Creativity Crowd: Harnessing and developing digital skills for Employment and Education in a post-pandemic Europe
In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, new digital challenges and realities have been raised across Europe that need to be addressed. Firstly, the virus outbreak caused a dramatic pause in the development of new and innovative practices within the fields of education, training and creative industries due to job losses, a reduction in capital and the closure of public facilities. Furthermore, the lack of digital skills within these sectors was made apparent, as all processes had to be made digital as a matter of urgency and many professionals were lacking the necessary skills to accomplish this. These impacts have exacerbated the requirement for improved skills and competences within the digital sphere, as well as the need for an accelerated change in how creative products are created, managed and consumed.
With the mission of tackling these digital challenges, Creativity Crowd is an Erasmus+ KA2 project and collaboration between EProjectConsult Istituto di Ricerca e Formazione (Italy), Expert Pool (Bulgaria), a non-profit organisation with experience developing activities to promote entrepreneurship and support small and medium business ventures, including providing training courses and materials, and Insitut Fur Angewandte Medienforschung gmbh (Institute for Applied Media Research, Germany), a research centre which, among other tasks, provides digitization, digital participation and media competence training, as well as actively being part of the creation of a “smart city” in Bremen, Germany. Each partner evidently takes on different roles throughout the project’s duration, with EProjectConsult focusing on the dissemination and promotion of the project at this first stage.
The project has the following summarised objectives: to create a self-assessment model of competence framework that defines the level of knowledge using DigComp 2.1; to introduce a digital badge to validate acquired skills; to use case studies to illustrate applicability of digital creativity in different sectors; and to create a toolbox for ethics within digital content. One of the main overarching goals of the project is to create digital tools and a platform where soft-skills related to creativity and digital skills can be tested. Soft skills gained from activities often disregarded by many, such as playing video games, are often not recognised nor assessed, however they can be desirable and transferrable. To elaborate, transferable skills gained from video games can include the ability to fly a drone, or to 3-D model and print. The project partners firmly believe that soft skills and creativity are connected and want to show and develop this further over the course of the next two years in which the project will take place. The new self-assessment tool will allow these otherwise unrecognised skills to be validated within the professional sphere.
The project has progressed with the translation of the DigComp 2.1 into English, which was the first task to complete within the first intellectual output: Intellectual Output 1 “Digital Skills for the Creative Sector”. Following on from the kick-off meeting held online earlier this year, over October 13th and 14th, the partners met in Catania to discuss the next steps of IO1. On day one of the partner meeting, they discussed the organisation and management of the project, brought one another up to speed on recent developments, and disseminated documents regarding upcoming deadlines and procedures. The scope of the intellectual outputs was discussed in detail. Further steps to be taken prior to the creation of the self-assessment platform are to gather as much information about the participants, define levels of knowledge and skill to create a competence framework in the field of digital creativity. In addition to addressing these areas, EProjectConsult presented the potential logos for the project and the group decided on a design. On Thursday, the partners were interviewed and filmed regarding their roles in the project and how it will be presented. The video will be disseminated shortly to promote the project on social media channels.