The Power of Words | Future Narratives Training Course in Krefeld, 26-30 September 2022

In the context of our Future Narratives project, we took part in an intense training course in Krefeld, Germany and came out of it with great experiences. This training course aimed at empowering the participants to reflect on their ideas of the future. Participants were invited to reflect upon notions of power, consider the role of myths and identify grand narratives that shape our future. 

The training course activities started with a webinar a week before the actual meeting in Krefeld offered by Prof. Dr. Michael Müller on “Narratives of Populism”. Then, in Krefeld, we had a workshop offered by Annette Sickert Karaman on “Grand Narratives & Myths” aiming to build our own founding myths and cultural elements in our imagined community. That was a good step towards activating the imagination and challenging normality. 

A large part of the week involved the implementation of an actual Futures Lab. During the Futures Lab, the group was divided into two working groups, each working on one thematic category: a. A peaceful world in 2050 and b. Education in 2050. What was inspiring was that both working groups, starting from different themes, ended up focusing on wellbeing and the importance of emotions for building new narratives for the future. 

The last part of the training involved the presentation of participants’ results as part of the multiplier event which took place in a fantastic space that happens to be a community housing project! In this event, Dr. Stefan Bergheim, the director of the non-profit think tank “ZGF – Center for Social Progress”, who is also part of the core team of the UNESCO Global Futures Literacy Network, was the guest speaker. In his presentation, he invited us to imagine different futures together as a way to experience and strengthen our own future competence. 

Participants of the training week also produced a collection of video statements about the importance of thinking about the future and the creation of a storyboard on the wall of the training space using Polaroid pictures that participants could take anytime they wanted. 

It was definitely a week to remember!

When we got back to Athens, we decided to organise a very special afternoon to promote the project’s results and support the Erasmus Days tradition. In this activity, a group of high-school students, as well as past and current participants of Inter Alia’s activities, joined the creative process we designed for them. They shared their stories, talked about the importance of public space, identified what is important in their lives and dreamed about the future of their community.