From its inception, the EJWP programme was set up as a combination of live training weeks and project work to be carried out by the participant groups digitally.
With a minimum of 8 participants per group, each living in a different country of Europe, traveling to meet each other physically more often than 4 times a year is both time consuming and environmentally unfriendly, since Europe still has a way to go before we see efficient train travel connecting all its regions. Not only that, but the many communication and online teamwork tools that have become available in the last years has opened possibilities that were not available 10-15 years ago. Our participants make use mainly of the Teams app for their project work in between the live training weeks, but Skype, Whatsapp, Zoom and others, al offer extra possibilities and flexibility.
However, a lot of the experience of participating in the programme cannot be replaced by video calls and desktop work, such as field visits and networking. Not least, we consider that meeting live, at least in the beginning, helps create cohesion and trust in the group, allowing for easier collaboration from a distance.
We will share more of our experiences on this topic over the coming weeks in a blog. Stay tuned!