MARS final conference in Afyonkarahisar, Türkiye

September 2023 marks the final gathering of the partners from the M.A.R.S – Methodological Approach for Real Social Effects in Adult Education project, collaborating since 2021 on educating adult learners in using creativity to build resilience against crisis. The gathering took place in Afyonkarahisar, Türkiye after a delay in the scheduling due to a recent Earthquake in the region.

The gathering was to celebrate the creation and implementation of the online training platform that showcases the lessons devised by the researchers at the Storytelling Academy as a comprehensive resource designed to empower adult educators with the tools and knowledge needed to support individuals grappling with crises. The event was a long-awaited culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment from all 7 project partners.

The event opened with a heartfelt speech from Bahri Turunç, the project’s lead coordinator, who highlighted the importance of creativity in navigating the uncertain terrain of crisis. He emphasised that the M.A.R.S project was not just about theoretical knowledge but practical solutions that have made a real difference in people’s lives. The event held a wide range of speakers who shared how the platform has meaningfully altered their approach or perspective on creative problem-solving.

Storytelling Academy’s researchers Dr. Fred Dalmasso and Karen Jiyun Sung have also given a presentation on the makings of the online learning platform. The curious gazes from the audience were a testament to the bright and valuable prospects for the project and the overall collaboration. As the event drew to a close, it was clear that the M.A.R.S project had achieved its goal of creating a platform that not only disseminated knowledge but also fostered a sense of community and empowerment among adult educators. The journey that began with the seismic disruptions of 2021 has evolved into a powerful force for positive change, equipping educators with the skills to guide individuals through the most challenging of circumstances.

Apt for its intention, the M.A.R.S project has seen it all. Despite the setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Earthquake, it was evident that the project reflected not only the success in cross-European collaboration but also exemplary the people’s ability to adapt, learn, and grow even in the face of adversity. The project’s journey itself has been a testament to the power of collaboration and creative problem-solving and in doing so, it has illuminated a path towards a brighter, more resilient future.