Neugier © cydonna

The European Parliament and the Council have proclaimed the year 2008 to be the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The objective of the European Year is to raise awareness among a broad public – particularly young people – for the significance of intercultural dialogue and to make it possible for people to experience cultural diversity as an enrichment and a chance.

The Federal Ministry of Education, the Arts and Culture (BMUKK) took this opportunity to invite young people and adults from 24 European countries to CREATIVE THINKING. CREATIVE THINKING should make people want to explore the issue of cultural diversity; it aims to provide impulses for creative forms of interaction and to highlight the potential and resources which this diversity holds. “Creative Thinking together” is the motto. CREATIVE THINKING provides a space for innovation and creativity. Young people and teachers had the opportunity to work on a wide range of aspects of the field of “Intercultural Dialogue”, to develop ideas and projects and to exchange views with colleagues from all over Europe.

Purzelbaum © pluslicht

Experts, artists and cultural educators made their know-how available and supported the creative process and the joint work with innovative methods and exciting content.

As part of the opening event from 10–12 January, teachers and pupils from all over Europe were our guests in Vienna and developed projects in workshops on the following themes: language, innovation, participation, education and creativity. Schools formed partnerships with other schools and cross-border teams which worked together on a wide variety of projects from January to May.

The projects were finally presented in Graz-Seggauberg and Maribor from 25–28 May as part of the event “Dialoguing Youth”. They presented the outcomes of their projects and reflected on the process of co-operating across the borders, for instance at CREATIVE THINKING on Stage, at the Market of Ideas or in professionally moderated workshop groups.

During the preparation for the two events, numerous schools worked within existing partnerships which were already initiated in 2007. They presented their work in May in Graz-Seggauberg as well.

To all Creative Thinkers, thank you very much for your exciting approaches, ideas and realisations!

The team of the BMUKK und KulturKontakt Austria