Inclusion and gender

The students of The Summer Youth University were taking the summer semester during very interesting days; the LGBT community was protesting – demanding equal surrogacy rights for gay men. Tens of thousands of men and women came to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to protest and back the community – and the issue became prominent in Israeli society.  The young students felt the need to talk about inclusion.

The main themes of the discussion:

Questions:

What will the future look like, from social and the technological perspective?
How will we experience the gender and inclusion problem in our future?
How will our ideas solve this problem in the future?

Things to think about:

 

Raising awareness by using TV and internet series and content.
Campaign that must “conquer the hearts of the people”
Education and inclusion
Why are we being indoctrinated to use stereotypes from an early age?
Mass media representation
Surrogacy rights – what is the meaning and why does it matter
Breaking the social stigmas

Why are certain names fitting only to one gender

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The refugees problem and the future

The students of Tel Aviv Summer University took a tour to the south of Tel Aviv city – where a lot of disadvantaged communities live. They learned about problems of the refugee’, the newcomers to the neighborhood, and of the host population.

Using the future wheel method, which they have practiced while being led by Dr. Tal Soffer, head of the unit for technology and society foresight (TSF) at Tel Aviv University, they tried to understand what would be the expression of the problem in the future.

The discussion started with the understanding that developments in transportation have led to a situation in which migration is sometimes easier, and the developments in communications and consumerism have led to raising awareness among populations to the gap between them and the developed countries. All of these are increasing the desire to emigrate. Then, they wrote the headline “Refugees – The Young Generation”, and the arrows from the headline point to the words “Poverty”, “Connection to Israelis”, “Crime”, “Overcrowding”, “Employment” and “Education”. The word “Overcrowding” was associated with the word “Higher Education” (in the context of innovative housing solutions) and the word “Employment” was linked to the words “Robots” and “Unemployment”.

Then, they figured out that the solution is education, so they had written the word “Education” and the arrows pointed to the words: “Budget,” “Socialization”, “Language”, “Computer Science”, “Motivation”, “Exact sciences”. They also examined various aspects of the question of socialization.

 

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Segregation versus understanding

Like some of their colleagues, the members of this team (young high school students, who came to Tel Aviv university in order to take the summer semester), also chose to deal with the idea of “The 4 Israeli tribes” – the four main cultural groups that Israel is disintegrating into: the ultra-Orthodox Jews, the national religious Jewish sector, the Arab sector and the secular Jewish sector. The young students came from different sectors, from cities and villages in the social and geographic periphery of Israel.

Trying to find a way to deliver the message that “we are different but we are also the same”, the students wanted to figure out what are the various implications of this issue, nowadays and in the future.

They have used a future wheel to analyze the different aspects of the segregation between Arabs and Jews.

The future wheel of the group expresses their will to focus on education, thus you can see that they wrote “The 4 Israeli Tribes” and the word was connecting the phrase to “education”. Then, they wrote the branches: Different agenda, teachers, awareness, language, knowledge about the other’s culture, and segregation.

They also wrote their initial idea about creating an app that is aiming to encourage informal meetings between sectors, based on common interests.

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How a digital platform can save animals

October the 4th is World Animal Day in Turkey and Gizem Agyuz decided to share with us his story about how a digital platform and a campaign can have a deeply positive impact on animals’ life.

My name is Gizem Agyuz. I work as a Project Development Assistant in Doga’s office for EU Projects Coordination. I am 26 years old and I have a great love for all animals. I gained a bachelor degree in Biology from Marmara University in 2015. Naturally, my studies concentrated on plants and animals. Many lectures involved a number of animals being cut open to examine their anatomy; however, I did not attend those lessons. In order to examine their anatomy in detail, animals were first knocked unconscious and cut open; once they started waking up, were killed by having their aortic vessels cut.

I only attended the very first lecture. Myself and some of my friends in the same course could not remain indifferent. First, we talked to our friends to explain that these animals were not newly discovered species, and therefore there was no need to cut them open to examine their anatomy, as all the relevant information and images could be accessed on the internet. During one lecture, we spoke about the impact on the slaughtered animals.Unfortunately, the number of animals slaughtered for a single course was as high as 70!

This was not science, this was just slaughter!

Then we talked to the instructors in our department, and asked for this to be the last course using this appalling method of study. Unfortunately, we never achieved anything. We talked with animal protection associations and animal rights lawyers. We understood that we were able to reach more people by using digital platforms and we created a campaign via change.org. We shared our campaign with people from all over Turkey, and we managed to reach to many people. For the following year, our department decided not to cut animals oper for anatomy lessons.

After this success, I decided to become an animal activist. I worked as a volunteer in various non- governmental organisations, such as GREENPEACE, WWF, SOHAYKO, HAYTAP, etc.

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Renewable energies

The new story from our partner MOVES comes from Hertha-Firnberg-Schools in Vienna and Lehrlingsstiftung Eggenburg, and it is a message on renewable energies…

Lack and waste of resources is limiting the society in order to evolve and expand the knowledge and use of renewable energy. Rare earth metals are a fundamental part of advancing in terms of science and technology. Resources like petroleum, coal or copper, which are fundamental for the continuity of a functioning infrastructure and therefore crucial for the survival of human kind, are extinguishing. Consequently, there is the need of funding and further developing environmentally sustainable ways of energy generation. When taking a look at the Fukushima incident in 2011 or the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 it is further easy to recognize, that the wrong treatment of these resources is one of the causes. Most of these catastrophes are directly linked to natural disasters caused by global warming – another energy related cataclysm made by the ignorant use of energy of humanity.

Not only is the introduction of renewable energy stopping energy related disasters from happening, it has also many other positive aspects, which are worth mentioning. Firstly, and probably the most important issue that occurs when generating energy out of fossil fuels is global warming. Since it is a problem that is current and becoming more and more dangerous for Planet Earth, it is the duty of nowadays generations to build the foundation for fighting global warming in the future. Therefore, instead of using coal, which produces 0.6 to 1.6 kilograms of CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, or natural gas, which amounts from 0.3 up to 0.9 kilograms CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, as energy sources, they should be replaced by wind, solar or hydroelectric power. They emission roughly 0.01 kilogram of Carbon Dioxide per generated kilo Watt-hour.

Therefore: We urgently need to continue with the processes of the introduction of renewable energy!

“Jesseal” produces a collage showing the dangers of nuclear power plants, being a steady real danger in the northern border region of Austria – the region where his school is located nearby.

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Hunger of democracy

And now we leave the floor to Kuzey Sagkal, a young boy with very clear ideas on what democracy should be based on.

I am a 17 years old student from Doga Schools in Turkey. Me and my friend Deniz have been working on the topic of democracy since 2016. We have delivered a lot of workshops in Greece, Turkey and Finland.

People often talk about countries “becoming” democracies, once they start to have relatively free and open elections. But democracy includes far more than just elections, and it really makes more sense to think about the idea of ‘will of the people’, rather thanjust voting. Most of the Turkish people look at social democracy in a different way; for instance, choosing a class captain is considered to be something big in democracy, whilst in some of the more advanced countries such as Finland this is perceived as being just normal. The main reason behind our hunger for democracy is that we do not have a social democracy. We can only use democracy in its true essence only once in every five years, i.e. for the elections. We can restructure the way we think about democracy by educating our new generations on how to use democracy in their daily life. We can familiarize their opinions on democracy. Today, if we were to ask a Turkish citizen what democracy is, they would only make references to the elections, because that is all we have in the name of democracy in Turkey and underdeveloped countries. Me and my friend Deniz had conversations with people from other countries, who think their
countries are not democratic enough. We all have the same problems of lack of social democracy. In Turkey, our biggest obstacle is created by our minimum wages, which are too low, unlike EU and other advanced countries. Because of that, our people just focus on their work for subsistence and cannot really afford to care about democracy in their daily lives, even in their offices, which sets a bad example for their children who ignore anything about democracy, thus creating an endless loop.

EU projects showed me what is lacking in our democracy system and this led me into thinking about how to solve these problems.

1 Lack of social democracy

1.a Teaching democracy in our schools to the younger generation

as a subject like maths. However, the biggest obstacle is our government. Low educated people do not want to change this system and the current government is happy about this situation.

1.b Push them to use democracy in every scenario in their lives. For instance, choosing their meals at the family dinner by expressing their opinions, or choosing their student council through a democratic voting system, perhaps even including e-voting.

2 Rigging democratic elections

2.a Even though it does not look like a huge problem, it is one of the biggest problems inTurkey’s electoral system. By changing our systemto an e-voting model, we could minimise this risk and make voting easier.

In conclusion, if we were to apply these proposed actions step by step, we could advance our democracy and make use of democratic thoughts in our daily lives. Sure, it will take a long time to put these proposals into action, but our younger generations will be better for it.

 

Kuzey Sagkal from Doga Schools

 

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Sustainability and environment -future wheel

These young students of the Tel Aviv youth university – a project that enables high school students from Israel’s geographic periphery, most of whom are the first in their families who enroll in higher education – to have an academic semester at Tel Aviv University, were concerned about our environment. However, they were also inspired by their research tour, in which they saw a variety of solutions both at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University and on the roof of one of Tel Aviv’s big malls – two buildings that implement principles of sustainability. They also have discussed the issue with Prof. Colin Price, the head of the Porter School of Environmental Studies.

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The socio-economic gap

On their educational tour from the poverty of south Tel Aviv to the high-tech and the most developed and rich part of the city, the students of the Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university – decided to deal with the social-economic gap.

**In the picture: Tel Aviv, bottom-up, rags to riches: the building of Facebook Israel, as caught from street level by the camera of one young guide during the tour**

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The socio-economic gap

On their educational tour from the poverty of south Tel Aviv to the high-tech and the most developed and rich part of the city, the students of the Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university – decided to deal with the social-economic gap.

**In the picture: Tel Aviv, bottom-up, rags to riches: the building of Facebook Israel, as caught from street level by the camera of one young guide during the tour**

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The “4 Israeli tribes” – tolerance and the cleavages between the Israeli groups


The members of this team, from Tel Aviv Youth University – a project which enables periphery high-school students to have an academical semester in the university, were inspired by a lecture discussing the idea of “The 4 Israeli tribes” – a phrase that was coined by the President of Israel to modify a four groups that Israel is disintegrating into: the ultra-Orthodox, the national religious, the Arab sector and the secular Jewish sector. The young students, Arabs and Jews, religious and secular, who succeeded in bridging the gaps and disagreements – studying and living together – wanted to express the idea that there is another way.

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