KISS project visited Athens (Greece) from 26 May to 1 June for the international training course for developing competencies on social sustainability, entitled “Sustain your SSE initiative and organization”. The trainers Sylvain Abrial (Kaléido’Scop, St. Etienne) and Martin Habiague (Mescladis, Barcelona) accompanied the participants in the demanding journey of analyzing our own SSE initiatives and projects through the lenses of sustainability: democracy and transparency, cooperation and networking, decision-making and leadership, combining economic sustainability and values of SSE, recognition and other topics were presented, explored through non-formal learning methodology, discussed and further elaborated every day by the participants together with the trainers. The concrete results, apart from the individual learning that each participant will bring back to their own organization, are the foundations for the upcming model of Sustainable Development Plan, that will be tested and finalized at the Learning Seminar of KISS project in St. Etienne, on July 2018.
This is what some participants say about their individual and collective experience
“The training course has been for me, especially, an opportunity to explore the differences between the points of view of people who start from common principles. Usually, in our societies, we spend most of our energies - and it is something very necessary - in trying to convince others about the need for social, political, economic and environmental change. This task may not leave space for a deeper reflection. The atmosphere of the training course, instead, stimulated the exchange of ideas, and allowed us to grow, something for which we often do not have time. I feel that I have grown as a person, that I have learned a lot, and today I feel more prepared - with more tools - to undertake the change demanded by the future”
“The training was composed of theoretical inputs and dynamic activities. I was really interested by the theoretical inputs and I hope I will have the opportunity to practice them in my future professional life. I hope also to have more time to find out some of the notions that were mentioned during the week. The practical activities were challenging for me, because I'm not used to express feelings with my body.”
Some of the tools and procedures shared during the training, particularly in decision-making, planning and time-management, will surely help us to understand and solve at a greater extent the problems that our project faces in its everyday functioning. We will need to process some information and tools provided, to find some ways to use them in a way that fit us.
In addition there some possible networking links that we must exploit.
“I grew a lot both as a professional and as a person thanks to the interaction and sharing with the rest of the group. The strong of feeling of inclusion and acceptance has allowed each one of us to feel free to be themselves and to contribute freely and with safety to the discussions.”
“The training course has been an important opportunity to approach with a broader view the challenges that an organization faces in its everyday management. I'm also very grateful for having met interesting and nice people developing social and solidarity initiatives: the exchange has been really enriching!”
“Beyond the multitude of reflections that we all had about our way of managing our projects and the obstacles we faces in our SSE "worlds", it was a deep reflection about myself. There are many things that we can change, but we need to think about our daily actions, about what are my responsibilities in the society I live in. I/we should improve our flexibility/ability to communicate and understand others, so to evolve together.”
“On a personal level, I take back home the motivation and the energy of every member of the group, despite the different approaches that we have at SSE. I personally felt really comfortable with the group, something that is very helpful at this point of my life and this allowed me to increase my motivation for participating actively in the training.”
“It was an intense and enriching experience. I was amazed at the way in which some concepts, that I was already familiar with, were analyzed and explored from a new perspective, the one of sustainability, and acquired new meanings for me. This was mainly possible thanks to the high degree of competence of the trainers. Jafra Foundation, the venue that hosted us throughout the training, was a winning choice! I can only thank sincerely all the people who helped make this week so special.”