(DG Education and Culture) Europe for Citizens programme
Connecting leaders and developing leadership through exchange
Euclid Network members used this project to connect to leaders from across europe; to see how their peers lead and develop their organisations. The project aimed to increase cross-border learning amongst civil society leaders through exchanges.
This project was selected as an example of 'best practice to foster citizen engagement in Europe', from amongst thousands of projects funded by the Commission between 2007 - 2013: read more here.
Through collective learning and leadership development, ‘Active Citizens in the driving seat: Leaders for a 21st·Century Europe’ developed active citizenship of European civil society that will lead to a better governed, better connected and more innovative civil society and Europe.
The research methodology was be conducted through four key activities:
1. Online discussions, facilitated by a leadership development expert
Open online discussions, using the EC-funded 2.0 website of Euclid Network, enagaged European citizens and formed a large component of the 21st·Century Leadership for Europe research, lasting the entire duration of the project, and beyond.
2. Job-shadowing exchanges to engage in peer-learning
Where EC-funded twinning programmes twin cities, this project twinned civil society leaders. Each job-shadowing exchange saw one job-shadowee spend on week with her/his host. All job-shadowees and hosts were civil society leaders. Job shadowees were sent in cohorts (groups of five, each drawn from a different member state) to the same European city, at the same time, and contributed to the research in several ways: allowing civil society leaders to experience civil society leadership in another European country; and observing how each European Commission delegation in each country engages with its civil society and encouraging pan-European collaboration within the sector.
3. Leadership discussion groups formed from the groups of job-shadowees and facilitated by one of the projects partners
Each cohort and local civil society leaders formed leadership discussion groups to debate European leadership, how best they can work with European institutions and how tools, such as the 21st Century Leadership Development publication, can best help them to achieve this.
4. Feedback to the leadership development experts to collate the research and design the programme
The outcomes from the above activities were fed back to a panel of leadership development experts following the completion of each cohort’s exchange. The panel then developed the research, carried out online discussions and exchange activities to ensure that the debate was enriched by each successive exchange, and maximised the learning and synergies to be drawn from each participant and interaction.
• 30 one-week exchanges for civil society leaders and managers across Europe.
• ‘Leadership and Beyond’ publication gathered feedback from leadership discussions during the exchanges, providing guidance on how civil society leadership can adapt to the new challenges.
• Bursaries for 15 members to attend the final conference in Madrid in May 2010
The 30 exchanges included the following European countries:
The projects activities were both tools to gather the research for the final publication and a vital learning process that all project participants will benefit from. The projects participants were peer-focused and driven by the participants in order for the project to have the most short-term and long-term impact.
This project was a 12-month process involving 60 leaders from across Europe (30 job-shadowees and 30 hosts) involved with job-shadowing exchanges to 6 EU member states, and an infinite number of civil society stakeholders on the online citizenship discussions.
In the current economic crisis, this project combines both the opportunity to develop a stronger European identity through the pooling of information and resources and the need for strong, effective leadership through active citizenship to lead Europe out of the recession.
Learn more about how the leader twinning programme worked and the partners which were involved:
Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (Bulgaria)
Leader2Leader (Italy) (now I-SIN) (Italy)
European Exchange (Germany)
Institut Primus (Slovenia)
The Leader Twinning Programme was part of the project ‘21st Century Leaders' funded by ‘Europe for Citizens' programme, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), DG Education and Culture.