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What’s the difference between democracy and politics? - Who and what is governing us? - How can we change it, if we want to?

Betzavta Workshop on Democracy, Politics and Change

6 Meetings on Thursdays

4/18/25 Feb and 4/18/25 Mar 2021 from 09.30 - 11.00 CET

Application Deadline - 30 Jan 2020


What is the course about? - Democracy, Politics and Change

There is sufficient knowledge about the many inequalities among humans and about the exploitative power relations within societies as well as on a global scale. This also includes the knowledge about the domination of wo_men over nature and the inequalities that are created with regard to who is able to use natural resources and who is affected by their use.

Despite this comprehensive knowledge, individuals and groups all too often refrain from acting in order to change society so everyone is more equal. Instead, they leave action and change to “politics” which comes down to the fact that the inequalities remain and that they are changed and acted upon by others. This is a prevalent behavior which can be overcome but this requires the capacity and courage to change - which can be learnt collectively.


Which learning outcomes are addressed? - analyzing and democratizing societal structure

The participants of this workshop will jointly analyse basic societal structures including existing habits and methods that lead to the currently dominant understanding of politics. In addition, they will experientially examine their stances on democracy and change. Based on this analysis, they develop an understanding of how democracy, politics and change are constituting each other. This will enable them to identify pathways which induce change within groups and societies as well as across them. Overall, the participants will be able to further democratize group processes and societal structures.


Which questions are addressed? - What are democracy/politics/change? - How to live them?

What’s the difference between democracy and politics? - Who and what is governing us? - How can we change it, if we want to? - What is the political? - What is the non-political? - What changes structures? - How are structures changing? - How to politicise the different spheres of life? - How to non-politicise the different spheres of life? - What has money got to do with it? - How to govern? - How to be governed?


How is it taught? - high engagement and interaction between the participants

The 20 participants of the workshop are actively involved in this digital workshop again and again. Unlike many digital formats, this workshop lives from interactivity - dare to show yourself and contribute to the conduction of the entire course through individual, small and large group work as well as group-dynamic activities - only few lectures will be given. The workshop is based on the Betzavta Method developed by the Adam Institut. Therefore, the participants will unveil the competing tendencies that exist within each of us, both for and against democratic principles - thus transforming an external conflict into an internal dilemma, which enables us to act and to change the context in which we act.


When? - Thursdays - 09.30 > 11.00 CET - Starting 04 Feb 2021 - 6 Meetings

The workshop takes place Thursdays from 09.30 to 11.00 CET. It comprises 6 meetings on 4 /18/25 Feb and 4/18/25 Mar 2021. There are no meetings on 11 Feb and 11 Mar 2021. In order to allow for a joint learning process, the participants should be able to attend all meetings.


Where? - International video conference held in English

The workshop will take place through a video conference based on Zoom. This allows for an international workshop, therefore the spoken language will be English.


Who can attend? - 20 Students from all over the world - Participation is free of charge

The course is open to students who are currently enrolled at any university or vocational school as well as persons who have recently graduated. The number of participants is limited to 20 as this allows for a good interaction/exercises/discussion within the groups and within the plenary. The participation is free of charge.


How to apply? - Short motivational letter until 30 Jan - Decision on 01 Feb 2021

Fill in the application form until Saturday, 30 Jan 2021, and describe in five, six sentences, who you are, why you want to participate, what your stance is on democracy, if you have prior experience with Betzavta and if you will be able to participate at all dates or which dates you will miss. We will select the participants in such a way as to ensure a broad diversity of all participants and send out the selection results by Monday, 01 Feb 2021.


Will you issue a certificate of participation? - Yes.

We will issue a certificate to everyone who continuously participated in the workshop. For university students: The participation will not be credited with ECTS points.


Who organizes the workshop? - Critical Sustainability and Adam Institute

The workshop is jointly organized by Dr.-Ing. André Baier who coordinates the Sustainability Certificate for Students at TU Berlin and offers the course Critical Sustainability as well as Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman who has developed the Betzavta Method and who was part of the team that funded the Adam Institute in Jerusalem, Israel and currently she is directing it.


Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace

The Adam Institute is an Israeli non-profit, educational organization that works to create a culture of peace, mutual respect, tolerance and co-existence across religious, ethnic and national groups in Israeli society and the region. The organization’s Hebrew name “Adam”, meaning “human”, was chosen based on the founders’ understanding that human equality is the basis for leading a life centered on the values of democracy and peace.

The Adam Institute has published numerous books, training manuals, and periodicals, in both Hebrew and Arabic (some translated and published in English, German and Polish). It has received several notable awards for promoting democracy and tolerance including the award of the Speaker of the Knesset and the Shimon Peres Prize from the German Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the German-Israeli Future Forum (DIZF).





Sustainability Certificate for Students - s certificate

The inter- and transdisciplinary-oriented certification program offers students the possibility to incorporate an individual focus on sustainability into their regular study programs, thus enabling them to acquire the competencies conferred by a higher education program in sustainability. Additionally, the program aims to bring together students within the TU Berlin with a particular interest in sustainability, thus promoting an exchange of ideas beyond the classroom. The course "Critical Sustainability" is the compulsory module of the Sustainability Certificate for Students. The course provides a digital space to learn, reflect, discuss and take action together. The participants will jointly analyze existing power relations as well as society-nature relations and democratize them - the Betzavta Method is incorporated in the course design.




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