Be a part of the change – workshop on active citizenship in Velenje, Slovenia

The Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia and the Economic Institute in Maribor organized the 1st workshop on the theme "Active Citizenship / Be a part of the change!", Which took place on 19.9.2018 in Velenje, Slovenia. The first in seven onsite-trainings hosted experienced lecturers, Mrs. Mateja Karničnik and dr. Stanko Blatnik. At the beginning the participants were made familiar with the project Social(i) makers and the various activities that will take place within the project. 

Mateja Karničnik introduced what the term active citizenship means, how it is expressed, the analysis with the problem tree, and how we can participate in social changes ourselves and strive for a better life. As a good guide to active citizenship, she highlighted the saying "Be the change that you want to see in the world". Together with the participants in the workshop, they discussed the recognition of societal challenges, among which the elderly and migrants were highlighted, as well as the need to integrate vulnerable groups. She stressed that active citizens complement gaps that are not regulated by the state and thus represent the backbone of the company. 

Dr. Stanko Blatnik presented individual international examples of active citizenship and the concept of association and volunteering, which are very much present in California. He pointed out that technical innovations are developing, but opportunities are evident in social innovation. On the other hand, he pointed out that many projects in Slovenia are not carried out, which does not mean that there are no opportunities, only to use them would be needed. 

The onsite - training was an opportunity to exchange views for those who like to have direct contact with lecturers and sympathizers. In the debate, however, it was found, that there are often legal barriers that restrict individuals who would like to be active citizens. Nevertheless, participants remarked that where there is a will, there is also a way, so the changes are possible, and many results are already visible in our society. 

Within the Academy of Social Innovation, which is an online course in English, available at, a new topic will be available every 14 days. Throughout Slovenia parallel workshops in Slovene language will be conducted - the next, 2nd workshop, will be about Social Business and will take place in Maribor, 10.10.2018.