CREATIVE COMMUNICATION . 2019 . FRANCE & BULGARIA

With our project “Creative Communication” we aim at diving into the complex world of digital communication and at exploring tools and good practices to make it truly creative and meaningful!

Our project consists of two activities: a training course in France that aims at presenting the concept of digital literacy and a mix of creative and online tools to improve NGO leaders’ online communication and will empower them with new skills, good practices and tools to use in their digital communication. Then, the second activity which is a seminar in Bulgaria, is to present the learning outcome and good practices to participants from developing countries in Eastern Europe. The activities are based on well developed methods of creative strategies design (such as storytelling, design thinking, service design, buying personas, graphic facilitation and more) which is an approach to resolve issues outside of professional design practice, such as social contexts.

Curious about the topic? Read more in this article by our trainer Alexandra Nikolova.


 

Part One: Training course “Creative Communication”

2-17 September 2019, Homade (Brivezac, France)

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About the workshop

Creating and maintaining good quality and empathic online communication is a very challenging activity for non-profit organisations worldwide. The huge amount of information and communication styles out on the web creates sometimes chaos and mixture of violent and not correctly addressed messages. Although the majority of the organisations active in the field fully acknowledge the importance of the above-described problem, in many cases they are still lacking proper tools and methods to tackle the issue in a more innovative and creative manner that could bring greater benefits to the young people they work with.

Therefore, our “Creative Communication” training course gathered 24 youth workers and young leaders from various European countries to exchange creative practices of digital communication at a training course in France. The project aimed to offer alternative sources of non formal education, expression for the youth in Europe. Our proposal was to spread innovative digital tools of social media and content distribution online for youth workers using photo, video, sound design, editing, scriptwriting, storytelling and social media strategies to engage Europeans in intersectional learning and inclusion.

We invited 24 youth workers, communication managers and artists from France, North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Armenia, Spain and Poland, between 2-17 September 2019, who participated in a training course in Brivezac, France. Together they shared personal and professional experiences and explored the potential of creative communication as a tool for youth work to reach and engage different audiences and the general public in personal development, mutual understanding, inclusion and active participation. Through workshops, which merged professional, non-formal and informal learning methods, the participants developed work tools that enabled themselves to address the need of their specific target groups. During the training course all of the participants explored methods such as storytelling, video making, buying personas, creative writing, landing pages and banners creation, graphic facilitation for improving their online communication; they co-facilitated workshops for each other to exchange ideas and knowledge; and put their hands on by creating their organisation’s new content strategy!

Want to see how it went? Have a look at these photos, taken by talented photographer Dana Verstak!

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Team

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Alexandra Nikolova – facilitator

Alexandra is a communication designer, illustrator and visual storyteller. She has been working in copywriting, digital communication and marketing during the past 12 years while being always attracted by arts – street dancing, music and drawing. She is a trainer since 2014 when she started teaching about digital skills, marketing and communication; and all the creative ways to do online marketing and business planning.

She now studies History of Art in Sofia and explores the possibilities of using art as an educational tool as well as a mean for inclusion & self-development. Visual communication is definitely her passion and she also does graphic recording and facilitation, as well as workshops to teach people using the method, too.

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Leo Zbanke – facilitator

Leo is a film director, trainer and activist.

He studied social psychology and then turned to film studies. From 2008 to 2016 he has been working on TV/movie sets as well as post-production. After all these years of experience in 2016, Leo becomes a founder of a video production company Dis Donc Production based in France.

From 2016 he is a trainer of Erasmus+ projects helping young people and youth workers to build skills around such topics as audiovisual tools, digital storytelling, media literacy .

He is passionate about foreign languages and cultures.

Leo believes that we are all storytellers and all we need is the right tools to communicate our stories with to the world.

 

Ilaria Fresa – coordinator

ilaria

Ilaria is a visual facilitator, engaged to spread the use of visual language as a tool to support the learning processes. Her mission is to help people to explore their full potential and support groups to develop projects and focus on the implementation. As social researcher, graduated in Political Science, with a Master of Art in communication and sociology of Migration, she conducted a number of researches concerning gender and refugees’ empowerment – focused on financial education and family balance and savings – within European projects.

As an expert in cooperative learning methods and visual facilitation, she designed, supervised and coordinated several non-formal education trainings for Italian local institutions, educational organizations, international agencies and NGOs. President of Micro Progress Onlus, a non-for-profit Italian Association that promotes and implements projects for microenterprise development through micro-credit and financial inclusion, she also founded and managed one of the best rated Bed&Breakfast in Rome downtown (Strawberry House B&B) since 2005 to 2017, when she finally met Nomadways and decided to move to France. She takes care of spaces to host quality conversations, experiences and creative activities.

 

 


Location

Homade: Our home during the 2-week workshop was once again our Homade – an artistic training center located in the small village of Brivezac. The funky house is a renovated barn with a big workshop room, kitchen, dining and chill-out area, big green garden and rooms located in a 2-floor mezzanine. During their stay they were accommodated in rooms of 2 or 3 people with the same gender.

The meals were prepared by our Bruno and were served in the dining area – all 3 daily meals were covered by the Erasmus+ programme. Our cook prepare lunch and dinner, and the food was mainly vegetarian. The breakfast, as usual, was self-prepared by the participants who had the ingredients and equipment available each morning.

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Brivezac: a village located in the Corrèze department of the Limousin region. It is located on the right bank of the river Dordogne and has a community of 175 inhabitants. The church of Saint-Pierre, in the heart of the village, has one of the oldest Roman portals in Limousin. The interior of the village is a patchwork of old houses built from stones of the ruins of old buildings and pebbles from the Dordogne. The bridge over the Dordogne crossing Brivezac offers a beautiful viewpoint between cliffs and fields bordering the stream. Find out more information about the location here.

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What is “creative communication” to the participants after the workshop

“The way to share and show the soul of the project/main idea in most touchable and understandable way” – Dana

“The possibility to transform your thoughts into art in any possible way, so that your target audience would understand as soon as possible your clear message.” – Angela

“Creative communication is sharing/exchanging ideas, brainstorming, thinking and acting in a creative way and leave space for others to share their points of view. There is always a way to communicate and for sure you can find more creative ways if you want it.” – Penny

“Having the emotional intelligence, empathy, bravery, skills to express yourself in your own unique way, taking advantage of all the digital resources available-social media and its phenomena such as emojis, stickers, creating illustrations, posters, using visual material to tell stories, to create your own recognizable brand, using time efficiently both online and offline, and choosing the right words to communicate your idea.” – Hristina

“Creative Communication is largely about storytelling and using stories to communicate with others. It’s active listening to what other people have to say. It’s also making the message clear and simple. It’s using art and pictures to get the point across” – Toni

 


 

Part Two: Seminar “Creative Communication”

11-15 November 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria

The second activity of “Creative Communication” was a seminar in Sofia, Bulgaria that presented, in short, the learning outcomes from the 2-week training course in France and gave the participants the opportunity to design their own associations communication plan.

For this second activity, we had an amazing group of educators, visual artists, cultural and communication managers, artivists and youth workers fromFrance, North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Armenia, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. Together, they formulated their projects and created a communication strategy canvas for them – a hardcore intensive training based on the non-formal educational methods.

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Team

Leo Zbanke – facilitator

Leo is a film director, trainer and activist.

He studied social psychology and then turned to film studies. From 2008 to 2016 he has been working on TV/movie sets as well as post-production. After all these years of experience in 2016, Leo becomes a founder of a video production company Dis Donc Production based in France.

From 2016 he is a trainer of Erasmus+ projects helping young people and youth workers to build skills around such topics as audiovisual tools, digital storytelling, media literacy.

He is passionate about foreign languages and cultures.

Leo believes that we are all storytellers and all we need is the right tools to communicate our stories with to the world.

Alexandra Nikolova – coordinator

Alexandra is a communication designer, illustrator and visual storyteller. She has been working in copywriting, digital communication and marketing during the past 12 years while being always attracted by arts – street dancing, music and drawing. She is a trainer since 2014 when she started teaching about digital skills, marketing and communication; and all the creative ways to do online marketing and business planning.

She now studies History of Art in Sofia and explores the possibilities of using art as an educational tool as well as a mean for inclusion & self-development. Visual communication is definitely her passion and she also does graphic recording and facilitation, as well as workshops to teach people using the method, too.

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Oleg Kabakchiev – coordinator

Oleg is our local Sofia-based co-organiser of the seminar. He is an experienced copywriter and online marketing specialist with many years of work in the field and tons of articles in his backpack. As a super active person in the local field, he is also a DJ and a perfect guide to the subcultural face of Sofia. He has a master degree in Political Sociology and his interests in politics and civil society challenges make him interested in solving social challenges and improving all means of communication between people and cultures.

Instagram, twitter

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The seminar

Curious about the seminar? Here are some moments we have captured just for you to see :-)

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Location

The seminar took place in the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. Our group was accommodated in the cosy Vitosha Park Hotel located in the southern part of the city, with a view to the beautiful Vitosha mountain.

Your home – Vitosha Park Hotel

The perfect location is found in the foot of Vitosha mountain – away from the city hustle and bustle and yet close to the modern business rhythm. The architecture accommodates the style and characteristics of modern business people and at the same time preserves the connection with the magnificent mountain. Nature is an important highlight in both, the exterior and interior design and the green message is conveyed in all symbols of the new brand. You will be accommodated in rooms of 2 or 3 people from the same gender. Our breakfast and dinner will take place in the hotel.

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Working space – Muzeiko

Our amazing working room is located inside Muzeiko – a very special, modern and innovative project. It is an educational centre and a building with very curious characteristics: the design of the glass portions of the building has struck a careful balance between factors such as heat loss, reflectiveness, the parameters of the glass used, visual quality and variations in the availability of daylight, assuring a sufficient quantity of light and a visual connection with the surrounding environment, which increases employees’ comfort and productivity. The green roof also contributes to the building’s comfortable interior by reducing external noise and vibrations.

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This project has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program. If you would like to find out more about the program, please visit http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus_en




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