Social capital: a new CSC project to integrate migrants and young people who have dropped school

Mar 20, 2020News

In recent years we have moved from the “Information Economy” to the “Connection Economy”. Our societies are now founded on the principle that “what you know” is not important, but “who you know”. The “Building social bridges by Entrepreneurial Thinking” project was born from this belief.

The kick-off of this new CSC project took place on 20 and 21 November 2019 in Graz in Austria and involved five partners from five different countries: Verein Niedersächsischer Bildungsinitiativen e.V. – coordinator (Germany), Center for Creative Development Danilo Dolci (Italy), Videnscenter for Integration (Denmark), CARDET (Cyprus), uniT – Verein für Kultur an der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (Austria).

The project is funded by DG Education and Culture – Erasmus + programme, KA2 Strategic partnerships in adult education.

“Building Social Bridges by Entrepreneurial Thinking” aims at facilitating and paving the way for sustainable social inclusion among socially marginalized groups through improving their entrepreneurial mindset and competences. The project focuses on increasing social capital which often goes hand in hand with the increasing of cultural and economic capital. Social capital has commonly been used as a term to characterize the networks that link people together in useful ways (bridging capital) and build reciprocity and social solidarity through shared norms and loyalties (bonding capital). Social capital is a constructive source of participation and community relations; thus it is an important resource for adult learners aiming at better accessing labour market, local communities and social groups. The main strategy to achieve this goal is to work with role models – preferable role models who have faced challenges comparable to those the learners are facing. Role models will be people who achieved to build social bridges against all the external circumstances and obstacles.

Objectives

  • To highlight the importance of building bridges to external environments, and how helpful communities, associations etc. are for gathering a better position and voice in local societies;
  • To assess the beneficiaries’ entrepreneurial competences by different methods (i.e. portfolio work) and give them feedback. This will be done in workshops and trainings;
  • To improve the entrepreneurial competences and change the entrepreneurial mindset by a process of dialogue with the role models and the reflection on this experience. 

The partners will work on the objectives with different methods due to their strengths – creative methods, blended and online learning.

Activities and results

The project will result in 3 intellectual outputs:

  • A review on recent research of good practice in working on the entrepreneurial mindset and competences and of working with role models;
  • Portraits of role models for entrepreneurial thinking, highlighting why people have had success and have been able to increase their social capital and we will make the findings accessible to the public. These role models will come out of the beneficiary groups of the project. At the end there will be portraits and descriptions of these role models and their secrets, accessible for the public and useable for educational activities, aiming at fostering entrepreneurial thinking and beyond;
  • A toolkit for teachers, trainers, stakeholders and multipliers from adult learning institutions and other educational / social sectors, in which the training programme developed in the project will be published together with the training methodologies applied by the partners, and learning experiences made by training participants. 

The next project meeting will take place in Vejle in Denmark in March 2020. 

The “Building social bridges by Entrepreneurial Thinking” project lasts 25 months and is coordinated for the  Center for Creative Development “Danilo Dolci” by Dario Ferrante dario.ferrante@danilodolci.org.