FES Autumn Academy 2016

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Foundation) is pleased to invite 25 participants from different EU Member States to Berlin and Joachimsthal, Germany, from 19-25 September 2016.


The European Union is drifting apart. Despite of an overall good economic situation, not all regions benefit from growth. In fact, many European countries, particularly those in the South, are in a vicious circle of debt, unemployment, and emigration.The resulting consequences are especially painful for the young generation, as they are often barred from accessing the labour market even with high levels of education.

Against the backdrop of the precarious situation and disadvantages young people are facing in Europe today the FES European Autumn Academy will look at the following questions: How can we keep Europe together? What values do we stand for? And how can we overcome inequalities?

In a first step, emphasis will be put on disparities in the fields of education and employment. Secondly, we will investigate how inequalities affect democracy in Europe, taken into account the rise of populist parties and the increasing nationalism and racism across the EU Member States. Thirdly, the current situation of the newly arriving young refugees and asylum seekers and their necessary integration will be discussed. Finally, the Academy will look at and discuss good practices across Europe, where young people have been mobilised and engaged themselves in the democratic process.

The FES Autumn Academy’s aim is to develop solutions from the perspective of young people through dialogue between practitioners, researchers and policy-makers. Therefore, the first part of the Academy, which takes place in Berlin, will include study trips and discussions with experts from politics, research and civil society.

Building upon these information, participants will be debating and proposing their individual approach to combat inequalities by developing their own project ideas during a “Think Lab”. This Lab will take place outside Berlin in Joachimsthal, a small town in Brandenburg, idyllically located at Lake Werbellinsee. To guide this creative process, the Design Thinking Approach will be applied.

At the end of the FES European Autumn Academy,  a jury consisting of representatives from several FES departments will choose one of these project ideas which will be supported subsequently by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Click here for the current draft of the programme.


  1. Discuss and disseminate knowledge on inequalities, in particular in the areas of education and labour market in Europe and beyond;
  2. Learn about instruments to overcome inequalities
  3. Discuss how inequalities can contribute to the rise of rightwing populism and extremism in Europe and what to do against it
  4. Share good practice about the key issues of the Autumn Academy;
  5. Learn about and use methods of youth empowerment
  6. Identify challenges and research gaps, draw conclusions and formulate recommendations
  7. Learn about creative methodes while applying the Design Thinking Approach


  1. Produce a better knowledge on the situations of young Europeans in in the areas of education and labour market and identify policies and practices to overcome obstacles;
  2. Showcase good practice of addressing inequalities and draw conclusions for policy and practice
  3. Build networks across Europe and exchange experiences.
  4. The outcome will also be published online as well as in a report summarising the discussions and reflections.
  5. Altogether, the results could also feed the discussions on social cohesion focusing on the young generation, leading to recommendations or conclusions.


Where? Berlin and Joachimsthal, Germany
When?  19 – 25 September 2016
Who?  25 students from 28 EU Member States, aged 18-30
How? Fill in the application form and upload your CV. The application deadline has been extended to 9 August 2016.

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) will cover all expenses including accommodation and travel costs.

The FES Autumn Academy is accompanied by the Berlin-based NGO Demokratie & Dialog e.V.