This was the last day of NECE 2016: Focus and Farewell

The third and last day of NECE 2016 started out with a little delay due to extended discussions on and offsite of the concert at the National Library the evening before. As the participants of NECE 2016 were getting their minds back into conference mode, three parallel panels and a workshop of the Alumni Group „Shaping Europe – Civic Education in Action“ started simultaneously on the second and third floor of the Lisinski hall, which made it easy to pass by and switch inbetween the discussions.

On the second floor, Eddy Habben Jansen and Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk from ProDemos discussed infrastructures of project funding in the field of citizenship education together with Milan Hrubeš, Benjamin Kurc and Alicja Pacewicz. As Eddy Habben Jansen pointed out during the talk, no initiative can get very far without funding. Facing this necessity, he as well as the other speakers shared a lot of useful inside knowledge and hands on advice.

Simultaneously, Michalis Kakos, David Kerr, 
Sogol Noorani,
Yulia Pererva and Vedrana Spajić-Vrkaš tried to identify future scenarios and trends for citizenship education. In a third group, Marko Kovačić, Martin Pairet, Vladimir Sestovic and Moez Ali, Nelly Corbel and Petra Grüne engaged in a discussion on obstacles and chances of networking in the field of political activism and citizenship education.  

Getting concrete: In-depth discussions all over the place

While some of the discussions still went on, the participants of friday’s scenario exercise presented their outcomes in the Small Hall and opened a gap between a very optimistic „Alice in Wonderland Scenario“ and a rather pessimistic and bleak outlook on the future of Europe.

In the meantime the wall installed to allow every participant to suggest a topic and open a discussion group within the Open Space scheduled after the coffee break (or let’s say, precious networking time), filled with content. Everyone who didn't decide to host an Open Space workshop would pick a topic of interest or also switch inbetween the groups and listen randomly.

Crowds of ten to twenty people were thus gathering in circles all across the second floor of the Lisinski hall to discuss different topics. The speakers of the previous days were mingling among the participants to adress topics as the following:

        Does it really work? How to measure impact in Citizenship Education

        Civic Education in Europe beyond the Eurobubble

        Renewing the „hard to reach“ – Focus Group

        Media fact checking: How to counter narratives in media spreading fear & polarization

        SIRIUS policy network on migrant education

        Languages used to talk about migration – How it effects our atitude

        Countering hate with hope: Strategies for communication and education in a postfactual world 

        Democracy and Human Rights education in Europe-why advocacy is necessary on a european level

        Inclusion of Roma

        Need for Global and International Education

        Political Crisis: How to put citizenship education on the street

        Continuation of the Consultation Panel

        Talking about Home - Am I homeless?

Filled up once again with more knowledge, new contacts and inspiration, everyone gathered in the small hall for a farewell session after the Open Space. Almut Möller and Susanne Ulrich looked back at the conference, summarizing the different programme parts.

A live voting session with the audience tried to grasp flashes of opinion on the prevously discussed topics and opinions and give a voice to also the more quiet but not less valuable participants of NECE. While only about eight people culd identify with David Goodhart’s view regarding the possibility of a society being „too open“, a vast majority stated to be confident in the real impact of citizenship education.


When everybody was asked to talk to their neighbors about insights at and further perspectives of NECE, engaged conversations started all across the hall. Some of the perspectives could then be shared, as participants were invited on stage for short statements. Among a wide variety of expressing thankfulness (tears were showing), a lot of encouraging thoughts were shared. Especially an appeal to continue right away with one of the basic elements of citizenship education, boiled down to the hashtag #talktostrangers, earned loud applause.

Thanking the „invisible supporters“ of the event, the organizers and once again every single participant, the farewell was completed whilst the NECE talk went on throughout the following lunch reception and most certainly still is going on all across Europe and beyond - whenever and whereever you are reading these lines.

Citizenship Education
Conference Day: 

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