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Shaping change together - the kick-off seminar of the new volunteer group

What does voluntary service have to do with the economy? What approaches to a sustainable economy already exist, and what is actually a "good life for all"?

Great questions that we took with us to our first seminar of the volunteer year 2022/23.

The idea of a cross-border volunteer service, in which people come together, exchange ideas, get involved and open their eyes to new perspectives, always becomes particularly real for us as the team of the volunteer service initiative Turbina Pomerania when the volunteers come together for a few days and find out together what opportunities and challenges await them during their social and ecological volunteer year. So it was an exciting process again as the volunteers gathered at Ramin Manor House from October 18-21 for the kick-off seminar of the 2022/23 volunteer year.

With 16 participants we drove together to the German-Polish border, between Löcknitz and Szczecin, in the middle of the Euroregion Pomerania to the home of the Förderverein Gutshaus Ramin e.V.

Since 2009, the association has been pursuing the goal of bringing people together and enriching the region with a lively and colorful cultural and educational program. Since 2019, the non-profit association is also part of our network, is Hosting Organisation for the Federal and the European Voluntary Service (ESC) and a venue for our seminars and encounter weeks.

After the first day focused on getting to know the group and the location, sharing expectations and mastering a group challenge in the form of a cooperation game, the second day focused on the content that will accompany us during this volunteer year. Based on the principles of emancipatory education and under the motto "Sustainable Economy - Alternative Concepts of Life", two workshops opened the space to get to know ideas of decoupling economic growth and environmental destruction and the narrative of economic growth. The concepts of "mental infrastructures" and the philosophical as well as political approach of "Buen Vivir" discussed in the workshops allowed not only a global perspective on the topic, but also a direct connection to the realities of the participants' lives. With subsequent reference to the goals and tasks of the non-profit associations in which the volunteers are active, orientation for the framework of the voluntary service was created and at the same time many ideas and projects could be collected, which are already working on a transformation of the economic system in our region or are trying out alternative economic approaches.

On the last day, all participants were able to present their Hosting Organisations and get to know those of the others, in order to then jointly consider which projects and ideas would be possible for the volunteers this year and which aspects and details on the topic of sustainable economic activity they would like to see in the upcoming seminars.

With a lot of motivation and an excited look at the next weeks and months, we are now working together with the volunteers to plan and launch concrete small projects that are not only a learning experience for the participants, but at the same time have an impact on our network and the region.

Our work is financially possible thanks to: