All play and no work is not what we are here for, regardless how entertaining non-formal educations is. For this reason, our trainer gave everyone the following task:

Form, minimum, 4 (new) groups. In these groups one has to work on either an existing Project of their own, an already existing Project of someone else or on an entirely new Project created on the spot with one’s partners.

See you tomorrow!

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou




What happens when you combine spaghetti, grown adults, sting, tape, scissors and 4 marshmallows? An educational opportunity! All of our participants got into 4 groups and were given 20 spaghetti (uncooked) per table, 1 pair of scissors (sharpened), 1 roll of tape (sticky) and 1 marshmallow (luscious).

The goal of this exercise was to make the highest free-standing structure possible with the marshmallow intact on the top in 15 minutes. The scissors were not to be used as a construction material, by the way, only as a tool. Furthermore, any spaghetti broken on duty will not be replaced, but sorely missed. So tread carefully!

And the winner is…! 60 cm tall!


But this exercise was not just for fun (or even for the joy of eating the marshmallows at the end). The Learnings that were to be gained are better listed than explained:

  • Trial and error
  • Find your role
  • Do not over-engineer, start!
  • Take second chances and improve
  • Look at your competitors
  • Testing/Prototyping

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou


Competence Matching Rules:

1)    Write down one’s top 3 competences that could be interesting to the other participants.

2)    Connect one’s name to minimum 3 skills provided by the others.

3)    Matchmaking!


After getting to know each other it is high time to start being intimate. In order to facilitate that Dr Schmiedgen created his own variation of traditional Matchmaking and popular Speed Dating. The participants had to first of all pass a round of ‘Competence Matching’, where everyone had to write down 3 competences that could be interesting to other participants and then stick them on one side of the provided board. The other side of the board included everyone’s names. After everyone was done putting up their skills, they linked their name with minimum 3 skills that interest them provided by others. After seeing which skill belonged to what person, they mingled!


Taking things to second base, everyone now dabbled with Speed Ideating! The rules were simple and probably easier to understand than any prolonged explanation and so, without further ado:

Speed Ideation Rules:

1)    Every round, move two seats.

2)    Create in pairs an entrepreneurial idea based on each one’s competences.

3)    You get 3 rounds.

4)    Explain in the end one’s favourite project out of the 3 each person created.

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou


After lunch, all the participants took turns introducing themselves and their organisations or work. An incredibly gross simplification of said presentations is as follows:

  • Dimitris Michalaros (katart-e –Art +Technology lab) (GR)
  • Alina Manzhelevska (Start-up: Black Box Adventures – games developers) (ND/UK)
  • Thomas Stoffels (DIGEW – Company for Electricity and Heat Services) (D)
  • Rita Sebastien + Pil Nielsen (Shared Space NGO – othernessproject.org) (ND)
  • Bart Dekken (Roosveltlaan – Alternative Community Space) (ND)
  • Sandrina Burkhardt + Ronja Gaewers (Monkeytree) (ND)
  • Mathias Tholey (Chempino – Chocolate + Hemp) (D)
  • Saša Žagar (Self-employed – Family Business of handmade products, Špelce?) (SL)
  • Alexander Lamig (Sustainable Neighbourhood = our future) (ES)
  • Ana Caceres Gomez (Media Freelancer) (ES)
  • Marko Por (Digital artist – ‘POR’, markopor.com // ‘Mindy Blue’ – Animation Studios) (SL)
  • Katja Mijajlović (‘Katja’ – Freelance Designer) (SL)
  • Corina Pop (Associazione Betania Bologna – NPO) (RO/IT)
  • Nadia Monti (The Youth Committee for the Italian National Commission UNESCO) (IT)
  • Agnes Cursic Asodi (Saturized) (SE)
  • Milica Mančić (Studies Psychology at Belgrade University // h.art development center) (SE)
  • Vera Tanasić (Painter – Professional Artist) (SE) 

    by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou


After a short introduction to his own work, Dr Peter Schmiedgen gave the participants the main outlines of the days to come, ergo what one will learn and when. But before we all went to eat lunch he had the first real exercise of the day: Expectations, Contributions and Fears. Each person had to write their expectations of this training course on a green paper, any contributions they believe they can bring to the team on blue paper and, finally, their own personal fears on red but there was a catch! Only one sentence per card was allowed! While collecting the cards from the people, Dr Schmiedgen addressed all the fears individually and thus dispelled any looming uneasiness troubling his audience comfortably. Currently, all of these cards are on the wall, to remind the group their starting points and thus measure their personal evolution.

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou


While games are one of the best ways to break the ice and to create a joyous atmosphere, it is always important to remember and thank all the people and partners that made this training possible. After thanking the local partner ‘Wir gestalten Dresden – Branchenverband der Dresdner Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft e.V.’, the trainer, Dr. Peter Schmiedgen, the personnel of the office (Stefan Kiehne – Chairman of JKPeV, Olga Yocheva, Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou, Katerina Maria Konstantinidou, Joanna Lawda, Sylwia Lukaszynska, Johanna von der Lage, Florence Bartocci) were then introduced and presented by the project coordinator, Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi. Ms Pertsinidi provided the final note in this first round of introductions by means of a short production of the organisation and of a short introduction of the project, its goals and its activities. And just in time too for the first exercise!

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou


Wednesday 30th of March and all the participants have gotten together. What a better way to meet and greet than a fun game of Bingo? Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi, coordinator of the CreativeLab, introduced the game and explained the participants the rules of the game. Each square contained a question that responded to (at least) one person from the group and each participant had to find said person and write down their name. Don’t cheat! Each square has to have a different name inside! The first person to fill up their board shouts “BINGO!” and got to inform everyone else what they found out.

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou