On 2-3 December, SOLIDAR Foundation held the last meeting of the Education and Lifelong Learning Forum for the year 2019. The meeting, occurring at the same time as the Lifelong Learning Week, was launched by a training workshop on the use of internet without reliance on tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft.
Participants were introduced to concepts such as surveillance capitalism, and got to see the extent of data collection on their own devices. They found out how that data is used by the corporations managing the platforms and devices they use, and gained a better understanding of how little consent is sought or given faced with the invasiveness of the tech giants. Alternative tools were presented, able to track what data is being mined, so that informed decisions are made by users on what platform or device they choose to use.
The debate of the workshop fed into SOLIDAR Foundation members’ discussion about the priorities for 2020. As the new European Commission is beginning its mandate and working on its own priorities, SOLIDAR Foundation and its members aligned themselves with this, redefining what democratic citizenship, skills for the future and intercultural dialogue means for them, in contrast to the Commission’s framing. Scaling up the monitoring of policy developments on these topics in European countries, and campaigning and raising awareness on the need for boosting skills for life, for integration in society and for peaceful coexistence that debunks any ‘us-vs-them’ myth will all be the focus of action by SOLIDAR Foundation and its members in the new year. The strength of CSOs comes from their solidarity in their work, and this was clear during the Forum’s meeting where members emphasised the need to share best practices, learn from each other, and build bridges to fight nationalism, far right extremism, xenophobia, and a narrow conceptualisation of skills attainment that would simply view people as commodities for the labour market.
SOLIDAR Foundation and their members renewed their commitment to work with the European institutions in the year to come to push for more social investment as our societies become more and more polarised.
Photo and more info: our member CEMEA's site "Liberons-nous".