Global Affairs Institute, LSE
Give Something Back to Berlin
Gribu Palidzet Begliem
On content side, we have cooperation pledges from individuals at Oxford University/UK, SOAS/UK, SciencesPo/France, ODI/UK, Marshall Fund/Germany, Migration Systems/Germany + more on our website. On production side: we have pledges from creative content producers eg Webkid.io/Germany, www.kitcoder.com/UK, Popathon visual storytellers/Berlin, www.migranthire.com/Germany. We are also members of MigrantHub Berlin-based network of migration startups.
Migration Matters will be Europe’s first free and open access MOOC on migration (Massive Open Online Course) that brings together leading researchers, practitioners, and migrants to help our audience step away from anxiety-fraught headlines and gain a more nuanced and solution-oriented understanding of migration. We want to reach our audience with formats they enjoy and deliver content through short-form videos, quizzes and interactives, and community tools and curation.
Europe’s current migration debate is full of anxiety, judgment, and opinion. It is framed by a "pro" vs. "con" debate, lacking the middle ground necessary for more nuanced discussion that can lead to Europe-wide solutions. In many countries, migration is the area where the distance between research findings and policy response is the greatest. The only way to improve political solutions is to have a better informed public, capable of demanding better solutions.
We aim to create a Europe-wide, free MOOC that we will run on one of the top educational platforms, offering a creative mix of:
- short-format shareable video lectures;
- interactives and games to spur curiosity and expose knowledge gaps;
- hands-on tasks where people are asked to understand each other’s viewpoints;
- curation: helping participants discover the many creative projects and initiatives devoted to the field of migration, home-grown in Europe.
We’ve begun work on the pilot module of Migration MOOC with a list of “star” researchers across the EU who are also passionate about educating the public. Our next step will be to extend modules to include star speakers among refugees/migrants themselves as well as solutions-oriented practitioners.
Once our video lectures are ready, we will run a "hack sprint" to design interactive experiences around our video content, data vault, and curatorial ideas, bringing together our collaborator network from motion design, coding, visual design, gaming, illustration, and UX backgrounds to ensure that we deliver evidence through formats engaging to our audience
We will assemble all of the above into a MOOC, run it on a top education platform, and open-source all deliverables.
Studies show that ~50% of the European population is in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to migration, but they have their anxieties and concerns. Our user research also shows that many younger Europeans, who hold more inclusive and liberal views, often choose to keep quiet because they feel threatened by the aggressive nature of the debate. Our approach is to empower these individuals Europe-wide through shareable content, evidence, and a sense of community.
We are looking for collaborators - anyone with interesting research or projects around migration we can tell about through our lectures+curation. We are also looking for video makers, interaction and game designers, visual and ux specialists and coders - everyone who wants to contribute to making migration engaging topic it deserves to be.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Top budget items: -fees for curriculum development + some contributor fees 7,000 Euro - fees for crew video + online production (interviewer, producer, cinematographer, graphic designer, animation) 22,000 Euro - travel expenses for video crew (2-3 persons) 10,000 Euro - fees for website development, server hosting, interactives - 5,000 Euro - fees for community management and social media 5,000 Euro - fees for advisors (legal, marketing, translations, accountancy) 5,000 Euro
There is currently no single, accessible migration MOOC on platforms like Coursera, EdX, Iversity, etc. Meanwhile, we know people enjoy participating in MOOCs on interdisciplinary subjects, some drawing 500K students per course. We want to build on their legacy by producing the first accessible MOOC on one of the most important issues of our time. We are different from TED talks, too, as we offer cross-disciplinary coverage that builds knowledge over time, rather than producing atomised “hits”.
Work work work. This would be the team slogan for the past few months if we had one. We were quite ambitious in the selection of our course themes, speakers, and materials. It was worth it, in the sense that the product is comprehensive and rich with detail, multiple perspectives, solid research, and new insights. But we have all suffered a bit from the lack of time (and sleep) at various stages in our production process.
Self-care is an important part of philanthropic work or any social cause. It is difficult to balance self-care with the ambition to make change, to really add something unique to the debate, or to input something that may last long after the project. Yet balance is important to sustaining the fire.
Seaside reading is something we all need right now. But for now, back to the editing screen!
Hey, everyone: Sign up for our course on iversity! https://iversity.org/en/courses/rethinking-us-them-integration-and-diversity-in-europe
We'd love for Advocate winners and related organizations to be a part of this course community. We've put in countless hours curating unique content, so even if you think this course isn't for you, because you already know so much, I'm here to tell you, 'not so fast!'
At our recent launch event and screening, we were approached by experts in their own right who said they learned something new from our content. This is because it's quite a mash-up of different perspectives, perhaps in a way you haven't seen before. And in the course format, these videos are paired with resources (academic articles, podcasts, videos, news articles etc.) that are also unique and often fun to consume.
So, tell your friends and colleagues, and sign up for our course!
Also, we will be making much of our short videos available in German, French, and Italian by the end of the summer. If your organization is working in this language or knows someone who is, get in touch with us! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thanks in advance for the collaboration :)
We did it! We've just launched our biggest course yet, Rethinking 'Us' & 'Them': Integration and Diversity in Europe. It's been a long road, producing and editing our course, then getting our content up onto the iversity platform. But it's all been worth it, and we're already on track to surpassing the subscriber numbers for previous courses and for truly trying out this engagement and discussion side of our mission.
Specifically, iversity allows for course subscribers to speak to one another in the forum of each episode, which allows us to engage with learners and to see how they are engaging with each other. We're only a few days in, but activity has already begun.
This past Thursday, we hosted a public screening of some of our course content and launch celebration at a small theater in a nice Berlin neighborhood. Despite terrible weather, we had an interesting mix of attendees and an almost-full theater. All of the team left with food for thought from the public discussion and from private conversations, and we hope to do such screening-discussion events in the future.
This event reminds a bit of another community activity we organized, albeit one with the specific purpose of producing content for our course. This was our recent “Us & Them" filming, mentioned in this project journey already.
Events like these, allowing for interaction with the public, help us as a team to experience the impact and the reach of our course content. These experiences are motivating as they are also helpful for personal and collective reflection.
We are looking forward to our next phase, which will involve translation of much of our content into 3 languages, as more opportunities for community engagement are sure to emerge from this improved and expanded access.
Our recent filming and community event “Us & Them’” brought together the categories of “immigrant”, “native”, and “refugee” in an interactive format, encouraging attendees to explore the differences and commonalities across and within these categories by positioning their bodies along a spectrum of the “us” or the “them”. Once aligned across the floor, participants spoke through a microphone to one another about belonging - about feeling like an insider or an outsider - and about assumptions, stereotypes, expectations, and hopes. Most were meeting each other for the first time.
They explored quite politically charged topics in an unfamiliar setting, with cameras rolling. And they shared intimate parts of themselves and their histories. All participants seemed deeply moved by the experience, and most expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to participate, leaving with new insights and new questions about what it means to be a part of society and who we exclude, even if we don’t mean to.
To quote one participant: “I always thought identity was simple… but now if you asked me who a German is, I wouldn’t have an answer. It’s just such a dynamic thing! I had no idea...”
In this sense, we were able to capture a diversity of perspectives for the audience of our future course, while achieving our aims and intended impact in the process of this filming. This was quite a moment of success for us as a team. We hope to do similar community events in the future and to bring these moments to a global audience!
Though being on camera can be a fun or rewarding experience for some people, we are nevertheless encouraged by the level of enthusiastic participation demonstrated by the scholars and practitioners we have contacted to participate in our online course format. Their willingness to talk about hard topics in a way fit for a general audience - even when it can at times be no easy task! - and their trust in our editorial process and team has been very encouraging. Of course, limitations and barriers do exist, such as an organization’s PR concerns or tight scheduling, but our courses would not be possible without the voices of busy professionals, such as Prof. Naika Foroutan of HU Berlin or Gülcin Durmus of Berlin braucht dich (BQN).
But this enthusiastic participation goes beyond our so-called experts. We recently hosted a community event, which we filmed for our upcoming course on integration and diversity. The questions posed to our audience were very personal in nature, and we were impressed by the bravery of our participants, from an American immigrant to a Syrian refugee.
The mission of Migration Matters, now just as when we first began, is to empower the public to have more nuanced and evidence-based conversations about migration. We initially focused on bringing the public’s concerns to researchers directly, and though we still aim to do this, we have taken a more generalized approach to rounding up these concerns, focusing on overall issue areas that seem particularly in need of nuance, as well as on knowledge gaps and sources of worry we can locate in public opinion research and among our audience. We continue to produce bite-sized video courses that complicate commonly held preconceptions with original ideas, research, and solutions-oriented perspectives from leading thinkers in the field: researchers, practitioners, as well as migrants and refugees themselves.
In our upcoming course, Rethinking ‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Diversity & Integration in Europe, we are focusing more than ever on the latter two groups: practitioners and migrants and refugees. We are excited to share these different perspectives with the public, as they provide personal and relatable examples of many important concepts, findings, and questions in today’s leading migration and integration research.
Migration Matters will be Europe's first free and open access Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on migration. Drawing on contributions from leading researchers, practitioners and migrants, the course will provide evidence-based views on the biggest dilemmas and fears surrounding the so-called migration and refugee crisis. The project consists of short, creative videos which offer a nuanced and solution-oriented treatment of the topic of migration. Implemented by an international team with a background in journalism, migration policy, education and anthropology, this cross-sectoral endeavor provides space for progressive ideas on one of Europe’s hottest topics.