Craft your Future: Old crafts in a circular economy

“Young people are the source of tomorrow’s economy and therefore need to be in the lead in designing future strategies. Developing students’ leadership competences, pro-activeness and entrepreneurial mind-set will steer change and innovation.”

This is the vision on which Craft your Future has been founded. An Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership in Vocational Education & Training project in which three regions – Friesland (NL), Gabrovo (BG), Catalonia (ES) – worked together to create a sustainable future by combining craftsmanship, circular economy and digital tools.

What do the regions in the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Spain have in common? A wealth of intangible heritage, such as knowledge of old crafts. In the past decades of mass production and just as mass consumption, traditional craftsmanship has been put aside as old-fashioned, but now that sentiment is changing, new respect is being created for the sustainable use of materials that characterizes many crafts. Not only craftsmanship can contribute to a more sustainable economy, but also the use of natural and local raw materials does.

The Craft your Future Ideation game had groups of students invent new products combining traditional crafts, new trends and technologies and the circular economy to solve real-world challenges related to waste recycling, being in the lead to propose sustainable solutions and innovations. A Do It Yourself soap making home kit to solve the waste of used frying fat causing clogging and pollution, just to mention one.

Moreover, the strategic partnership that united educational institutions, students, local authorities, creative centres and (social) businesses developed different intellectual outputs worth of mention. Firstly, a Student Training Programme, built to deepen knowledge on the themes of traditional crafts, new technology and trends, and circular economy, then Regional Alliance set-up toolkit and a Regional strategy and action plan to inspire the new doers and thinkers in Europe and last but not least an Online Community where all products are available as Open Educational Resources (OERs).

More information

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Author: Francesca Politi – JUMP Team

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