Happy Birthday, PEOPLE project! PEOPLE Consortium Meets in Durham


Almost exactly one year ago nine partner organisations met in Ljubljana to kick-start the PEOPLE project. Following the second consortium meeting in the Netherlands in May, the PEOPLE partners gathered on 30 October 2017 in Durham, United Kingdom, to review concluded tasks and discuss the ongoing tasks and plan for the forthcoming ones. The meeting, hosted by the Durham Energy Institute, was held at Hatfield College founded in 1846 as the second college of Durham University.

Just recently, the PEOPLE project was featured in Erasmus Programme 30th Anniversary campaign in the Quality in teaching, training and youth work spotlight. It is an honour and a recognition of our efforts and quality of work after our first 12 months. These were focused on setting up the toolkit, methodology, strategies, raising project awareness, and disseminating the early results – all leading up to a successful launch of the first People-Centred Learning Cycle.

PEOPLE learning cycles are the key innovative contribution of the PEOPLE project. We bring together students, university educators, and business professionals to foster a balanced exchange of knowledge, skills, and experience. Applying different people-centred development approaches, local development teams of students, academic mentors, and business professionals are cooperating in the development and testing of new industry solutions in the field of sustainable living and energy, tailored to the needs of communities – developed and designed with them, not only for them.

The first PEOPLE Learning Cycle with four individual case-studies was launched this fall. In each of the four participating countries, a team of students was recruited to participate in the learning cycle. Our focus is on students of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and other social sciences, who are rarely given the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with industry partners and to acquire industry-relevant skills. What they do have is the unique knowledge and methodology to play an important role in interdisciplinary people-centred development teams. (Read about our Dutch, UK, Czech, and Slovenian case-studies.)

3rd Consortium meeting in Durham, UK

In our 3rd Consortium meeting, the PEOPLE partners therefore focused on issues relating to running the learning cycle in four different national contexts and managing our partnerships between higher education and industry. We discussed an evaluation strategy that will be applicable to the four individual case-studies and would at the same time assure a level of comparability, identification of best practices, and a baseline for policy recommendations on a wider EU level. We also reviewed our quality assurance methodology, dissemination and exploitation strategy, as well as our efforts for building and sustaining a people-centred development community as an enlarged knowledge alliance between higher education, research, and industry at the local levels and at a wider EU environment. (This is an invitation, too: get in touch via e-mail, or our Facebook and Twitter accounts.)

 

What is in plan for the following months? Students will now engage in research with the local industry partner, applying the selected people-centred development approaches and tools developed by the PEOPLE project to the identified business challenge. The students’ work will be jointly monitored by academic and industry mentors, who will provide guidance and feedback. Stay tuned for more!