform for collective reflection on future initiatives. These action plans, conceived during the course, aim at local implementation, targeting young audiences and extending their influence to foster broader community engagement in environmental sustainability.

THE PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS:
- with the need to develop specific competences especially 1. Facilitating learning, 2. Designing programmes, and 3. Being civically engaged; 4. Citizenship Competence and 5. Personal, social and learning to learn competence;
- between 20 and 35 years old (ideally);
- working with young people on the local level or willing to engage with them;
- able to enhance the civic participation of your peers and youth;
- keen on designing and implementing game-based projects in their communities;
- have the need to improve your capacities of games as educational tool;
- willing to act as multipliers and implement local, regional, or international activities;
- have some basic interpersonal skills that enable you to learn and benefit others;
- motivated to cooperate with other participants to leverage the overall impact;
- demonstrate commitment to the European values and principles and respect for diversity.
- commit to full participation during the whole activity and sessions.
- you can communicate in English (B1+ level is enough).

WHAT ARE THE COSTS:
- The training is "fully" funded!
- It is financed by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus+.
- The hostel, training, materials, meals, and transport are covered to the determined limits.
- Participants are required to book their own transport (flights, busses, trains) to and from Vienna and we will refund the eligible costs to you after your successful participation.
- Only selected persons can book their tickets, after our advice!
- The refund of travel costs is after the implementation of the local follow-up initiative.

PARTICIPATION RULES AND CONDITIONS:
- You should attend the entire activity from 24 to 31 August 2023 (including travel).
- You should engage in all preparation and follow-up activities.
- You should fill out the form before 31 March 2023 (Initial dealdine).
- You should sign the participation agreement once selected, within a period of three days.
- You should purchase your travel tickets within five days of signing the agreement.

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TIMEFRAME:
Preparation:
From 01. 04 2024 to 15. 08 2024 (in various stages)

Participation:
24. Aug th to 31th Aug (in Vienna, Austria)

Follow-up:
September 2024- October 2024 (local implementation of follow-up initiatives)

 

OTHER IMPORTANT REMARKS:
- Applications will be reviewed and accepted based on motivation and eligibility.
- More details such as preparatory tasks will be shared after selection via email.
- You will receive a YouthPass certificate on the last day of the training.

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