Polyphony combines separate, independent melodies in a harmonious mixture. In society, it means diversity that is seen as a chance and used as a resource for development. In order not to misunderstand diversity for artificial division of society, this diversity has to be experienced within democratic rules. In order to avoid polyphony transforming into a cacophony, the former requires effective communication formats. After all, every voice of polyphony occasionally leads the main theme, while the others create harmonious background for it. This requires trust – trust to the difference, to each other and to the process.
In recent months and years, both Ukraine and the European Union felt the powerful energy of a new wave of civic participation, which occurred in context of both similar and dissimilar crises. At the heart of this wave, we can find the diversity of personal stories of compassion and polyphony of views on the future course of the society development. However, today both Ukraine and the EU raise the question of (new) limits of diversity and (new) boundaries of identity: How much difference can we “bear” and how to transfer its potential into real innovations? How to stabilize communities and unite society around democratic values and the right to diversity? And last but not least: what is the common denominator of European identity for all of us – including Germans, British, Greeks, refugees in the EU and Ukrainians?
We invite you to discuss these issues and seek common but at the same time individual answers, share best practices and forge quality partnerships both within Ukraine and at the European level. For the first time we travel abroad with the Forum UkraineLab. This Forum is a mosaic of personal stories of community activists, cultural innovators, educators, social entrepreneurs, journalists, academics and civil activists who implement the innovative and important initiatives for the development of a diverse European society in Ukraine.
About the Forum’s programme
During the Forum we will work in a large joint group as well as in compact professional groups. These professional groups – so-called thematic clusters – will seek innovative solutions in frameworks of the following sub-themes:
- Polyphony in education: new approaches in formal and non-formal education for a diverse society
- Polyphony in culture: cultural innovations and provocations for a harmonious society
- Polyphony in society: active development of effective tools for dialogue and integration under the circumstances of (forced) migration
- Polyphony in innovation: potential(s) of social and scientific innovations for the cohesion of the society
- Polyphony in politics: discourse of European identity and diversity in Ukraine – EU political relations
- Polyphony in media: Ukrainian and European journalism between versatility and propaganda
The Forum combines different formats: fair of organizations, working groups, practical workshops, individual communication and many others. Logistically the Forum will be dispersed in various locations in Berlin, where the separate parts of the programme will be held.
About the UkraineLab’s network
The UkraineLab is an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral network for agents of change and a think tank which produces innovative solutions for the civil society and culture of Ukraine. During the six months of the programme about 200 professionals and agents of change from Ukraine and other European countries joined the network, three forums were held and about 40 mobilities among network participants were supported.
About participation in the Forum
Potential Forum participants can live in Ukraine or abroad, know the country by nature or begun engaging themselves in projects in Ukraine only a few months ago. These people work in different sectors, speak different languages and have different cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, they share a commitment to innovation, they appreciate diversity and they are motivated to work for the European society in Ukraine.
If you recognize yourself in the description above, apply to participate in the Forum till 1st (including) of June, 2016 through the following link application.
During the selection of participants priority will be given to applicants who:
- are ready to bring innovative practices within the Forum topics to Berlin;
- clearly see the personal and organizational goals of participation in the Forum;
- value a quality of equal partnership and consider the Forum as a platform for cooperation;
- are willing to co-create the Forum programme and have appropriate proposals;
- provide realistic plan of transferring the received contacts and knowledge into their own organization and / or activities after returning from the Forum;
- are interested in the medium and long-term perspective to be an active part of the network UkraineLab
During the selection of participants attention is also paid to creating a harmonious team of old UkraineLab network members and new faces, representatives of different nationalities and different regions of Ukraine and people representing different sectors.
About the organizational details
Forum “UkraineLab: Playing polyphony of the society. Exploring the European identity” will be held on September 19–22, 2016 in Berlin. The organizers cover travel expenses, accommodation and meals during all days of the event and provide visa support. More information about organizational details selected participants will receive with the invitation to participate in the Forum.
The Ukrainian side of the Forum UkraineLab is represented by the NGO Insha Osvita whose activity covers whole Ukraine since 2010 and it focuses on quality management of non-formal education and adult education. Forum’s partner from the German side is the Association MitOst, which has been developing a diverse and open network in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe with its eastern neighbours for 15 years in a row already. The Forum “UkraineLab: Playing polyphony of the society. Exploring the European identity” is held as a part of the project Dialogue for Change supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.