2009-04 Tolmezzo, Italy

Guggenheim Museum VeniceGuggenheim Museum Venice

I was on travel again, in Tolmezzo, in Friul, Italy. I was here, in that wonderful mountain region, every year since 2004, and always for project reasons. I like that region, the food and of course, I know some very friendly people there. It is always nice to come back to that place.
We started a European educational project last year and now we had our second project meeting. As so often, the project started with lot's of promises and expectations. Every partner seems to be very ambitious and motivated. In our case, we worked together before, we had a wonderful little learning partnership and as a result of that project, we created the idea for the current one. The application has got very high evaluation points, which made me proud, because I was working hard on that.
We changed the coordination for that big project to meet the reliability conditions of the European commission. That is sometimes something very formal and do not always met the capability of the choosen partner to lead the project. Anyway, they prefer big organisations and do not really trust small private enterprises having the management capabilities.
That impaires very often the quality of the project management and results.
Big organisations, with there big administration and huge hierarchies tend to ignore those kind of projects. At least, they would like to have the money, give no extra time to fulfill project activities to the involved staff and do not really support them. Sounds drastic, but it is like this. The promoters of those kind of European projects are usually (not all of them) very engaged, open minded people which want to change the world, at least Europa or the the way of cooperation between educational institutions. They are often thwarted by their own organisations.
Another important player in such projects are the learners. Ok,we are all learners at any time, but when we work in projects, we have a target group for whom we create such stuff. They are not always enthusiastic to be a part in such a project. Because, being involved means, they have to do something and be monitored- who wants to have that? Who wants to learn?
Sounds a bit frustrated?
Sometimes it is like this. But there are also gorgeous moments which pays off for everything. I had a lot in last years, thats why I am doing that.
What about our doing2learn project? I arrived very frustrated, disappointed and sad. Nothing really happened after our start, me and another partner were working on the tasks but ot no feedback from the others and we nearrly gave it up.

I was a long time thinking about of what I can do to change the situation. And made this presentation (59). With that we started our meeting, discussed in detail and very open the situation and decided not to give up the idea and turn our cooperation into a successful way. That is a promise, but every promise needs some control mechanism and consequencies. We defined all that!
We had a very good, inspiring working meeting from that time on.
Additional to that, we decided to add something what we did not promised in our project application and what is additonal work for all of us. That is really remarkable and certainly not usual in such projects: we start twittering- follow us at doing2learn- and develop our courses also for mobile phones.
Let's see how it will be on next meeting in September.

On the way back, I had half a day in Venice and I visited again the Guggenheim Museum. Few months ago I read the Peggy Guggenheim Biography and I was curious how I woudl see the collection after that. The museum was overcrowded, because it rained and all the tourists went into that museum.
However, I still have the same favourite pictures, the two Picasso's (here is the other)in the entrance hall and the a Victor Brauner in the next room. And I really like the Giacometti Sculpture in the garden as well as the bird from Brancusi. I added a new favourite, the silver bed head from Calder, made for Peggy Guggenheim. The museums seems to be smaller to me than before, like a small world. At Guggenheim's time it was probably one of the most exiting places in Italy or Europe. Now, we are use to have such places nearly everywhere.

But is beautiful and still inspiring there!

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