"Empowering the Future", shortly E-TFU, is a network of social agencies and universities of four European cities: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona and Berlin. What is common for all partners is the idea of promoting the ‘strength perspective’ in working with youth through arts and media.E-TFU builds tools for an innovative and easy accessible Training Program, based on best practices and researchE-TFU has the strong ambition to disseminate the rationale and products of the project in Flanders and in the participating European countries. It is part of 'Leonardo da Vinci - Transfer of Innovation" programme.

"E-TFU stands for empowerment of young people trough arts and media." The main aim of "Empowering the Future" is to develop and to implement vision, strategies and innovative tools for professionals and organizations eager to evaluate and improve their practice.

 In each of the four cities a "powerlab" is organized, place where young people are learning, producing art - they are enabled to empower themselves to participate actively in society.

One example of those "powerlabs" is ARTLAB. ARTLAB in Antwerp is a very interesting "laboratory" in which youngsters can work on artistic projects on their own. It is done in an open system and for their projects they retain full responsibility. Art educators are there to coach the youngsters  but only on the level of their creative processes. The ARTLAB consists of two different time blocks: working time and reflection rounds. Youngsters meet each other in the ARTLAB once in fourteen days. In the ARTLAB the youngsters are coached with a specific methodology, which consists of a road map and a creativity disc. The road map contains the different phases of an artistic project and defines the long-term steps that have to be taken in an artistic project. The creativity disc guides the youngsters on the level of their creative behaviour, it also defines the short-term steps that have to be taken in an artistic project. All the initiative and the decisions about the artistic process and result stay in their hands. Young people who participated in this project say that for them this way of coaching is unique, inspiring and motivating.

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Comment by Radka Jágriková on February 10, 2014 at 16:10

This looks like a great initiative – thanks for sharing Ivona!

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