Liveblog 2016

We are live blogging the whole event. Stay tuned!

Lisa Richter September 27, 20162:49 pm

After an amazing week the Autumn Academy has come to an end. Thanks to all the great participants and speakers for being with us and congratulations on eight creative and progressive project proposals!

Lisa Richter September 27, 20162:49 pm

Don’t forget to check out our online dossier, where additional articles will be published over the next few days. Many thanks to Jessica Schober, Katharin Thai and Evgeny Makarov for doing such a great job at covering the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy!

Lisa Richter September 27, 20162:42 pm

What is our participants’ take on how to save Europe? Have a look at the Academy’s online dossier to find out what Miruna, Kostas, Simone and Laura suggest

Lisa Richter September 24, 20165:19 pm

Lisa Richter September 24, 20165:19 pm

Lisa Richter September 24, 20165:14 pm
Our academy wraps up with one final round of prototypes – and eight intercultural project teams for eight great ideas
Lisa Richter September 24, 20161:54 pm

STEP 5: Test & Refine

After this creative hour, eight different project groups present their physical prototypes for the first time. After they got feedback from the other groups, they have another hour for refining their models.

Lisa Richter September 24, 201612:15 pm

Andrea’s enjoying the open-air-prototyping

Lisa Richter September 24, 201612:11 pm

Next challenge: Use glue, scissors, wooden panels, feathers and these fancy materials to transform the intellectual prototypes into physical models:

Lisa Richter September 24, 201611:30 am

…while Dominka and Irene are introducing the “Critical Society Project” which aims to increase peoples’ ability to critically evaluate media

Lisa Richter September 24, 201611:12 am

Laura is presenting the ‘intellectual prototype’ of the project “Smart Housing for Inclusive Communities”

Lisa Richter September 24, 201610:55 am
The working groups are now creating posters explaining the main idea and key features of their projects

Lisa Richter September 24, 201610:23 am
Step 4: Prototype.

Lisa Richter September 24, 201610:22 am

Welcome to the last day of the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy!

Katharin Tai September 23, 20165:20 pm

It is getting exciting! After an intense day of generating ideas, we we are now seeing the first project presentations. Really impressive projects to increase awareness for unpaid interns, raise more independent students or help people get in touch with refugees more often are in the making here.

Jessica Schober September 23, 201612:03 pm

We are now reaching Step 3 in the Design Thinking process: The transition

from defining to ideating.

There are lying several questions on the floor like e.g. “How might we… find a way to increase the felixibilty of teh labour market while at the same time provide adequate security and rights to the workers?”

Jessica Schober September 23, 201610:59 am

People from eleven European countries have been working together in the Autumn Academy already for the whole week. Great teamwork, fascinating thoughts! Right now, we are in the middle of Design Thinking process to come up with new ideas to redesign Europe. Stay tuned for results of this exercise during the weekend

Jessica Schober September 23, 20169:53 am

Step 2: DEFINE
How might we… ? Participants are now asked to turn needs into questions.
„So, now we start to focus on possible solutions“, says Andreas Karsten.

Jessica Schober September 22, 20166:54 pm

Today the participants of Autumn Academy created prototypes of eurosceptics to understand their motivations and needs. Design Thinking expert Andreas Karsten summed it up with these words: “If think we have discovered a couple of good monsters!”

Jessica Schober September 22, 20164:18 pm

“Ask with the curiosity of a child to understand the character you defined”, says Andread Karsten. Here Andrea presents the character she has chosen to work with: “The kid, that is NOT interested in politics”

Jessica Schober September 22, 20163:41 pm


Next step is examining the collected characters further. Andreas Karsten says: “Pick a person you really want to understand from the inside and try to describe the person as precisely as possible. I, for example, sometimes really want to understand Nigel Farage and understand where all his hate comes from – so at this step of the process I imagine having a couple of bottles of wine with him…”

Jessica Schober September 22, 20163:21 pm

Participants have collected and clustered possible characters in the fields of education, labour and extremism – and are now sharing their ideas.

Jessica Schober September 22, 20163:20 pm

Today is all about trying out new ways of thinking about Europe – hope you enjoyed the lunchbreak at – and in – Werbellinsee

Jessica Schober September 22, 201612:54 pm

Yesterday we had a great discussion with Norbert Spinrath MP and the participants of Autumn Academy. Read their talk here:

Jessica Schober September 22, 201611:37 am

Step 1: Empathise

Participants are just collecting the possible characters relevant for solving the problem. In our case, considering extremism, this could be e.g. “Mister Anti-Political-Correctness” or a persons who says “I am not racist, but…”

Jessica Schober September 22, 201611:22 am

Katharin Tai September 22, 201610:43 am

Design Thinking was originally used in actual design and product development – this week, we’ll see whether it can work with political education as well. Usually, people like to fully develop their projects and then introduce them to an audience as a whole, but Design Thinking challenges you to test parts of your project as quickly as possible.

Jessica Schober September 22, 201610:41 am

Design-Thinking is 5-step-process: empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test & refine

Jessica Schober September 22, 201610:36 am

„Put as many of ideas as possible on the table and filter out the golden ones!“

Jessica Schober September 22, 201610:29 am

„With the marshmallow challenge you learn how to fail frequently“, says Andreas Karsten.
Kids in kindergarten build the highest structures (about 1 meter), managers built the smallest towers and often they are instable.

Lesson learned from building Spaghetti towers: When you put
together only people of the same mindset, they are more likely to fail.

Jessica Schober September 22, 201610:20 am

“We have to make a foundation first“ – good quotes to start the with. No matter if you want to design a spaghetti-tower or a better Europe.

Jessica Schober September 22, 20169:51 am

Now the Design Thinking introduction starts in Joachimsthal. There are marshmallows and spaghetti on the tables…

Lisa Richter September 22, 20168:05 am

After three days full of presentations, discussions, and talks our group has left Berlin for continuing the FES European Autumn Academy in Joachimsthal, Brandenburg. Here, the participants will turn their knowledge into practice by developing their own project proposals. To help them think out of the box, we’ll be using the Design Thinking approach.

Lisa Richter September 22, 20167:50 am

Lisa Richter September 22, 20167:49 am

Lisa Richter September 21, 20164:52 pm

Lisa Richter September 21, 20164:50 pm

Before leaving Berlin for the 2nd part of the Autumn Academy, the group reflects on what was learned over the last three days

Jessica Schober September 21, 20164:13 pm

“I really look forward to you guys continuing your group discussion in the woods”, says Cristina Bacalso, examining the first ideas of participants of FES Autumn Academy.

Jessica Schober September 21, 20163:36 pm

Yesterday we learned about Kiron University. Here you can find our article in the Online Dossier:

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:31 pm

In small groups, the participants are now discussing dimensions of power that need to be challenged in order to create visions for a more democratic and equal Europe

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:27 pm

18 young researchers from around the world contributed to this project to understand, and later call for, an enabling environment in three focus areas: participation, protection, and livelihoods. The target population is children and youth, and the conditions required for their development. You can download the full report here:

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:16 pm

Cristina Bacalao presents “From Rhetoric to Action” – a research project on the enabling environment for child and youth development, featuring youth-led participatory research methodology.

Jessica Schober September 21, 20162:09 pm

„Transformative, fundamental change happens in those rare

moments when social movements or social actors are able to work effectively accros
each oft he dimensions simultaneously“ (Gaventa 2006)

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:08 pm

There are three different forms of power: VISIBLE power (observable decision-making), HIDDEN power (setting the political agenda) and INVISIBLE power (shaping meaning and what is acceptable)

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:08 pm

Cristina Bacalso, research coordinator at the Berlin-based think-tank Youth Policy Labs is speaking about youth empowerment and participation.

Jessica Schober September 21, 20162:05 pm

Christina Bacalsco is talking about Gaventa’s Powercube:

Read more on:

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:03 pm

Sebastian Serafin, policy officer at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, is introducing the FES publication “Right-wing extremism in Europe”. You can also find it online at

Lisa Richter September 21, 20162:01 pm

After another sunny lunch break it’s time for a quick energizer 🙂

Lisa September 21, 201611:23 am

Norbert Spinrath: “If there’s a fear that is unfounded, my answer as an politician is not to follow populist strategies, but to take these fears seriously and try everything to minimize these fears.”

Lisa September 21, 201611:19 am

Spinrath: “The vision of Europe was not only peace, it was also welfare and social equality. And this doesn’t work right now”

Lisa September 21, 201611:17 am

And now, Norbert Spinrath, member of the German parliament Bundestag, is discussing challenges of the EU and future prospects of a European social democracy

Lisa September 21, 201611:11 am

Dr. Abou-Chadi’s thought-provoking input has sparked lots of discussions

Jessica Schober September 21, 201610:31 am

Here is the feature at that Dr. Abou-Chadi just mentioned as an excellent overview about the far right white riot:

Lisa September 21, 201610:24 am

And another good read: David Art (2013): Inside the radical right – The development of anti-immigration parties in Western Europe

Jessica Schober September 21, 201610:21 am

To quote Clinton, Dr. Tarik Abou-Chadi said when explaining causes for the rise of right-wing European populists: “It’s NOT the economy, stupid”

Lisa September 21, 201610:21 am

Abou-Chadi: “Neoliberalism is not the structural driving force of the radical right, but value change is”.

Lisa September 21, 201610:15 am

Too centrist main stream parties may help the rise of radical right parties.

Lisa September 21, 201610:13 am
Are radical right parties a driving force or a by-product?
Lisa September 21, 20169:52 am

Click here for Tarik Abou-Chadis paper “Niche Party Success and Mainstream Party Policy Shifts – How Green and Radical Right Parties Differ in Their Impact” (British Journal of Political Sciences, 2016)

Lisa September 21, 20169:50 am

Abou-Chadi states that transformations of post-industrial societies are crucial to unterstand radical right success, since these transformations have altered socio-economic structures

Jessica Schober September 21, 20169:49 am

Just learned a new word in Dr. Tarik Abou-Chadi’s super interesting presentation: Welfare-chauvinism. Here is a good read about that:

Lisa September 21, 20169:48 am

Radical right populist parties have a different electorate, a different position, different types of activists, are more successful, and are more dangerous

Lisa September 21, 20169:44 am

Abou-Chadi: “Populist radical right parties are not neo-fascist parties”

Lisa September 21, 20169:43 am

When are people expats and when are they immigrants?

Lisa September 21, 20169:33 am

Nativism is an element all populist radical right parties share, whereas populism is nothing unique to the radical right

Lisa September 21, 20169:29 am

The fact that Denmark has such a successful right-wing populist party contradicts the famous assumption that right-wing populism is a phenomenon of the working class

Lisa September 21, 20169:27 am

Abou-Chadi: “Front National is the prototype of a populist radical right party”

Lisa September 21, 20169:23 am

The more anti-immigration people are, the more likely it is that they vote for right-wing populists.

Lisa September 21, 20169:21 am

In the Berlin elections last Sunday, 12.000 people who voted for the Pirate Party 5 years ago, have now voted for the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD)

Lisa September 21, 20169:17 am

The day starts with a lecture by Dr. Tarik-Abou Chadi, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at Humboldt-University Berlin, on the success of right-wing radical parties in Europe

Lisa September 21, 20169:17 am

Good morning everyone and welcome back to the FES European Autumn Academy!

Lisa September 20, 20165:28 pm

Anne Aulinger, research associate in the office of Susann Rühtrich, member of the Bundestag (SPD), is introducing the network for democracy and courage (Netzwerk für Demokratie und Courage).

Lisa September 20, 20164:53 pm
Visit for the open access journal JEX – Journal for Deradicalization and Democratic Culture

Lisa September 20, 20164:48 pm

Unbeknown to the participants, the demonstration route was decorated with posters, banners and road markings, using motivational phrases and typical competition elements like a start and finish line to make it look like a sporting event. For every metre the neo-Nazis covered, €10 went to EXIT-Deutschland.

Lisa September 20, 20164:47 pm

In 2015, EXIT-Germany transformed a neo-Nazis’ funeral march in the city of Wunsiedel into “Germany’s most involuntary charity walk”. With every step the neo-Nazis took they were unwittingly making a stand against right-wing radicalism.

Lisa September 20, 20164:36 pm

Case manager Fabian Wichmann presenting the work of EXIT-Germany – an initiative assisting individuals, who want to leave the extreme right-wing movement and start a new life.

Lisa September 20, 20164:29 pm

After two insightful sessions with the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the educational initiative “Was bildet ihr uns ein” we are now diving into the third thematic bloc of the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy: Growing right-wing populism and radicalism as side-effects of growing inequalities.

Lydia September 20, 20163:11 pm

What should education in Europe look like? And how could we change education?

These two questions, Rainald Manthe wants to discuss with the participants, could be one starting point for design thinking process planned for the upcoming days.

Jessica Schober September 20, 20163:00 pm

Michael Wagner from National Youth Secretary of the German Trade Union is just explaining the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and the Youth Guarantee. If you want to learn more about it check out this website:

The YEI typically supports the provision of:
– apprenticeships,
– traineeships,
– job placements and
– further education leading to a qualification.

If you want to learn more about the “Youth Guarantee”, check out this video:

Lydia September 20, 20162:48 pm

Are schools a part of national identity?

Jessica Schober September 20, 20162:40 pm

Today we have two new blogposts for you in our online dossier: Unpacking Inequality and 10 facts about EU Cohesion Policy you might not have known

Lydia September 20, 20162:39 pm

There are diverse points of view among the participants while discussing the pros and cons of the Bologna process.

Jessica Schober September 20, 20162:35 pm

There is a lack of influence of young workers in the European
Trade Unions”, admits Florian Haggenmiller, National Youth Secretary of the German Trade Union.

Jessica Schober September 20, 20162:26 pm

At the Centre of German Trade Union DGB Florian Haggenmiler is highlighting the importance of current situation of young workers in Europe: “If European youth is now left without perspectives we are
in danger of losing the acceptance of a whole pro-EU generation“

Lydia September 20, 20162:12 pm

After a sunny lunch break we are happy to welcome Rainald Manthe, who founded and is working with ” Was bildet ihr uns ein? “.

Lydia September 20, 20162:10 pm

After a sunny lunch break we are happy to welcome Rainald Manthe, who founded and is working with ” Was bildet ihr uns ein? “.

Lisa September 20, 201612:12 pm

Alan from Damascus, 29, is studying cyber security at Kiron university

Jessica Schober September 20, 201611:58 am

This is the crowdfunding video that helped Kiron university to collect 500.000 Euro to start their project:

Lisa September 20, 201611:44 am

Kiron’s solution is to combine online and offline-learning

Lydia September 20, 201611:38 am

Nora Hauptmann is talking about Kiron’s aim: to empower refugees to live a self-determined life by offering higher education.

Lisa September 20, 201611:30 am

Participants are discussing barriers for refugees and migrants to access higher education in European countries.

Lydia September 20, 201611:18 am

The UNHCR identified four barriers in their Education Strategy fom 2012 – 2016: Costs, Legal, College capacity and Language.

Lisa September 20, 201611:17 am

Narmatha: “The German education system is not flexible.” Kiron’s aim is to empower refugees to live a self-determined life by offering higher education.

Jessica Schober September 20, 201611:15 am

“34% of youth around the world go to university.

Only 1% of
refugee youth go to university.”

Displaced persons are facing any challenges in Higher Education

Lisa September 20, 201611:13 am
Nora Hauptmann and Narmatha Sivanesan are introducing Kiron – World-Class Education for Refugees. Kiron’s vision is to provide millions of refugees worldwide with the opportunity to graduate with an accredited university degree, free of charge.
Lisa September 20, 201610:44 am

After the morning input session by the European Commission, it’s time for the first energizer!

Jessica Schober September 20, 201610:34 am

Watch the video which Hans Dostert, Representation of the European Commission in Germany, showed to us here:

Lisa September 20, 201610:32 am

Does the European Union have image and marketing problems?

Lisa September 20, 201610:32 am

Would the Brexit have happened if people knew more about how the EU works and what benefits a EU membership offers?

Lisa September 20, 201610:04 am

In 2012, the European Commission launched the Youth Employment Initiative, a programme to fight youth unemployment with a budget of €6.4 billion. But how successful can this initative be if there’s still every second young person in Southern Europe unemployed?

Jessica Schober September 20, 20169:54 am

Hans Drostert, Representation of the European Commission in Germany, gives and overview of European Cohesion Policy

Lisa September 20, 20169:33 am

The day starts with an introduction on European regional policy by Hans Dostert, spokesman of the Representation of the European Commission in Germany.

Lisa September 20, 20169:33 am

Welcome to the 2nd day of the FES European Autumn Academy!

Jessica Schober September 20, 20168:17 am

Good morning, dear participants of the Autumn Academy. Now you can read our first post in the Dossier:

Have a great start of the day
Jessica Schober September 19, 20166:23 pm

“You had a lively discussion. Many people are interested in new solutions for Europe – me, too”, is the closing statement of Dr. Benjamin Nölting, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development.

See you tomorrow
Lisa September 19, 20165:29 pm

Lisa September 19, 20165:21 pm

What are relevant criteria for socioeconomic disparity? Vivid discussions amongst the participants

Lisa September 19, 20165:17 pm

Tomorrow, the issue of youth unemployment in Europe will be further discussed with Florian Hagenmiller, youth secretary of the German trade union confederation, DGB.

Lisa September 19, 20165:12 pm

In some EU Member States, e.g. Greece and Spain, the youth unemployment rate is higher than 50 per cent, while in other countries – such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria – it is below 10 per cent. Further information provides the FES study “Youth unemployment in Europe – Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings”

Lisa September 19, 20165:03 pm

Dr. Benjamin Nölting, director of the Master’s programme “Strategic Sustainability Management” at Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, is now giving an introductory input about socioeconomic disparities in Europe

Lisa September 19, 20162:53 pm

If you wanna know what lies ahead: Click here for the Academy’s programme.

Lisa September 19, 20162:50 pm

Yvonne explains the main objective of this week: Making Europe a little bit better.

Lisa September 19, 20162:46 pm

And now Yvonne Lehmann, policy officer at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and project lead of the FES European Autumn Academy, is welcoming the participants and introducing the team.

Lisa September 19, 20162:42 pm

Peer Krumrey and Juliane Schulte are introducing FES’s work in the departments of Western Europe and North America (WENA) and Middle and Eastern Europe (MOE).

Lisa September 19, 20162:21 pm

Lisa September 19, 20162:16 pm

Dr. Stefanie Elies, head of department, is opening the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy: “It is utterly time to redesigning Europe. You can initiate change!”

Lisa September 19, 20162:13 pm

This year academy’s main focus will be on the issues of (youth) unemployment, the rise of right-wing radicalism and inequalities in education.

Lisa September 19, 20162:11 pm

Welcome to the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy! 24 participants from more than 9 countries made their way to Berlin to discuss some of the main challenges the European Union is facing.

Lisa September 16, 201611:32 am

Follow us on Twitter! fes_aa16

Lisa September 16, 201611:22 am

Only two days to go until the 25 participants of the 2nd FES European Autumn Academy will meet in Berlin. We are live blogging the whole week and keep you updated!

4 thoughts on “Liveblog 2016

    • Thanks, Irene, that’s so nice to read that. We are excited to present the results of this Academy soon. Stay tuned, best regards

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