Newsletter No. 6

A successful Fashion DIET Transnational Meeting in Yambol

For the 4th until the 5th of April 2022, Prof. Dr. Zlatina Kazlacheva of the Faculty of Technics and Technologies, located in Yambol, hosted the third Transnational Meeting on behalf of the Trakia University of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the geopolitical crisis of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Fashion DIET consortium met online again to hold another successful virtual meeting. Once more the goals and milestones achieved so far as well as the next steps and processes were approved to move the project forward.

Prof. Dr. Kazlacheva and the project coordinator Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Grundmeier of the University of Education welcomed the consortium members to the first day of the two-day meeting. The first priority was the feedback regarding the internal reporting and the reporting to the National Agency.

Figure 1: Opening of the third Transnational Meeting of the Fashion DIET project with consortium members.

The consortium members of each partner university reported about their activities since the last meeting in teams. The work in the teams focused mainly on the development of further lectures, the manual on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), organisational tasks and the creation of the databases Glocal Campus and the Fashion and Textile Resource Centre (F+TRC).

A first draft of the ESD manual including the abstracts of one-page length for each of the lectures was discussed. Moreover, the current status of the extensive project’s dissemination activities and articles was collected, including e.g. pens, notebooks and leaf holders for the upcoming Learning Teaching Training (LTT) event, as well as a brand-new designed certificate for the participants of the LTT. In addition, the team members discussed the entries of the dissemination list and coordinated their participation in upcoming conferences in 2022.

At the end of the first day, the organisation of the upcoming LTT was finalised and selected presentations were discussed. All consortium members agreed that the first day of the LTT should start with a minute of silence to express the team’s compassion for the many victims of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Figure 2: Presentation of the Glocal Campus database for the second Fashion DIET LTT in Yambol

On the second day, the first focus was on the organisation of contents for the international e-learning platform Glocal Campus. The team made minor revisions regarding the project’s content and concluded to upload more lectures on short notice so that the database can be opened in the near future in order to receive feedback early. The general opinion of the team was that the database already looks very appealing to users.

In the midst of stimulating discussions, the team went for a virtual lunch break in which professional and cultural aspects (regarding food and dress codes) were exchanged.

Figure 3: Virtual exchange showing the new Fashion DIET notebook and a typical Bulgarian cake.

Another main item on the agenda of the second day was the handling of intercultural communication between the partner universities and its impact on the project. Using the concept of the cultural iceberg, the team became aware that different expectations and cultural backgrounds have to be considered. Therefore, not only cultural challenges but also disciplinary diversities exist for both the partner universities of the Fashion DIET project and the target group of lecturers. To meet this task the team decided on a mutual statement of being aware of this challenge by including a disclaimer in the Glocal Campus database, the Fashion DIET website and the ESD manual.

Figure 4: Handling of intercultural communication between the partner universities and its impact on the project.

Finally, the team worked together on a management plan and revised a risk evaluation matrix on the project. These documents, which had been prepared by the coordinator beforehand, were discussed intensely. The knowledge of the team was being collected with every new entry and changes were made.

After all members clarified open questions, they concluded that the project has gone very well so far. Now the team is looking forward to meeting in person at the next Transnational Meeting in Iaşi, Romania, in September 2022.

Fashion DIET consortium, April 2022