Bram Dewolfs' Residency (Brussels)
A Toolkit for Urban Pedagogy, Sustainability Education and (Young) Citizen's Participation in light of the 2030 Agenda.
In collaboration with the Flemish Ministry of Culture, the Residency program of Medialab-Prado is hosting Bram Dewolfs. Bram, living and working in Brussels, is an urban activist, civic designer, placemaker and education expert. In 2014 he co-founded Urban Foxes, an NGO striving for healthy, inclusive and co-creative cities. The activities lie on the cross-section of urban pedagogy, placemaking, (youth) participation and non-formal education both locally as on an EU level. Thereby co-creating engaging, fun and impactful tools to involve all stakeholders in the city making process. Last year he founded the Academy for Urban Action - a form of action-based research with young people working on sustainability education, urban topics and activism - and is now working at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel developing this experimental methodology.
At the moment we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our human history. Environment, climate change, and sustainable developments are things that affect us all. Increased natural disasters, armed conflicts and large-scale migration movements are a predicted result of such growing global ecological imbalance. And as the future generation, young people are especially at risk to suffer the effects. So far, young people have been left out for the most part out of our decision-making and it is fair to say that things are being decided for them. Objectification, manipulation and tokenism are just a few of the ways how our youth is being treated.
The U.N. highlights the importance of including young people in the process of achieving the 2030 goals on the one hand, and to stimulate critical awareness and youth participation in the matters on the other. It is therefore important to start and treat young people as equal partners in our society. What is needed to spark civic engagement and inform and engage young people in these matters is to design adequate and attractive tools. This toolkit will offer several ways to inform, include and engage young citizens in the matters of sustainable development & participation in co-creating healthy and inclusive societies. As cities will play an important role in a sustainable transition, this toolkit will focus on urban challenges and themes
This toolkit will offer a range of ways to work with (young) people on sustainability education, urban pedagogy and citizen's participation. These different activities will always try to have a low-threshold, be engaging but most of all spark fun and civic engagement. It's an attempt to rethink the current traditional work method of schools and our formal education system. Creating innovation and engagement in our education. The toolkit will offer different concrete activities and workshops, here's an overview of work in progress:
1) A Pedagogical Guide on Air Pollution: This guide will feature a learning cycle for young people (age 12-18) to work on the matters of air quality/pollution. The whole concept will be deconstructed in order for the young people to completely grasp the concept, understand the science behind it and to engage them to take charge and have an impact by co-creating output that informs and sensitizes other people on the matters. The methods used will be experience pedagogy, project based activities and non-formal learning.
2) The Urban Role-Playing Game: Urban Foxes has created an urban role-playing game where existing cases, topics and conflicts are translated into a game. In Brussels we have already developed 15 different cases. During the game the players will need to take on another persona, in other words crawl into the skin of another person and defend his/her rights. The aim of the game is to discuss, listen and come to a compromise related to the topic or space. The different players will propose a solution and even design a compromise for the existing space. For Madrid the cases of EVA and Revuelta Escolar are being developed.
3) Perspectives on a City: The blueprint and concept note for a (covid proof) podcast walk where you can see the city through the eyes of different stakeholders. Through digital auditive storytelling and walking you will discover new perspectives of your city.
A collaboration between Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Department Culture, Youth and Media, team transversal and international de Bruselas and Medialab Prado