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The Real Lab for Migration Social Work on an Excursion to Italian-Speaking Switzerland

From the 18th to the 20th of April 2024, Switzerland's seven universities of applied sciences for social sciences hosted the International Course "Participation: Beyond Good Intentions. Inspirations, Approaches and Actions". Social work students and lecturers from three countries came together in Switzerland for an intensive exchange with many practical elements. The focus was on the tricks of successful participation.

Well-intentioned is not always well done, offers of participation are not necessarily accepted. The programme of the three-day conference therefore aimed to present research findings on theoretical, methodological and professional aspects of participation beyond good intentions.

In addition to presentations and keynote speeches, students travelling from Switzerland, Austria and Potsdam had the opportunity to explore key concepts of empowerment, social justice and recognition in workshops. The focus was on innovative methods and tools that promote genuine and fair participation by people from different backgrounds. In the workshop jointly organised by Dr. Marit Cremer from the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and Prof. Rebekka Ehret from Lucerne, among others, the students of the Real Lab explored Erving Goffman's concept of total institutions and discussed it with regard to shared accommodation for refugees.

One highlight was undoubtedly the closing event with the Forum Theatre from Lucerne, which used the Theatre of the Oppressed method to give participants the opportunity to intervene creatively in failed "good intentions". And the fantastic landscape and beautiful sunshine provided the perfect setting for the excursion!


Social and Educational Sciences Department

Room 105
Dr. phil. Marit Cremer
Academic staff member of "P³Dual"