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Launching RePlan in Norway

This week at the Norsensus Mediaforum headquarters in Oslo, Razvan-Victor Sassu, Adela Fenichiu, Eliza Vas and Daniela Sima from the Young Initiative Association (AYI) visited from Bucharest, Romania. This is their second visit to Norway related to the projects done in cooperation with Norsensus.

Last year, they visited Norway as a part of the NGO capacity building project Communication for Sustainability, which was funded by EEA & Norway Grants. This year, another EEA & Norway Grants funded project, NGO Innovation Romania – Norway, was the reason behind their visit. The project that involved creating a strategic planning game called RePlan was in its final stages and ready to be presented to NGOs in Norway. As their partners in Norway, Norsensus Mediaforum helped them further develop the Norwegian language version of the game and plan activities and the promotion of the project in Norway.

RePlan is a tool for NGOs that are in the process of creating or improving their current strategic plan. The game challenges players to consider their morals and whether they are in line with those of the NGO, it encourages players to acknowledge their NGO’s weaknesses and to work together to come up with alternative solutions if their current plan were to fail.

A workshop about the game and opportunities to collaborate with NGOs in Romania was held at Deichmanske Public Library for representatives of various NGOs in Norway.
The participants got to network and learn from each other by engaging in activities where they were encouraged to share their successes and challenges related to their respective NGOs.

The game, which can take many hours to play in full, was thoroughly explained and demonstrated. Participants had the chance to play certain stages of the game and received a free copy of the game at the end.

The last days of their visit were spent visiting the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, KFUK-KFUM and LNU in order to promote RePlan and learn more about how NGOs play a role in Norwegian society. 

At the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, project manager Csilla Czimbalmos was excited to see the result of a project in which they were indirectly involved. She saw the potential that the game has to help NGOs make the planning process easier and more engaging.The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is responsible for distributing EEA & Norway Grants to further the development of civil society in foreign countries, including Romania.

At KFUK-KFUM Global, the members of the Young Initiative Association were able to present RePlan as well as their experiences as a YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) branch, which is something that both organizations have in common. KFUK-KFUM plans on using the game to give their new volunteers and employees a better understanding of what they stand for.

At LNU (The Norwegian Children and Youth Council), Fredrik Vaaheim gave the AYI representatives an introduction on how the NGO sector works in Norway and what role it plays in society.

RePlan is currently available in English, Romanian and Norwegian. Both a physical copy and an online download of the Norwegian version will soon be available for order on the Norsensus website.

Google Introduces Perspective against Internet Trolls and Hateful Comments

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Last week, Google announced the launch of Perspective, an API that helps online platforms and publishers host more civil conversations and keep away hateful trolls.

Many readers and publishers share the ideal of the internet as a global forum for comment, debate and exchange of ideas. But in practice, maintaining this ideal has not always been easy. The daunting task of sifting through and moderating thousands of reader comments has driven platforms to turn off comment rights, and users to be wary of expressing themselves or engaging with contentious opinions. For publishers, this can result in less engaged readers and a diminished sense of reader community. It’s a serious business challenge.

It’s also a technological challenge that Google has decided to tackle. Thanks to advancements in machine learning, Google has been able to build models that can analyze text and score it based on historic data and its perceived impact on conversation. The API Google has released will give access to these models, starting with a “toxicity” score (i.e. whether a comment could be perceived as “toxic” to a discussion).

Publishers can then use this score to give realtime feedback to commenters, help moderators do their job, or allow readers to easily find relevant information. Our hope is that Perspective will become a key part of publishers’ ability to analyze comment language at scale, and thus facilitate an open and constructive commenting community.

Google started with a handful of experimental partnerships (The New York Times, Wikipedia, The Guardian and The Economist) to explore how our API could be helpful. Today Google want to give all DNI members privileged access, so that they can experiment and build their own tools. Google’re dedicating a development team to the project, who will provide technical support and ansGoogler questions that might arise. The API is initially only available in English, but Google will be expanding to other languages – and would value publishers help to do so.

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How it works

Perspective reviews comments and scores them based on how similar they are to comments people said were “toxic” or likely to make someone leave a conversation. To learn how to spot potentially toxic language, Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labeled by human reviewers. Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially toxic comments, or is provided with corrections from users, it can get better at scoring future comments.

Publishers can choose what they want to do with the information they get from Perspective. For example, a publisher could flag comments for its own moderators to review and decide whether to include them in a conversation. Or a publisher could provide tools to help their community understand the impact of what they are writing—by, for example, letting the commenter see the potential toxicity of their comment as they write it. Publishers could even just allow readers to sort comments by toxicity themselves, making it easier to find great discussions hidden under toxic ones.

Source: Google

How to Fight against Backfire Effect?

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Nowadays, there is so much misinformation that we feel down sometimes in our struggle against ingnorance and changing people’s thoughts. How about I say it is a futile struggle to try to convince people about their failures and skewed opinions. This bold statement is based on a what is commonly known as «backfire effect». Then you may ask:

If there is any hope to ever reach people who refuse to accept facts – is there any chance to change people’s minds with evidence, reason, or scientific consensus?

In this engaging podcast, David McRaney tries to find answer to them by talking to some experts. Yes how do we fight againt backfire effect and change people’s minds? Enjoy it

Nordisk evalueringsseminar en suksess

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Nesten 100 deltakere bidro til å gjøre evalueringsseminaret 2017 den 16.-18. januar til en svært positiv opplevelse. Variasjonen i programmet var stort, og engasjementet hos de frammøtte enda større.

Deltakerne fikk i løpet av to fullspekkede dager mange muligheter til å dele av sine tilbakemeldinger, erfaringer, tanker og ideer til Aktiv Ungdom. Alle prosjekttyper ble vurdert, og mangfoldet i tilbakemeldingene var stort.

– Det er utrolig viktig for oss å få tilbakemeldinger fra brukerne våre, sier leder i Aktiv Ungdom, Erik Langbråten.

– Vi er her for brukerne våre, og få en slik anledning til å få del i dere virkelighet er veldig viktig for hvordan vi vil utvikle oss videre.

Deltakere fra var fra alle de nordiske landene, og seminaret hadde også fått besøk av to observatører fra Spania. En stor del av evalueringen foregikk i grupper fordelt på prosjekttype, og ulike interaktive metoder ble brukt i de ulike gruppene. Det var også tilbud om kortere workshop om youthpass, kvalitet i ungdomsutvekslinger, Mobility tool og inkludering og mangfold i ungdomsprosjekter. I tillegg ble det holdt en svært kreativ og underholdende workshop i animasjon, som resulterte i flere animasjonsvideoer som skal promotere Aktiv Ungdoms arbeid!

Nordic Evaluation Seminar Brought 100 Nordic Participants Together in Oslo

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Nearly 100 NGO and public sector representatives working with youth in Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Denmark participated in the evaluation seminar in Oslo on the 16th-18th January. 

The participants got chance to share their feedback, experiences, thoughts and ideas om Erasmus+ program and youth works they carry out in their respective countries.

– It is incredibly important for us to get feedback from our beneficiaries, says the head of Norwegian national agency Aktiv Ungdom, Erik Langbråten.

In addition to the participants from all the Nordic countries, there were observers from Spain. A large part of the evaluation was carried out in groups according to the project types, and various interactive methods were used in various groups. It was also offered shorter workshop on youth pass, quality in youth exchanges, mobility tool and inclusion and diversity in youth projects. In addition, there was a very creative and entertaining workshops on stop-motion animation.

Norsensus Mediaforum was represented in the seminar by two participants and we got chance to share our experiences and good examples from our youth projects, Your Kite and Story Down Walls.

Microsoft Sponser Norsensus Mediaforum med Microsoft Azure

Microsoft er med å støtte Norsensus Mediaforum ved å tilby en sponset Microsoft Azure konto til en verdi av 5000 USD per år.

Microsoft Azure er en cloud computing-plattform og infrastruktur for web og mobil applikasjoner, nettverk, lagring og mer skapt av Microsoft. Vi takker Microsoft for deres generøse støtte som vil hjelpe oss til å utvikle spennende løsninger for samfunnet, oppnå mer innsikt, effektivitet og ha større påvirkning.

Microsoft tilbyr donerte og rabatterte produkter til kvalifiserte ideelle organisasjoner verden rundt. Disse programmene omfatter sky-tjenester, programvare og volumrabatter. Lokale Microsoft Philanthropies kontorer arrangerer også regelmessig opplæringsaktiviteter for å hjelpe ideelle organisasjoner med å ta i bruk teknologi på en bedre måte og lære hvordan teknologi kan forbedre effektiviteten i arbeidet de gjør i deres organisasjoner.

Les mer om Azure

Microsoft Provides Sponsored Microsoft Azure Service to Norsensus Mediaforum

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Microsoft grants to Norsensus Mediaforum a sponsored Microsoft Azure account worth of $5000 per year. Microsoft Azure is an integrated suite of cloud services- computing, web and mobile apps, networking, storage, and more. We thank Microsoft for their generous support helping us to develop exciting solutions for the society, achieve more insight, more efficiency and more impact.

Microsoft offers donated and discounted products to eligible nonprofit organizations all over the world. These programs include Cloud Services, Software, and Volume Discounts. Local Microsoft Philanthropies offices also regularly hold training events to help nonprofits better use technology and learn how technology can improve the impact of their organizations.

About Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—  created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
It provides SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
Azure was announced in October 2008 and released on 1 February 2010 as Windows Azure, before being renamed to Microsoft Azure on 25 March 2014.

Unfolding the Power of Visual Storytelling in Greece

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Facilitated by Norsensus Mediaforum, a two day visual storytelling workshop brought 40 NGO representatives in Greece capital, Athens. The participants explored the power of visual storytelling in civil society on 12 and 13th December. Practically they learned essential skills for visualization and producing visual content for different purposes.

In the first day of the workshop, the participants learned about the structure of storytelling and elements of a good visual story as well as storyboarding and planning. The second day was  devoted to learning new tools of visual storytelling such as stop-motion animation, augmented reality and interactive video creation.

The arrangement was an exciting outcome of the partnership among Norsensus Mediaforum, SciFY, Bodossaki Foundation – Ίδρυμα Μποδοσάκη, We are all Citizens and EEA and Norway Grants

The event was organised by SciFY with the support of the Bodossaki Foundation and financed under the EEA Grants Programme in Greece «We are all Citizens».

Mastering storytelling for promoting better our cause

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Youth workers from 9 countries were initiated in connecting the art of storytelling with organizational development, together with other youth workers from nine European countries, within Story-down walls! training course, supported by the Erasmus+ Programme.

The training course, organized by Norsensus Mediaforum from Norway and Fundatia Danis from Romania, took place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the end of November 2016. The event brought together youth workers from Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey.

The catalyst for offering this workshop was to explore storytelling as a way of organizational and personal development.

«In a time of chaos of information, we need good story-tellers in civil society for reaching the heart of the people and sustainable organizational development. Well curated stories have a key role here. We witness many disturbing stories that are shaping our life and worldviews and there is a big need to tell new stories on youth workers’ side. This workshop idea has been initiated with these thoughts”, said one of the main trainers of the workshop, Vedat Sevincer (Norsensus Mediaforum, Norway).

During the six-day training course, the youth workers experienced in various forms the storytelling mind-set, and developed skills and knowledge related to story thinking, story structure, and storytelling techniques. Moreover, they learned to connect their personal stories to the organization’s stories and to their clients’ stories. And, for making their organizations more sustainable, the youth workers tried out various storytelling techniques for advocacy and fundraising activities. Finally, the participants made the plan on how they will use the storytelling in the future, for themselves and for their organizations.

 

“I am working with thousands of teachers and children, and each one of them is a story meant to be heard. It is a story about how education can change Romania in a country you want to live in, it is a story about how each citizen should fight for the common good. This training helped me a lot in how to tell the stories of these amazing heroes that I work with every day”, Lidia, one of the participants, sharing what the training will help her at work.

“I want to write again. My life is a hero’s journey with a petal structure and a fight between hope and reality. And I am still here. I’m alive and I want to share with the world what I think or what I feel”, Rosa, one of the youth workers, sharing her thoughts on what the training week meant to her.

Find out more about the training and the work done by the youth workers on the training blog:

https://norsensus.no/storydown/

Also, check the photos from the training here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskPzMvQh

Story-down walls! Sustainable and Innovative Storytelling Strategies Training Course

Rounding up support from Norwegian National Agency, Aktiv Ungdom, the project was carried out in the frame of Erasmus+ KA1 program. The training aimed at professionalizing youth workers in developing long-term storytelling strategies for their organizations, in order to reach community and financial sustainability.

The coordinating organization of the workshop was Norsensus Mediaforum from Norway and the partner organizations as following:

  • Fundatia Danis pentru Dezvoltare Manageriala (Romania)
  • Volunteer Development Foundation (Poland)
  • Fundacion Universitaria San Antonio (Spain)
  • Youth Art Research and Training Association (Turkey)
  • Programma Integra (Italy)
  • Asociacija Apkabink Europa (Lithuania)
  • The Change Is in You (Bulgaria)
  • Center for Education and Development (Macedonia)

The main trainers of the workshop were Vedat Sevincer from Norsensus Mediaforum, Norway, and Paula Beudean from Fundatia Danis, Romania. The co-trainers were: Urszula Puchalska (Volunteer Development Foundation, Poland) and Abdurrahim Gunaydin (Norsensus Mediaforum, Norway).

 

Young Trainers from Norway, Poland and Romania Met in Transylvania

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In the frame of YourKITE Erasmus+ project, 18 young trainers from Norway, Poland and Romania met in Ighiu, Romania for a one week workshop. The participants between 18 to 25 learned developing workshops for youth, on media and communication, entrepreneurship, volunteering, and labour market, during the training.

The Norwegian and Polish team first met in Budapest and took a long bus ride together to Cluj-Napoca, where they met the Romanian participants. Thereafter, all arrived in the training venue, which is located in historic small village near Alba.

The first day of the training started with the integration and training methodology. In the following day the participants continued to explore the methodological elements of conducting a successful workshop for young audiance with facilaition of Urszula Puchalska.

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In the afternoon, Abdurrahim Gunaydin and Vedat Sevincer introduced visual communication and media session, where the participants learned about visual design, stop-motion animation as a tool of communication and developing media strategy.

The evening of the day was sealed with a colorful cultural evening where the representatives shared traditions, foods and culture of their respective countries.

The next day was devoted to entrepreneurship and volunteering. Paula Beudean showed the essentials of entreprenurship with some engaging activities, while Urszula Puchalska conducted an interactive session about volunteering. As a part of integration and knowing the local culture closer, the participants in group got chance to visit in the afternoon Alba, the largest citadel of Romania, and the former capital of Transylvania.

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Mariusz Boguszewski led the following day’s workshop on labor market, where he provided practical information about career planning.

As the young participants were introduced to the essential of the main topics of the training, the rest of program was devoted to practicing what they learned and tryin out the high volume toolkit prepared by the porject partners, Norsensus Mediaforum, Fundatia Danis, FRSI and FRW. They, in pair, prepared and conducted sample workshops making use of the ready made scenarios in the toolkit and the knowledge they gained during the first part of the training.

While they applied the workshop scenarios with the rest of the group, they got feedback about their performance in the light of the training methodology.

The program ended with a comprehensive evaluation of the whole training and reflection on the future implications for the participants.

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The training was held from September 11-17, 2016 to provide basic training skills, and practical knowledge on entrepreneurship, volunteering, career counselling, and media and communication, as a part of Erasmus+ Aktiv Ungdom supported Your Kite project.

The participants are to deliver in their community three workshops about the topics they learned to youth between 14-17 years old. They will use YourKite toolkit as a guideline in their workshops.
The workshops will be 1.5 hour each; delivered in pairs, in their own language, in October-November 2016.