We are excited to announce that an adapted version of our course on Creative Collaboration for the Peru cohort is taking place virtually. We sat down with Isabel Carrió, Creative Action Institute's Field Project Manager in Latin America, to learn more about what's new.
1. Why did we adapt the programming the way we did - what needs is it addressing?
COVID-19 has shifted the ways in which we work, communicate and gather. While it will not be possible to gather in person in Perú for the course this year as originally planned, we are driven by the creative spirit innate to the New England Biolabs Foundation (NEBF) partner organizations, to think of a new way forward. We took our 3-day in-person creative collaboration course transformed it into a dynamic and interactive online course.
2. What's the same about the programming? What's new?
To ensure that the online learning environment allows for learning and exchange between participants, we will be implementing the course in weekly sessions between June and August, 2020. In our adapted course, we maintained the dynamic and interactive experience that our in-person trainings are known for by including simple-to-use, accessible and fun applications to collaborate while gathering ideas, brainstorming, soliciting input, and generating solutions. We have also updated the participant handbook with how to replicate the course activities in the virtual setting that we find ourselves in as well as in-person. We are also working on a series of short videos to help participants imagine and understand their application in the field, which show examples of how these activities were previously carried out in training and in the field. We are confident that this combined approach will equip trainees with the tools they need to effectively use these approaches in the field in the future when COVID-19 is no longer a threat to communities.
3. What are you most excited about with the adapted programming?
The whole process of our own collaboration as a team during such uncertainty was very interesting as well. We are a team that grew stronger at a time when the world we knew paused, changed habits and dynamics. We are certain that this virtual course is placing all of us (our team and the participants) in a new learning zone. The whole world is suddenly out of their comfort zone and it is so exciting to implement this course in this new frame of mind. We will discover, learn and experience everything together: a real collaboration in changed times.
4. How are we keeping art and creativity as an important part of this new programming, since we can't meet in person?
During this new programming (same as in our regular programs), we strongly believe that art and creativity are going to be tools to inspire, educate and organize us all. This is the time to see reality in new ways, create opportunities to heal and cultivate the imagination and ability to dream in our post COVID-19 world.
Thank you to New England BioLabs Foundation for making our work possible!