Democracy and participation, Education

Face The Past To Have A Future – Common Ground 2.0


Who is behind this?

Robert Laszlo

Common Ground Foundation


Idea Sketch


Idea pitch

To develop a culture of civil debatge about historical controversies and foster a spirit of informed and engaged citizenship in secondary school students, allowing for pluralism and the respect of differing opinions.

In 2017 we created and showcased an exhibit about the historical traumas of the 20th-century. We now propose to take the concept to the next level by holding educational programming around this groundbreaking exhibit, in order to draw Hungarian students into the societal debate.

Where will your idea take place?

Exhibitions: major public squares of towns

Classes: in as many schools nationwide as possible

Why does Europe need your idea?

Discussing the traumas of history is the first step leading towards a common future built on mutual trust.

We need to put an end to relativizing our traumas, and need to start acknowledging the pain of others as well.

This should not divide us: It makes all of us belong to the same nation.

What is your impact?

We do believe that fostering dialogue among isolated Hungarians about our past is an evitable step to a cooperative society, to a much more peaceful future.

How do you get there?

Our trademark: doors as exhibition and education materials
We present the traumas of the 20th century on diverse and colourful doors, ready to be opened or closed. We open up to the past, so we can close it, and turn to the future. The interactive objects encourage visitors (at the exhibitions) and students (at schools) to empathize with others’ interpretations of the same events. Using the doors as educational aid, our volunteers facilitate extraordinary history classes at secondary schools.

What is your story?

Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians are gravitating to the West. I want to stay and make my friends stay. Only a grassroots initiation can help strengthening democracy.

Who are you doing it for?

In order to change underlying attitudes in a sustainable way, we need to address the generation which is currently in secondary schools so that we can help them grow as future active members of their community. Common Ground focuses on 11th and 12th graders.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Do you consider our project innovative? Why? Why not? Do you think that our know-how can be transformed to other nations, or is it Hungary-specific?



Idea created on Jan. 18, 2018

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