After the Kick-Off

Participants Kick-Off-Meeting Heerlen

The Road so far – A Personal Report by Michael-Bernhard Zita, MEDLIT Project Manager

So this really had happened now. What has started in October 2014 with an idea to try to apply for European Union funds to bring together multiple local efforts by Thomas A. Bauer becomes now a real project.

It felt very unrealistic when I got the message in August 2015, during an exam supervision for American guest students that our proposal was chosen for funding. At that point it felt already like something from the past, a project proposal that was written over multiple months, coordinating multiple authors and handed-in on the last possible day: February, 10th 2015. These are probably some dates I’ll remember for the rest of my life, there is nothing like the first project you got funded.

Another date to remember: December, 23rd 2015 – the day the Grant Agreement was submitted after being signed by the EACEA Agency in the name of the European Commission. Again there was some work to do between August and December, some documents were missing, some things had to be re-done. Understanding and implementing the validation process for all partner universities needed some conversations with local administrations but also the validation bureau in Brussels. That was only possible via telephone – and even this number was only found after a long search – as they normally only use an internal messaging system, but which is only accessible for organizational representatives for their individual validation processes.

So yes, it was already a long way to get there, but it was a way worth going when seeing all these people coming together now in Heerlen. It was an intensive first week about the basics of Media Literacy, theories behind this concept, the method of the Delphi study and a few things about the project organization, but more importantly it was about getting to know new people, understand why they join the project and what they expect from it. “Changing societies through understanding and changing their media usage” sounds like something really, really big, and in the end: Yes, it is a very large project we are trying to implement. But only when we think it is possible, it can be done. So, the thing I have to report from this first meeting is: Yes, we can.

The Kick-Off-Meeting happened at the Open Universiteit in Heerlen, Netherlands between Monday, the 22nd and Friday, the 26th of February 2016.

Cross-Posting: First posted at

Picture (C): OU NL

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