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Hekate Conscious You(th) is a proud community of Hekate Conscious Ageing. Ageing might sound scary and difficult to digest, especially when you’re only in your 20’s and are still very young, we know. You don’t even need to think about getting old one day, yet, although researches show massive benefit of consciously visualising ourselves in a more progressed age. 

Understanding Digital Wellbeing

This article has been adopted from norataliga.com and was written by Nóra Taliga, Digital Wellbeing Educator. Nóra is Hekate’s go to person when it comes to digital culture and spaces, tech-life balance and digital intelligence.

Welcome to this great discovery of Digital Wellbeing! Although you might get some ideas about it, I bet you’re curious to know what this term really covers. As a starting point, it is worth to check the words separately:

  • Digital stands for something (basically anything) done by, through, with technology. It is a great adverb expressing the way how something is done. 
  • Wellbeing: wellness, a holistic state of being well. Stands, among many other, for health, satisfaction, fulfilment, happiness. Or you might want to argue here: please do so, it’s up to you what it means to be well for you. 

Now let’s put these two together and see what we get: “Digital Wellbeing is the optimal state of health, personal fulfilment, interpersonal satisfaction and body-mind-spirit integrity that one can achieve while using technology.” I would like us to stop for a moment and reflect on a crucial part of this definition (that by the way, was coined by the Digital Wellness Institute): optimal. Can we say optimal means the best for us? I would dare to, yes. With this in mind it’s easier the understand the concept of Digital Wellbeing: it’s not a rigid, black and white thing, it doesn’t have to be like this or that, instead it’s about someone’s own way to find the point where one can benefit from the joys of technology while avoiding the challenges or harms of it. This will result in a great tech-life balance, that again, depends on one’s own needs, goals, values and so on. 

Our relationship with technology defines the quality of certain areas of our lives. The Digital Wellness Institute designed a map of the areas where one could (/should?) focus on for great Digital Wellbeing. The areas are the so called spikes of the Digital Flourishing® Wheel:

  1. Productivity
  2. Environment
  3. Communication
  4. Relationship
  5. Mental Health
  6. Physical Health
  7. Quantified Self
  8. Digital Citizenship

In the following chapters we’ll discover these one by one. But before we get into details, let’s see why it’s important to improve this relationship, why it’s crucial to obtain a joyful balance while using technology? 

Just some facts: 

  • We live in a digital age where we use tech to study, to work, to arrange official cases, to start and maintain relationships, to entertain ourselves. 
  • With the pandemic (COVID 19) we have to rely on technology even more, our home turn to be offices, schools, banks – all in one.  
  • We spend huge amount of hours in front of screen on a daily basis, regardless of age. “Children under age 14 spend nearly twice as long with tech devices (3 hours and 18 minutes per day) as they do in conversation with their families (1 hour and 43 minutes per day).” 
  • We don’t get education on digital intentional and conscious use of technology to navigate in the Attention Economy of massive digital noise. “The mere presence of your smartphone, even when it is turned off and face down, drains your attention.” 
  • We tend to go with the flow without clear boundaries that would prevent us from (mental) health issues. “Anger is the emotion that travels fastest and farthest on social media, compared to all other emotions.” 
  • We are exposed to anxiety, loneliness, risky healthy behaviours while using Social Media. “30% of 18-44 year olds feel anxious if they haven’t checked Facebook in the last 2 hours…(…).In fact, many are so hooked that 31% report checking it while driving and 16% while making love.”
  • We are exposed to an information overload where we difficulties with evaluating authenticity. “Fake news spreads six times faster than true news.”
  • We manage communities in a digital culture that is still undefined.

Do you also have challenges? Tell us about it, we learn from stories like yours!

Okay, let’s stop here, I hear you. It’s great to know what Digital Wellbeing is, it’s really important to improve the way we interact with technology, I know you get it. But I bet there’s the question in your head: How can we improve our relationship with technology? As an educator, these are the 8 steps I would love you to go through -either for your own Digital Wellbeing, or your community’s improvement:

  1. Play: run and keep your default habits, routine and actions with tech usage and just immerse in the experience for a while.
  2. Pause: pause from time to time and use all your senses to feel, see, hear etc how the experience is going.
  3. Stop: stop to reflect on your current relationship with technology based on the period of active experiencing. How do you feel about it? How was it for you?
  4. Review: take time to observe, collect data on your tech usage. What does the data tell you?
  5. Forward: think about if anything needs adjustment. What possibilities do you have to make changes? Brainstorm, get ideas.
  6. Reset: pick one thing you can do to provoke improvement. Decide what will be your next action. 
  7. Boot: crate space for that action, prepare to make it happen.
  8. Restart: Just do it. 

(Inspired by Experiential Learning Theory.)

I want to acknowledge that it is a complex process where this general approach can be challenging for the ones who are unfamiliar with these tools, especially when it comes to the application and implementation. I know this not only from my own personal experience but I also see it while working on the DigInclude project in which we aim to contribute to designing accessible, barrier-free, inclusive digital spaces.

References:

*https://www.digitalwellnessinstitute.com/ *https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/07/children-spend-twice-long-smartphones-talking-parents/ *https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/691462 *https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0110184 *https://honestdata.com/facebook-addiction *https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aap9559

UnfOlding – Autonomous communities in digital societies / Understanding the opportunities of Blockchain

A technological term describing an expanding online trend. But what if we told you that blockchain is way more than technology? What if we told you that blockchain is an opportunity? An opportunity for decentralised societies? An opportunity for transparent communities? An opportunity for valuable incentives?

We’re pleased to invite you to the next workshop of our UnfOlding project to discover the opportunities that blockchain brings for individuals and communities in digital societies.

During this experiential workshop you will:

  • have a short introduction to what blockchain is (please leave your worries behind: no tech experience or knowledge is required!)
  • discover some areas and/or opportunities where blockchain can be applied
  • reflect on the potential impact of blockchain on individuals, communities and societies

On your discovery path of blockchain you will be guided by Antal Karolyi*, digital entrepreneur & blockchain-user, and Nora Taliga**, learning experience designer.

The participation of the workshop is free of charge, but registration is mandatory.

Register here before the 20th of October.

*More about Antal:

“ Antal is business angel and entrepreneur since 2010 and first president of the Hungarian Business Angel Network. He co-founded Traction Tribe, a tech accelerator. Passionate about purpose-driven enterprises, he founded SignCoders, a digital agency for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals. Antal firmly believes that social entrepreneurship has huge untapped potential and he plays an active role in building the local community.

He is a dazzled traveller in the Web3 world rather than a tourist guide. He is fascinated by the potential positive impact offered by blockchain technology and he is in a permanent state of search for truly viable use cases”

**More about Nora:

“Nora is a certified Digital Wellness Educator and holds a certification of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence course. Since 2015 she has been training youth on digital wellness, emotional intelligence, leadership, personal growth, experiential learning, social inclusion, future orientation, entrepreneurship, diversity, and communication in Europe and Asia.”

The event is hosted by Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation and is funded by the European Commission.

UnfOlding – Ageing into digital How to maintain our wellbeing while navigating the digital era

Free Online program
Conscious ageing – taking responsibility over our ageing with regards to our individual opportunities and life situation.
When raising awareness, and consciously preparing to our elderly years, it’s important to understand the times in which we live in, and which are emerging before us: the 21st century is a digital era where technology has a huge impact on our lives.
Remote work (home office), online relationship management (Social Media / e-communication), digital health (e-doctors, quantified self), digital citizenship (security, privacy) – no matter the area: how technology is being used will directly influence our mental- and physical health and wellbeing.
Covid-19 has brought massive, long-term changes in the way we use technology. The number of people with mental health disorders has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. The advantages of technology became clear in the times of social distancing, however, it’s scientifically proven that the incorrect way of using technology leads to further physical and mental health issues.
With intentional use, we can take advantage of technology whilst avoiding the harms of it. Do you want to know how?
We are glad to invite you to this workshop to discover:
– Some of the challenges of the digital age
– The concept of Digital Wellbeing
– Our current relationship with technology
– Some practical tools to protect our tech-life balance and improve our digital wellbeing
Trainer: Nora Taliga, certified Digital Wellbeing Educator, Learning Experience Designer
The workshop is free of charge but registration is necessary.
Registration here 

Digital Inclusion as we #HearIT

When we came up with the project of DigInclude (Developing Digital Skills in Disadvantaged Groups), we had in mind a lot of tangible goals and desired outcomes. While we’re implementing more and more activities to achieve the goals, suddenly we realised that we’re going even further than we ever could have imagined. Shining eyes, sparkling motivation, constant inspiration, dedication to give and create, 120% involvement and a genuinely beautiful co-creation within deaf and hearing are one of the non-tangible yet most valuable outcomes we’re thrilled to see and experience! Our reports will talk about numbers, activities and so on. This article has a different purpose: let it talk about what we experience and why we love doing this project.

This cooperation teaches us about inclusion

Inclusion. Such a nice word we all believe to know the meaning of. Digital inclusion, is an extra tweak on it, considering the nature of our age. The EU calls digital inclusion an “effort to ensure that everybody can contribute to and benefit from the digital world”. Why is this a thing at all? We live in the digital era where most of our life is online. With the global pandemic we are facing, this is truer than ever before. Let’s think about our work, studies, social interactions, even hobbies sometimes. While using technology gives many of us brilliant advantages and benefits, those who have no access to internet or cannot access online spaces barrier-free automatically get into a position of disadvantage. Imagine people with no access to internet. Imagine people of disadvantaged groups with lack of digital literacy. Imagine great minds with physical disabilities: blind, deaf, handicapped and so on. The truth is that we don’t have information available and accessible equally for everyone. We still don’t have spaces that promote barrier-free accessibility. We still don’t design safe digital spaces to support the human needs of disadvantaged groups. Luckily, we can see great examples, leaders who are seriously working on digital inclusion. Inclusive design, humane technology, projects like DigInclude are some of the initiatives that are fighting for digital equality, equity and inclusion.

But here’s the thing we’re re-learning: it really starts with us, tiny humans and our everyday communication.

When we started to work on this project, together with a group of wonderful, young deaf people, the most important asset we needed was empathy and empathetic listening. We needed to go there to understand how they feel, what their struggles are, what holds them back, what limiting beliefs they have – just like anyone else. With openness and honest curiosity we understood more and more.

We understood that written communication is far from the best way, despite how we had assumed before.

We understood that with a little attention we can have highly effective online meetings. We needed to learn that just like the drink-or-drive principle, we need the talk-or-write rule on a video call (to let non-hearing people see what we say).

We understood that hearing and non-hearing is not black and white and there are significant differences in how each non-hearing person can and want to communicate, just like we have different abilities and preferences in the hearing community.

Yes, we do promote barrier-free digital web design, user-need based coding and inclusive digital spaces and activities, but first and more important we need to be open to listen and empathise.

This cooperation teaches us about struggles

Before this project we had great assumptions of the struggles of deaf communities. While many turned out to be valid and true, there is a great finding we haven’t thought of. That’s one thing we create an inclusive space and digital community, that is technically open for everyone, but we do need to make sure that people of marginalised or disadvantaged groups really feel they have a place and a community to belong to. We believe that this is routing in these people’s self-esteem, self-worth, self-compassion. To really create equity, we need to bring people of marginalised groups to a position of equality by focusing also on their emotional development. We need to do that so that they are ready to really grow professionally as well.

This cooperation makes us laugh with joy

Within this project team we found it important that besides being productive, working on fruitful projects and communicating regularly, we support our own mental health by taking breaks, taking tasks according to one’s learning needs or truly connecting with each other. One could find joy when seeing us from outside during a project meetings: shining eyes, constant brainstorming, sharp plans and lot of stories and jokes! You know when a team is really a team, formed of people of different age, different abilities, different background, when you can freely, bravely laugh at each others’ or your own mistakes together! It’s beautiful.

This cooperation gives us friendship

This cooperation was already formed based on a friendship that recognised the power of utilising two organisations’ diverse strengths to build something great together. It’s beautiful to experience that during this process of true listening, understanding and caring more people got involved in this friendship: deaf and hearing have found a common ground, a common goal and the willingness to work together in a way real friends do. With honestly, trust, openness and support, in and beyond work.

DigInclude is a project that aims to support young disadvantaged individuals to improve their digital skills, literacy and wellness in order to support their employment success in a digital world. DigInclude is also a project that realises the crucial importance of small human gestures, deep listening and empathy. Because there is no inclusion without willingness to understand each other.

We’re grateful to have been given the opportunity to implement this project that is funded by the European Union.

UnfOlding – Bereid jezelf voor op bewust ouder worden en bewust leven in een digitale samenleving

Een uniek programma voor jou als je bewust, positief en actief verantwoordelijkheid wilt nemen voor jouw proces van ouder worden

Ouder worden betekent Leven! Iedere dag is weer een kans en elke keuze die we vandaag maken vormt onze toekomst. Voor het eerst in de geschiedenis is 90 jaar oud worden geen uitzondering. Dit brengt een nieuwe paradigma met zich mee, een nieuwe manier om naar onze werkelijkheid te kijken.

Wat betekent het eigenlijk om ouder te worden? Wat voor (voor)oordelen hebben we hier over? Hoe maken we al deze jaren betekenisvol? Zijn we ons voldoende bewust van de mogelijke verliezen en moeilijkheden die ouder worden met zich mee brengt? En zijn we bereid om van perspectief te veranderen en om het leven in al zijn aspecten te omarmen? Om van ouder worden een bewuste, actieve en mooie reis te maken?

Dit programma is voor jou als:

  • Je je bewust bent van de impact van ouder worden
  • Je verantwoordelijkheid wilt nemen over jouw proces van ouder worden
  • Je wilt reflecteren en voorbereid zijn op de verschillende aspecten van ouder worden
  • Je je vooroordelen over ouder worden wilt onderzoeken en nieuwe inzichten wilt verkrijgen
  • Je onderdeel wilt uitmaken van een community van gelijkgezinden die bewust samen op onderzoek wil gaan

Het programma 

In dit programma willen we samen de reis van ouder worden verkennen.

We kijken naar de praktische aspecten van ouder worden en we reflecteren samen op de impact van dit alles op onze eigen levens.

Europese burgers vergrijzen, het aantal ouderen groeit snel en dat zorgt voor druk op de zorg-, gezondheids-, pensioen- en sociale systemen.

Hoe kunnen we verantwoordelijkheid nemen en ons voorbereiden op onze eigen vergrijzing op sociaal, professioneel, financieel, mentaal, fysiek en spiritueel niveau?

Wat zijn onze eigen oordelen rond veroudering en hoe kunnen deze ons beperken in de verschillende aspecten van ons leven. Kunnen we deze oordelen voor onszelf en misschien ook voor anderen veranderen?

Tijdens dit leerprogramma van 10 maanden met 10 workshops behandelen we alle aspecten van ouder worden. We kijken naar het culturele, demografische en sociologische kader, de praktische aspecten en alles daartussenin. We voorzien je van inspiratie, reflecties en praktische tools en materialen.

Tijdens deze 10 workshops vergroot je je bewustzijn over ouder worden en hoe je vandaag andere keuzes kunt maken om daar nu en straks van te profiteren.

Wat deelnemers zeggen over het programma:

“Nieuwe inzichten, mooie ontmoetingen en het gevoel dat ik nog veel heb om naar uit te kijken met het ouder worden. De sessies zijn erg informatief en verruimen mijn blik over ouder worden. Soms ook confronterend want er is voor mij nog werk aan de winkel maar dat geeft ook energie.“

“It makes me reflect on  the  whole topic of conscious ageing which is so much deeper than I was willing to dig for, and it’s a lot more fun to share experiences in a circle of fellow seekers.”

“It has helped me in my transition into retirement, addressing very relevant and timely topics in the company of fellow participants who are each exploring their own aging journey. Its enriching to experience their different perspectives.”

Voor wie?

Voor 40-plussers die verantwoordelijkheid willen nemen over hun leven en het ouder worden en die bewust en met kennis van zaken hun oude leeftijd willen aankijken.

Praktisch 

Timing: Maandelijkse zoom meetings op vrijdag, van 15:00 – 17:00 CET, elke sessie duurt 2 uur.

De groep bestaat uit maximaal 15 personen. We nemen de sessies op voor het geval een groepslid niet aanwezig kan zijn en stellen ze voor een beperkte tijd beschikbaar voor de groepsleden. Tussen de sessies door moet je wat tijd besteden om artikelen te lezen, korte video’s te bekijken en wat korte vragen uit te werken. We faciliteren een online (besloten) community waar reflecties, vragen en informatie gedeeld kunnen worden.

Taal: De sessies zijn in het Nederlands

Dit programma maakt deel uit van het Erasmus+ UnfOlding Project en is gesubsidieerd door de Europese Unie. 

Als je geïnteresseerd bent, neem dan contact op met milena@hekatefoundation.org

10 workshops

  • Introductie (30 september 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Sociaal leven, sociaal netwerk, sociaal support (21 oktober 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Professioneel leven (werk, leren) (18 november 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Wonen (16 december 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Spiritualiteit (13 januari 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Fysieke gezondheid (10 februari 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Mentale gezondheid (10 maart 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Financiële duurzaamheid (31 maart 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Het einde van het leven (21 april 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Persoonlijke Roadmap (12 mei 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET) 

De begeleiders

Milena Milankovics

Gestalt therapist, Co-founder van de Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation

Milena werkt al jaren aan bewust, actief en gezond ouder worden, doet mee aan diverse onderzoeken, organiseert tal van trainingen, congressen en evenementen. 

In haar privépraktijk ligt haar focus op de ‘sandwich’-generatie, volwassenen die door midlife-veranderingen of andere belangrijke overgangen in het leven gaan. Ze is lid van de European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) en de European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT).

Mirjam van Ruth

Eigenaar van Laventurier, Soul Based Coach en groepsbegeleider.

Mirjam heeft jarenlang leiding gegeven aan teams en projecten. Ze werkt nu als coach en groepsbegeleider. Nadat ze het bedrijfsleven heeft verlaten, heeft ze zich volledig gericht op het onderzoeken en ondergaan van het leven en ze wil anderen inspireren hetzelfde te doen. In al haar activiteiten, en dat zijn er veel, richt Mirjam zich op het creëren van een groter bewustzijn van wie we zijn, om het leven volledig en vrij te kunnen leven.

Registratie: Hier

In geval van vragen kun je contact opnemen met milena@hekatefoundation.org  

UnfOlding – How to equip for conscious ageing and conscious living in a digital society (Programme held in Dutch)

A unique program for those who want to take ownership of their ageing and turn it into a conscious journey

Ageing means to be alive. Every day in life is an opportunity. The choices we are making today shape our future. For the first time in human history today’s generations in Europe living up to 90 years or more are no longer an exception and that brings a new paradigm. 

Are we prepared to live as long? Do we know how to make all these years meaningful and fulfilling? Are we aware of the potential losses and difficulties? Are we ready to change perspective and start celebrating life in all its aspects and turn ageing into a conscious and active journey? Do we know how to do that? 

This program is for you if:

  • You recognise the impact of ageing in your current life
  • You want to take ownership of your ageing and becoming an Elder
  • You want to reflect and to be prepared for the social, professional, financial, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of ageing
  • You want to explore your biases, share your thoughts, ideas (and probably your doubts and fears) about ageing and becoming an Elder
  • You want to build a personal roadmap which will support you in the process of becoming older, as besides it being an adventure, it is also a process of grieving and celebration in one.
  • You want to take part in an international conscious ageing community 

The programme

In this program we want to explore together the journey of ageing and becoming an Elder. 

What practical aspects are there? 

European citizens are ageing, the number of Elderly people is rapidly growing and that creates pressure on the care-, health-, pension- and social systems.

How can we take ownership and prepare for our ageing and our elderly age socially, professionally, financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually? 

What are the biases around ageing and how might these limit us in all aspects of our life? And how can we change these for ourselves and maybe others?

During this 10 month learning program with 10 workshops, we cover all angles of ageing and becoming an Elder. We look at the cultural, demographic and sociological framework, the practical aspects and everything in between. We will provide you with inspiration, reflections and practical tools and materials.

During these 10 workshops, you will create your individual roadmap into your elderly age starting today.

For whom?

For people over 40 who wants to take ownership of their ageing and want to shape their elderly age consciously and with informed thinking. 

Practical

Timing: We will have monthly zoom meetings on Fridays, from 15:00 – 17:00 CET, each session takes 2 hours.

The group consists of up to 20 people. We will record the sessions in case any group member cannot attend and make them available for a limited time to group members only. In between sessions you will have to spend some time on reading, watching materials and working on your own personal roadmap. We will have an online (closed) community where we can share reflections, questions and information. 

Language: The sessions will be in Dutch

This programme is part of the Erasmus+ UnfOlding Project Funded by the European Union

If you want to join please contact us: Milena@hekatefoundation.org

10 workshops

  • Introduction (30 September 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Social life, social network, social support (21 October 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Professional life (work, learning) (18 November 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Housing and living (16 December 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Spiritual life (13 January 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Physical health (10 February 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Mental health (10 March 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Financial sustainability (31 March 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Approaching end of life (21 April 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Personal Roadmap (12 May 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET) 

What the participants say:

“New insights, lovely connections and the feeling that there is actually still a lot to look forward to. The sessions are informative and very eye-opening. Confronting at times as I have quite some work to do but that’s energising too!”

“It makes me reflect on  the  whole topic of conscious ageing which is so much deeper than I was willing to dig for, and it’s a lot more fun to share experiences in a circle of fellow seekers”

“It has helped me in my transition into retirement, addressing very relevant and timely topics in the company of fellow participants who are each exploring their own aging journey. It’s enriching to experience their different perspectives.”

The trainers

Milena Milankovics

Gestalt therapist, Co-founder of Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation

Miléna has been working on conscious, active and healthy ageing for many years, participating in several research, organising numerous trainings, conferences and events. In her private practice her focus is on the “sandwich” generation, adults going through midlife changes or other significant transitions in life. She is a member of the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) and the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT).

Mirjam van Ruth

Owner of Laventurier, Soul Based Coach and Consultant.

Mirjam spent many years leading teams and projects. She now works as a coach, facilitator and as a consultant. She has been exploring life and who we all are ever since she left the corporate world and she wants to inspire others to do the same. In all her activities, which are many, Mirjam’s focus is on creating greater awareness into who we are, in order to live life fully and freely.

Registration: Here

If you have any question, please contact us milena@hekatefoundation.org  

Learning about permaculture, health and conscious ageing

This new programme is recommended to individuals, who are interested in permaculture and its potential in relation to physical and mental health, conscious ageing and general wellness. Also for those who would like to spend a hot Summer day in a cool, mature, forest garden in Gödöllő, Hungary.

The course is designed for people who want to learn more about permaculture, but do not want to spend many days away, on a farm or a garden site. Yet, they would also like to see a mature perma garden in real life.

REGINA Garden is located in Gödöllő, Hungary. It is about 20 minutes from Budapest by car. Public transport to Gödöllő from Budapest is good.

Registration and tickets

Continue reading “Learning about permaculture, health and conscious ageing”

DigInclude: Developing Digital Skills in Disadvantaged Groups

DigInclude is a two-years-long project that creates space for a well-needed digital inclusion of marginalised and disadvantaged groups of youngsters and young adults. 

With this project we address two interconnected issues that the European Union its member states are facing at the moment:

  • Access to life-long learning, up-skilling, and digital literacy for many people in Europe, especially of geographically, economically or socially disadvantaged people.
  • Wide-scale shortage in skilled workforce in the digital economy and beyond.

Why?

The skilled workforce shortage is an obvious opportunity for disadvantaged people. There is, however, often a skill gap preventing applicants from successful employment. Improving digital literacy greatly increases their chances on the job market.

Employment for disadvantaged groups is a key prerequisite to creating equal opportunities. The access to the job market, however, needs to be actually actionable in practice. A recurring pattern across various disadvantaged groups is that they are underrepresented in or even mostly excluded from digital professions. Even though the reasons for this glass ceiling are always complex, adult education is a powerful tool in addressing the problem.

Within this project we commit ourselves to:

  • create a dedicated adult learners’ community of Hungarian and Dutch people, in which ongoing dialogue, long-term community learning, and co-created, progressive community initiatives can be born.
  • support young disadvantaged individuals to improve their digital skills, literacy and wellness in order to support their employment success in a digital world.

The DigInclude project is led by SignCoders, a social enterprise from Hungary employing deaf young professionals. Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation, in the Netherlands, is the proud partner in this project.

Hekate-SignCoders DigInclude meetings

About the project

As mentioned earlier, our societies are transforming into a digital world and many disadvantaged people have no real and proper access to related adult learning and up-skilling.

Our motivation for this project is to help both local communities with access to the digital age. Society often does not encourage disadvantaged people to pursue digital professions. The individuals concerned see very few role models around them. Furthermore, digital education is not always available barrier-free. As an example, there is very little study material in digital topics available in sign language or accessible to blind people. Consequently, a digital career path is not an available option for many disadvantaged people in practice. As a result, they are often excluded from the jobs they would prefer. That’s the glass ceiling we set out to break.

We strongly believe that post-covid economic and social recovery can, should, and in fact must be built on the intentions, wishes, and materialistic realities of local communities and the people themselves.

We also strongly believe that post-covid recovery must put an enhanced emphasis on access to digital skills and strategically shared community responsibilities.

We also strongly believe that these developments and transitions must be driven and owned by the local people themselves, which means that the process has to be accompanied by a wide range of adult learning activities and modules.

Both SignCoders and Hekate have an experience in growing and nurturing disadvantaged communities by opening digital doors for them. Our cooperation is the next step in the manifestation of this strategy in terms of the adult learning element. Putting our resources together we will be able to scale up promoting knowledge and solutions on digital skills and wellness. 

We believe that our approach is a pragmatic yet progressive social innovation to tackle complex social an economical issues. 

What’s next?

Follow our FaceBook and/or LinkedIn page to stay up-to-date with activities, possibilities and results of this project that we are so excited about!

DigInclude is a project founded by the European Union. 

Social Permaculture: Empowering an Active Society (Social PEAS)

The Social PEAS project is focused on developing a special permaculture training for vulnerable adults as well as professionals working with vulnerable adults. The target groups of the project are:

  • vulnerable adults,
  • people who suffer from mental health issues,
  • elderly people,
  • homeless people and people with housing deprivations,
  • former drug or alcohol users,
  • people with disabilities,
  • adult educators and experts, working with vulnerable adults.

Through this project, we will be able to:

  • Support adult educators to increase their knowledge and gain expertise in regenerative social permaculture and the creation of permaculture gardens.
  • Empower vulnerable adults to increase their knowledge and competencies to be able to use tools from social permaculture and nature therapy for the improvement of their well-being and social resilience while taking care of the environment!

The Social PEAS project is led by Friends of the Earth Cyprus, in collaboration with Friends of the Earth Malta, Fundación Intras (Spain), Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation (the Netherlands), Promimpresa (Italy) and ICEP, the Institute of European Certification of Personnel (Slovakia).

About the project

Environmental and social challenges are deeply connected and to tackle these we need an equally interconnected approach. The Social PEAS project derived from the identified need to tackle social exclusion and climate and environmental challenges through the use of permaculture to create resilient and sustainable communities.

The project was designed to support adult educators and hence vulnerable adults that are: suffering from mental health issues – both diagnosed with chronic conditions and those that have been affected through the COVID19 pandemic; homeless people and people with housing deprivations; former drug or alcohol user; people with physical and intellectual disabilities; and elderly people, together making up 20% of the European population.

Working in a group, planning together how to create a garden, seeing plants and food grow, tending to plants, being outdoors as a community – these are all exercises that have an abundant benefit on the participants mental well-being. Such activities provide life skills in the aspects of planning, co-designing, executing a communal plan, and bringing together people from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, permaculture gardens are a gateway for nature learning and nature care, create food resilience and security, provide green havens for pollinators and other species and are alternatives to the linear extractive economies and mindsets that most people are exposed to.

In the Social PEAS project, Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation is focusing on ageing populations and the health and spiritual well-being petal of the permaculture flower, especially on the use of permaculture in sustaining mental health and well-being.

UnfOlding – How to equip for conscious ageing and conscious living in a digital society

A unique program for those who want to take ownership of their ageing and turn it into a conscious journey

Ageing means to be alive. Every day in life is an opportunity. The choices we are making today shape our future. For the first time in human history today’s generations in Europe living up to 90 years or more are no longer an exception and that brings a new paradigm. 

Are we prepared to live as long? Do we know how to make all these years meaningful and fulfilling? Are we aware of the potential losses and difficulties? Are we ready to change perspective and start celebrating life in all its aspects and turn ageing into a conscious and active journey? Do we know how to do that? 

This program is for you if:

  • You recognise the impact of ageing in your current life
  • You want to take ownership of your ageing and becoming an Elder
  • You want to reflect and to be prepared for the social, professional, financial, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of ageing
  • You want to explore your biases, share your thoughts, ideas (and probably your doubts and fears) about ageing and becoming an Elder
  • You want to build a personal roadmap which will support you in the process of becoming older, as besides it being an adventure, it is also a process of grieving and celebration in one.
  • You want to take part in an international conscious ageing community 

The programme

In this program we want to explore together the journey of ageing and becoming an Elder. 

What practical aspects are there? 

European citizens are ageing, the number of Elderly people is rapidly growing and that creates pressure on the care-, health-, pension- and social systems.

How can we take ownership and prepare for our ageing and our elderly age socially, professionally, financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually? 

What are the biases around ageing and how might these limit us in all aspects of our life? And how can we change these for ourselves and maybe others?

During this 10 month learning program with 10 workshops, we cover all angles of ageing and becoming an Elder. We look at the cultural, demographic and sociological framework, the practical aspects and everything in between. We will provide you with inspiration, reflections and practical tools and materials.

During these 10 workshops, you will create your individual roadmap into your elderly age starting today.

For whom?

For people over 40 who wants to take ownership of their ageing and want to shape their elderly age consciously and with informed thinking. 

Practical

Timing: We will have monthly zoom meetings on Fridays, from 15:00 – 17:00 CET, each session takes 2 hours.

The group consists of up to 15 people. We will record the sessions in case any group member cannot attend and make them available for a limited time to group members only. In between sessions you will have to spend some time on reading, watching materials and working on your own personal roadmap. We will have an online (closed) community where we can share reflections, questions and information. 

Language: The sessions will be in English. 

Costs: This programme is part of the Erasmus+ UnfOlding Project Funded by the European Union

If you want to join please contact us: Milena@hekatefoundation.org

10 workshops

  • Introduction (22 April 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Social life, social network, social support (20 May 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Professional life (work, learning) (17 June 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Housing and living (8 July 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Spiritual life (26 August 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Physical health (16 September 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Mental health (7 October 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Financial sustainability (28 October 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Approaching end of life (25 November 2022, 15:00-17:00 CET)
  • Personal Roadmap (20 January 2023, 15:00-17:00 CET) 

The trainers

Milena Milankovics

Gestalt therapist, Co-founder of Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation

Miléna has been working on conscious, active and healthy ageing for many years, participating in several research, organising numerous trainings, conferences and events. In her private practice her focus is on the “sandwich” generation, adults going through midlife changes or other significant transitions in life. She is a member of the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) and the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT).

Mirjam van Ruth

Owner of Laventurier, Soul Based Coach and Consultant.

Mirjam spent many years leading teams and projects. She now works as a coach, facilitator and as a consultant. She has been exploring life and who we all are ever since she left the corporate world and she wants to inspire others to do the same. In all her activities, which are many, Mirjam’s focus is on creating greater awareness into who we are, in order to live life fully and freely.

Registration: Here

If you have any question, please contact us milena@hekatefoundation.org