• Big success for our workshop “Digital training for cooperation: new ways of capacity building” at the European Weeks for Regions and Cities

    Whether at the interregional, transnational or cross-border level, capacity building is necessary for successful territorial cooperation. Due to the digital transition, training formats and methods for actors of cooperation are rapidly changing. Which new opportunities are arising in terms of accessibility, outreach and the use of innovative tools? Which new challenges do training providers face with regard to commitment of learners, teaching methodologies and digital skills?

    The workshop firstly presented three concrete examples of online courses and training, confronting learners’ and trainers’ perspectives each time:

    • The Virtual Cross-border Business Lab presented by Dr. Eithne Knappitsch is a digital project exploring cultural and context differences and similarities in order to facilitate cross-border business cooperation. Over a five-week period, the project, which was embedded in for-credit course, brought together 48 students in total from the School of advanced social studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and from the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Villach, Austria. The training helped the students to acquire new knowledge on the business environment and enhance their intercultural and digital communication skills.

    • Presented by Birte Wassenberg, the MOOC on European Territorial Cooperation developed at the request from the European Commission by several European partners (Universities of Strasbourg, Artois and Thessaloniki as well as CESCI, MOT, TEIN) provides learners with an exhaustive overview on territorial cooperation in Europe. Each of its four chapters (history; main policies; thematic approach; tools) is composed of several complementary sequences, videos, learning material, case studies and stakeholders’ interviews. Certifications are issued to participants at the end of the curriculum depending on their attendance and achievement.

    • José Maria Cruz presented the Global Initiative led by the Association of European Border Region (AEBR) whose aim was to promote the exchange of experiences between the EU and Latin America in the field of regional development. Within this framework, 150 workshops and capacity building activities and 50 online international workshops and capacity building sessions were organised with local authorities.

    Secondly, in a debate with the participants, the opportunities of digital training for local/regional authorities, associations and other stakeholders of cooperation, as well as its limits and challenges, were discussed.

    Among the many benefits and challenges of using e-learning to enhance cooperation, the discussions focused on finding the right balance between online and face-to-face training, as well as the right pedagogical tools for distance learning to foster interaction, mutual understanding and trust – all of which are essential in the context of cross-border cooperation. As the three examples provided showed, finding the right tools for one’s own experiences and context is far from impossible.

    The whole presentation is available on the European Weeks for Regions and Cities website.

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