With two months left until the Youth Time Summer School, we are starting a series of articles about the great professionals who will be working with us during the event. They will present themselves and reveal (a little) their plans for the School. First, meet the excellent facilitator, Adi Kolasevic. He is going to moderate the 'Breaking Stereotypes' workshop.
Well, let’s start with: Who is Mr. Kolasevic?
A recent personality test marked me as an extrovert who is in love with nature and outdoor activities. I’m a passionate runner with a Master’s in Sport Science. I’m also an experienced capacity building specialist of civil society organisations with extensive experience in non-formal and formal education through engagement in the European Student Union. These are just some of the many identities that I possess but for more information we will need to meet in person during the Summer School. I come from the heart-shaped land officially known as Bosnia and Herzegovina where right now I work for the joint UN Agencies project ‘Dialogue for the Future’ as a facilitator for Youth Forum.
What is the ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ workshop going to be about?
It will explore something that is part of all of us, something that we build throughout our childhood and is defined as prejudices and stereotypes. Where do these prejudices and stereotypes come from? How do we create them and why do we categorize? These are some of the questions we want to explore with the participants. Then, we want to find out how we abuse stereotypes but also how to deal with stereotypes and prejudices. Our aim is to step out of our shoes and observe our own behaviour and group behaviour to be able to open our minds and to break stereotypes.
What will the format of the workshop be?
Since I love exploring creative education, the format of the workshop will be designed to fully engage all participants and enable them to enter into an experiential learning process through simulation exercises and group work. This topic is very sensitive, as participants are coming from different cultural backgrounds; it will be very challenging for all those involved. My wish is to engage participants emotionally as then they will experience the maximum learning outcome and positive energy.
What should Summer School participants do to prepare before attending your workshop?
I invite them to come and bring loads of positive energy. They could explore the theoretical background of prejudices and stereotypes just to familiarize themselves with the topic. But perhaps the most important thing is that they should be prepared to be flexible and engage themselves in a joint process of exploration.
The topic of the workshop sounds interesting, but it is hard to predict how Summer School attendees could use the knowledge they will get during the workshop in the future. Does it have a practical nature?
For sure it has! Globalization processes are linking us to other cultures very fast. The world is experiencing huge migration and it’s so easy to enter into the prejudice and stereotype development that can lead to conflict situations. Today’s business environment is team oriented and if we don’t know how to break stereotypes we can find ourselves in very unpleasant situations. These are some of the reasons why this workshop is important for the participants’ future life and work situations!
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