FLOURISH Final Conference in Bulgaria

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On October 20, 2020 (Tuesday) at “Sofia Hotel Balkan” was conducted the final conference under the project FLOURISH: “Facilitating Organisational Innovation”, with reference No: 2018-1-BG01-KA202-048014, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices”. The conference was organized by the project Coordinator European Center for Quality Ltd.

This conference aimed at exploring the FLOURISH approach, methodology and final results, debating and showing what can be done in terms of organisational innovation for companies. The main intellectual products developed within the project were presented at the event:

  • Organisational Innovation Coach for SME – Professional Profile
  • FLOURISH Curriculum, Course And Manual For Learners
  • FLOURISH Educational Video
  • FLOURISH Guide For VET Providers and Compendium of Good Practices

The event was attended by over 90 guests, including SME managers and employees, representatives of training and career centers, managers of companies from various economic sectors, HR managers, employees of companies with experience in implementing European projects and other stakeholders.

A special guest of the conference was Ms. Vasya Arsenova, Secretary General of the Human Resource Development Centre, Ersmus+ National Agency in Bulgaria. Ms. Arsenova acquainted the audience with the objectives and priorities of Erasmus+, as well as the achievements of the programme and the challenges faced during this programme period.

Then the conference continued with a general project overview by Ms Margarita Angelova, Coordinator of the FLOURISH project. Individual presentations dedicated to each of the four intellectual outputs were presented respectively by Ms Darina Petrunova, International projects coordinator at ECQ and Ms Angelova.

A key-note speaker at the conference was also Mr Alexander Balabanov, author, lecturer and corporate trainer at Dynamix Lab. who performed an interactive lecture on the topic “Innovation approaches applied by the organizations”. Concepts such as evolutionary and revolutionary innovation were presented; the importance of creating meaningful value by the organization was stressed and a discussion on the innovation paradox was initiated.

A good practice from Bulgaria, included in FLOURISH IO4 Compendium of Good Practices, was presented by Ms Blazhka Dimitrova, CEO of the first zero-waste restaurant in Bulgaria. Ms Dimitrova shared her positive energy, entrepreneurial attitude and passion for the principles of zero-waste, inspiring many discussions among the conference guests during the lunch break.

In the afternoon, a practical workshop, titled “Facilitating Organisational Innovation”, was held, led by Mr. Alexander Balabanov. The workshop was attended by around 30 conference guests and was highly appreciated by all participants. The practical seminar was organized in the form of interactive team exercises, closely connected to the skills and competences developed by the FLOURISH course and especially linked to Module 2 – Training the facilitators. A competition between the teams to build the highest Lego tower boosted the participants’ teamwork spirit and strengthened their consensus building and conflict resolution skills. Another exercise using the Lego method – to build a complicated Lego model following the instructions of the leader without being able to see the desired outcome, helped participants explore their leadership styles and see how successful they are at giving instructions. Participants practiced their problem-solving skills and creative thinking having to combine into useful product creative cards seeming incompatible at first (e.g. wool and bicycle). It was of a high interest how participants with different experience, age and field of study, with different points of view, come to a consensus with the main goal of finding the optimal outcome. Among the priorities of the conducted practical activities was to stimulate the networking atmosphere and to foster the exchange of good practices and joint future cooperation.

A final surprise at the conference was a quiz dedicated to the Erasmus+ programme on the occasion of the 4th Edition of the #ErasmusDays from 15 to 17 October 2020. The quiz was led by Ms Vanya Novakova, ECQ and comprised 10 questions about curious and not so well-known facts about the Erasmus+ programme such as which is the most visited country under Erasmus, approximately how many babies were born in Erasmus couples, what does the “+” mean in Erasmus+ etc. The quiz created great joy among the audience and the participants first to give a correct answer were awarded special sweets.

The event was a great success and a celebration of creativity and innovation, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information please visit the project website: www.flourishproject.eu