Transforming Education in Extremadura: A journey of collaboration and innovation

In April 2024, the charming city of Badajoz in Extremadura, Spain, buzzed with excitement and innovation as it hosted the Train of Trainers piloting experience for the EntreComp4Transition project. Trainers from Italy, Belgium, Spain, Türkiye, and Austria gathered for an unforgettable three-day event filled with learning, laughter, and lasting connections. This adventure aimed to inspire and equip trainers with the tools to champion sustainability, digitalisation, and entrepreneurship in their home countries.

The Excitement Begins: A Multicultural Meet-Up

The journey kicked off with a lively mix of greetings at the Madrid airport. Trainers and project partners exchanged ‘hello!’ in various languages, creating an atmosphere of unity and shared purpose. The anticipation was palpable as everyone headed to Badajoz, eager to dive into the EntreComp4Transition methodology and its four exciting learning paths: Sustainability Practitioner, Digital Transition Practitioner, Entrepreneurship Practitioner, and Green Transition Facilitator.

DAY ONE: Hello Badajoz!

A Warm Welcome and Icebreakers

The first day, 16 April, started with a picturesque walk along the river Guadiana, leading up to the stunning Faculty of Documentation and Communication Sciences of Universidad de Extremadura, nestled in the historic Alcazaba of Badajoz. The scenic views and rich history provided a perfect backdrop for the event’s kick-off.

In the auditorium, participants were welcomed with fun icebreaking activities, setting a positive and energetic tone for the days ahead. Each trainer received a stylish notebook and water bottle, ready to jot down the wealth of knowledge and experiences they were about to gain.

Unveiling an Extremaduran Challenge

A real-world local challenge was presented by Innogestiona Ambiental, an entity dedicated to environmental engineering. This challenge called on the trainers to design a strategy that would help Agroforex – an Extremadura forestry service – commit to sustainability and digitalisation, enhancing its business model. Teams immediately dived into brainstorming and strategising, eager to apply their knowledge in a practical context.

Exploring Badajoz: History and Delicacies

After an intense working day, participants were treated to a delightful walking tour of Badajoz. Despite the heat, the tour offered fascinating insights into the city’s history at every corner. The first day concluded with a magical dinner in Plaza Alta, where trainers enjoyed exquisite Extremaduran delicacies in a beautiful setting, complete with a music and light show. The night was filled with laughter, stories, and even impromptu language lessons, setting the stage for the days to come.

DAY TWO: DEEP DIVING INTO TWIN TRANSITION STRATEGIES

Crafting Innovative Solutions

Day two, 17 April, saw teams returning to the faculty library, a space brimming with books and history. The focus was on testing and refining tools and canvases designed for creating a Twin Transition Strategy. The ‘As Is-To Be’, the ‘Opportunity Discovery Canvas’, and the ‘Twin Transition Strategy Canvas’ became the day’s stars, guiding trainers through the process of transforming ideas into actionable strategies.

Collaborating and Creating

Teams worked diligently, using the tools to develop comprehensive Twin Transition Strategies. The collaborative environment fostered a rich exchange of ideas and insights, making the learning experience even more enriching.

DAY THREE: Showtime!

Polishing and Pitching

The third day, 18 April, was all about polishing the Twin Transition Strategies and preparing pitches. Creativity flowed as teams presented their solutions with inspiring speeches, choreographies, songs, and catchy slogans. Innogestiona Ambiental was thrilled with the innovative ideas. All teams voted for their favourite, and the winning group was proud to have designed a solution with the EntreComp4Transition methodology. The session ended on a very high note, but the day was not over yet!

Preparing their teaching

The last sessions were dedicated to understanding how to incorporate the Learning Paths in their classrooms. It was very interesting to see how trainers worked collaboratively trying to overcome in the most creative ways the challenges that assembling a customised portfolio might bring. They left the room ready to prepare their own curricula for the future experience with their students.

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Exploring Mérida: A Journey Back in Time

To cap off the experience, participants visited the historic city of rida, where they immersed themselves in its rich Roman heritage. The bonds formed over the three days were evident as trainers from five different countries, initially strangers, became close friends committed to transforming education and fostering sustainability, digitalisation, and entrepreneurship.

LOOKING AHEAD: A BRIGHT FUTURE

The EntreComp4Transition project’s ToT piloting experience in Extremadura was more than just a training event; it was a celebration of collaboration, creativity, and shared goals. The trainers left inspired and ready to integrate the Learning Paths into their curricula, aiming to turn their learners into future Twin Transition Facilitators who will drive change in organisations, making our world a truly sustainable one.

As the trainers parted ways, and partners rapidly started working on their interesting feedback proposals, the laughter, stories, and newfound friendships were a testament to the event’s success. The seeds of transformation had been sown, promising a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

Marianella Parra

Education, Learning and Training Manager

Bantani Education

All photos (c) EntreComp4Transition