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14 January 2014, Connector2014 Non-Formal Happening in Cluj

It is official, ANPCDEFP, the Agency coordinating Erasmus+ in Romania, the SHARE Cluj-Napoca Federation and Cluj-Napoca City Hall will be partners in organizing the biggest international non-formal event in Romania. Connector 2014 will take place in September and will be a first edition for preparing the even more important second edition in Cluj-Napoca, 2015’s European Youth Capital.

Why CONNECTOR?

There are thousands of people in Europe who are passionate about non-formal learning and there are hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) who benefit from it. This event is dedicated to them and to those from other fields, who wish to share and to create learning instruments and methods, which have an impact at a personal and professional level.

The time has come for the non-formal to have its own celebration. CONNECTOR creates an interactive “happening” for hundreds of people from all over Europe, people for which non-formal education is the natural choice which completes and supports their formal one. And, why not, it can help Romania position itself as a European “hub” for non-formal education.

Why Cluj-Napoca?

Besides the fact that it is a city with an incredible high cultural vitality and social effervescence, Cluj-Napoca will be the European Youth Capital in 2015. With an ambitious programme and activity plan, under the motto SHARE, it is exactly what CONNECTOR wants for non-formal education.

The 2014 edition will be the first CONNECTOR event, which represents the start of our journey. We will, of course, continue the programme in 2015, wanting to make CONNECTOR a European reference point in the next few years.

What are the objectives of the event?

The core of all learning processes is represented by the people involved. To learn by doing, to base our interactive learning methods on the needs and experiences of those involved is the key to personal and professional development.

Thus, the main objectives of our event are:

– promoting non-formal education in Romania and Europe
– to create connections between the non-formal education, the formal education and professional trainings
– to develop a space for identifying the common needs and challenges of all the stakeholders involved
– to develop solutions for the identified problems, challenges through projects and network activities
– to create a collaborative platform for sharing methods, instruments, practices and efficient ideas for education.

What is its structure?

The event is structured in three main topics (pillars): LABORATOR+, INCUBATOR+ and CONNECTOR+

LABORATORY+

Inspired from the experience of the first five editions of the non-formal laboratory (laboratorul nonformal) the first pillar of our event aims to create a space for SHARING and experimenting with different learning methods and instruments, in a two phase process. In the first phase experienced professionals in this field can present their ideas and proposals during the workshops and training courses held in the first two days of the event. The second phase of this activity will take place during the last two days of the event, when the participants will be able to present their conclusion in the form of shows, performances or activities, involving the local community.

INCUBATOR+

According to its official definition the incubator is an apparatus with a chamber used to provide controlled environmental conditions especially for the cultivation of microorganisms or the care and protection of premature or sick babies. Lately this expression is more and more used in the sense of an organization or place that aids the development of new ideas.

To provide a place or space for this, the third day of the event will be dedicated to the exchange of ideas, practices, experiences of participants, with the aim of identifying activities and projects which than can be developed in collaboration. The INCUBATOR+ uses a methodology inspired by the experiences of the first three editions of Volunteque and will use Open Space Technology.

CONNECTOR+

Due to the desire to connect as many non-formal education-passionates as possible, the event will be open to all those interested, who can cover their costs from other sources. The organizations which would like to include CONNECTOR in the activities they are planning to finance through different non-refundable fund-programmes (ERASMUS+, Structural Funds, other financing) are encouraged to do so. The activites of this section are the same of those in the LABORATOR+ and INCUBATOR+ sections.

For example, in ERASMUS+, a ten-day youth exchange project can mean a five-day participation at CONNECTOR and another five days for complementary activities. A strategic partnership can secure the participation of a number of representatives of the organizations at this event.

To facilitate the participation of as many interested people as possible, the organizers are trying to identify low-price accommodation opportunities.

Who can participate?

Anyone and everyone interested in non-formal learning: its practitioners, facilitators, youth workers, teachers, educators, youth sector and adult education representatives, or professional trainers. For those who will come with workshop proposals for the LABORATOR+ section and for a limited number of participants, the costs of the event will be covered by the National Agencies for the ERASMUS+ programme (more information on this issue will be available in March). Any other person interested in participating and willing to cover the costs from other resources is invited to apply. (see the description for CONNECTOR+).

The event is organized by ANPCDEFP, in collaboration with the SHARE Federation and Cluj-Napoca Municipality.

Preparatory Meeting

A national youth meeting on preparatory activities will take place on 1-2 February also in Cluj-Napoca. The specific call for action is public and can be found here (ROMANIAN). http://www.tinact.ro/detaliu-calendar/IDevent/1119

Contact person: Andrei Popescu (Andrei.Popescu@ancpdefp.ro, 021/2010715)