Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg: Our Empowerment Approach

  • About usOur Empowerment Approach

    Becoming an active and responsible citizen is a process of development. How we support our fellows' way from personal motivation to societal impact.

  • Our Empowerment Approach

    Becoming an active and responsible citizen is a process of development. How we support our fellows' way from personal motivation to societal impact.

Our Empowerment Approach

As diverse as the initial ideas and the ultimately realized initiatives are, all of them begin by facing similar problems, quickly benefit from targeted qualification, and manage the leap from project to practice thanks to professional reflection. We have developed a four-step empowerment concept that has proved itself in a variety of thematic and cultural contexts.

1. The Idea

We ask: What would you like to change? What makes you angry? What appeals to you? And we arrange for diverse groups of participants in which an exchange of ideas among like-minded individuals and the application of creativity techniques yield initial answers.

We ask, further: What options are available to you in your environment? It is
important to us to promote ideas that prove themselves in practice and have a lasting impact.

2. Implementation

At this stage, we expect planning work and provide targeted input. Teams form, and supporters are garnered. Financial plans and schedules are concretized. Further training schemes that take into account the peculiarities of project management in non-profits assist the project teams in their demanding work.

Our foremost concern is promoting responsibility. For that reason, we respect the complete self-determination of project teams, regardless of the members’ ages or previous experience.

3. Guidance and Accompany

We accompany the project teams throughout the period of their engagement. Our mentorship is based on an individual mix of counseling and coaching, and thus supports self-directed learning, a central element of the Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg.

4. Final and New Perspectives

In our societies, project work is frequently judged by its results. Often, the problems encountered along the way go unmentioned or are redefined as “challenges”. For participants, however, they are decisive elements of the qualification process. That is why we stress making individual learning successes visible and evaluating them after the project work has been concluded.

Our ImpactVolunteer projects

175 project teams were supported in 2013.

Our impactLiene

"The program helped me to realize that each of us can play an active role in the public interest."

Liene participated 2013 in Bridge It!

Our impactImpact Chain