Introduction seminar 2017, Velikiy Novgorod. Part III

July 10, 2017

By Masha

It was very sunny, hot day. We were waiting for it for so long, so we started our day outside. We played a robot game under the sun and had a good time.

Then we talked about our inspiration, motivation and idea. It was very interesting to know what people think about you. We talked about our skills, things we are good or bad at, things that make us happy. Then we had a brake and continued our work.

The second part was about our surroundings.


We created a Fishbowl and discussed the following topics: our belongingness, region, community. Then it was a tasty lunch and we had free time.


By Nikita

After having a brake we discussed about regions which are included in Bridge It! and problems that they have. We worked in 4 groups illustrating the aspects of life in the region. Then we presented it and had a discussion. After a short brake we continued our work and the topic was – shaping ideas.


We tried to make an algorithm of marking the effects and causes of problems which we can use in some problematic situations. We tried this algorithm on our chosen topics and then had an exchange with others.


We were looking for our buddy groups for discussing the problem. Then we had reflection and after the dinner we had a lecture from Ira about psychological defences.


July 11, 2017

By Sami

In the morning we had porridge and cacao.

After that we formed to frogs, and started crossing a lake as a team. It was challenging since there was only one possible road to the other side. But by trying and trying we managed to get on the other side.


When we reached that goal we formed back and we were thinking about what just happened. Some of us noticed some similarities on their frog-behaviour and typical team-working of theirs.

After that we made a goal that we will try to take new roles in our further group activities. We also talked about group forming and working in general.


Forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. We saw ourselves doing a loop between forming, storming and reforming.

Then we had a group challenge about methods.

For lunch we had fish soup, buckwheat and something else.

After lunch Maryana organised us to make a cheerleading event outside and we as a team formed from storming to performing and created a cheerful greeting to the eco-team: B-R-I-D-G-E-I-T. BRIDGE IT!



By Avelina

After cheerleading task we went to terrace to talk more about our project ideas. We made papers, where we wrote: PROBLEM  -TARGET AUDIENCE – METHODS. After that we put the papers on our chests and went to talk with each other. During that time some groups were formed. In those groups people shared similar ideas and some of us actually did the collaborations. The next step was – consultations with Wise Mentors. After that we still discussed in the groups or some people on their own.


Dinner time!

For dinner we ate fish soup (for the first time) and those cabbage “pigeons” J

After the dinner free time had come! Some of us played table tennis, some sleeping, some playing games and some trying to catch the Internet (unfortunately not always successful). In the evening we had Avelina’s (mine J) presentation about CREATIVE FIELD WORKER (WTF?) and, I hope, I answered the questions WTF is Creative field worker.

After this presentation – long evening came. Some of us were playing games, some were chatting and discussing, some went to sleep earlier…..


…. And the long evening finished with first morning sounds: birds, mosquitos… and with someone’s walking through the silent corridor and turning off the lamps.

The night before last night was calm but sometimes in calm and silence all the biggest questions happen to be answered… If not for the world, so at least for myself.


July 12, 2017

By Jānis

This is the finishing line of introduction seminar, the last day. In the morning we learnt how to make the hamburger of feedback. There were talks about булочка and how much of it we need. The illustration was self-understandable and looked very tasty.

After the булочка we continued working on our project ideas and wrote application forms. At some point we were distracted by monkeys and felt like in a jungle. The weather outside also felt like in jungle – quite wet.


Then the lunch came. Before lunch we were told that we will need to present our projects and we were told how we should do it.

We ate, had some free time for rest. Before presenting we watched video about how to present nothing and how to be successful. There were some numbers, some people, some ideas, some slides.

Then we continued to present our ideas. The presentations had some numbers, some ideas, there were problems and some solution. The main problems we tackled in our projects were relationships between Russia and Baltic countries, cultural diversity in rural areas, the gap between generations.


And then we went to the galaxy of Bridge It!. There we could also see some gravitational waves made by Azat. But while getting to the galaxy of Bridge It! we lost one of our fellow members Avelina. In the galaxy of Bridge It! we got some information how it was made and of what it consists.


And when there was no more info to get from our guides, we went to the party galaxy…


/This is the 3rd part of the stories written by the participants of Bridge It! Introductory seminar about Culture diversity, that took place from 5th to 13th July in Veliky Novgorod. /


Introduction seminar 2017, Velikiy Novgorod. Part II

July 8, 2017

By Elīna

We started the day with breakfast in mind.
Some KASHA was made, some sandwiches waiting.
When hunger was stopped and we could go on.
Tino was there and Sabine too;
Ira was smiling, Laura was not.
Some knees were touched. Not only yours.
It made us all dizzy but kinda awake.
Laughter was filling the room and the house.
By nine we’re all ready. We’re ready to start.

We climbed a long ladder, a ladder of truth.
It was all about culture, but there was no food.
The horse with the stripes helped us a lot.
We had a small chance to have a look
Why and from where our thoughts are formed,
Stereotypes broken, their meaning revealed.
Sometimes they save us but sometimes they don’t,
It is ready 50/50 more like 1 in a million chance.

By noon it’s time to have a break
And have some more tea and a cookie, of course.

Creative writing in a group –
Sharing our thoughts in a small room:
A blue rabbit, Bob the pig and a one-sided story of ours.
While we were writing the 3 tasks from Laura,
An Art installation with Sabine was made.

It was quite a secret nobody knows.
Dangerous signs and mystery clouds
Where hiding this “Spaceship” they made.
Presentation time comes,
It surprised us all how different we are
But at the same time completely alike.
Dinner was nice, of course, with some tea,
But the nicest of all was for us to get sleep.


By Kirill

Novgorod – Tashkent

On the 8th of July it was really long and hard day, as for our theatre group and probably for others. Sharing the ideas and stories related to international communication problems, which we have faced in our life, was quite difficult but interesting, even sometimes frightening.

For our play we chose Artem’s story. According to it, the situation happened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. We had to play teenagers, who were on holidays and also elder people, who were interrupting the party. It was kind of conflict, related to impolite behaviour to women, which got into the fight of teenagers versus elders.

We were having rehearsal till the start of the night but we were not about to go to sleep yet. I think we were exhausted, but, luckily for us, there was a banya, hot and ready for our tired bodies and minds. The whole team met there in the middle of the night.

Banya time was passing; tee-pot was getting empty. Our bodies were completely out of sweat, so we decided to go to bed but suddenly somebody made a suggestion: “How do you feel about another rehearsal?” For a minute I was not sure about the idea, but when I saw almost in everybody’s eyes enthusiastic fire, I couldn’t disagree.

The moon was shyly watching from the fog, water in the river was calm and even mosquitoes were sleeping. Our decorations on the balcony of the two-floor building in the middle of nowhere were prepared for the morning play. Everything was in silver light and looked magical. When we took our places around the table, something really unbelievable happened.

The place and everything else changed. I understood that we are not in Novgorod anymore. It got much hotter, I noticed sunshine instead of moonlight, and our desk from meeting-room with fake fruits became wooden table with lots of food on it. I looked at myself and was really scared – I was a girl! After that I looked around and didn’t recognise anyone around me, except young Artem. And exactly at that moment… I saw how two elders were coming to our table. Situation, which our group was going to show in the morning, was happening to me for real. I suddenly noticed that it’s much harder to change something in real life than on the stage, because you don’t have a second chance. Conflict went as wrong as Artem had told us. He was beaten and it was getting even worse. And then I remembered what Tino taught us. I yelled “STOP!” and the situation changed but not in the way I’d like it to change. Now it was night, I was at the desk with our group, I was myself, but everybody else was sleeping. Of course, I tried to wake them up. They were not answering and that was the moment I started to be very nervous. Guys were in some kind of trance, I didn’t know what to do, so I yelled: “STOP!” once again. I returned to Tashkent, but it was only the start of situation. I understood that now to return our team to reality I have to fix this conflict and I will be here as long it will take me.

I went to Tashkent from our sleeping balcony for about ten times. I tried everything but there was no solution! I was very tired, totally depressed and preferred to stay without of the guys from this world but not there, with teenagers and drunken elders whom I didn’t even know… It was a frightening, unstoppable nightmare…

I woke up in my bed, sweating and terrified. It was early morning, our performance had to be in two hours and I understood what my nightmare-dream was about. Changing real-life situation is very hard work and sometimes it’s even much harder than we think.


July 9, 2017

By Reinis and Olya

For the first time, we had pancakes at breakfast, that were quite delicious and everyone was happy about it. That was a good beginning of a day.

After breakfast, we had to present our group work that we did yesterday. It all began with the presentation from “Art”-group. They presented their sculpture called “Space-ship” which obviously wasn’t a spaceship. After that, the creative writing group presented the stories they had written. The stories were about “The Sadness of the Blue rabbit”, “The recipe of me” and “My one-sided story”.

Later on, the theatre group using forum theatre method presented their play, in which 40 years old men came to a group of teenagers wanting to drink together with them. It all escalated into a fight and then people from the audience had to step in and try to fix the situation.

After the break we started to talk about including and excluding people from social groups. We tried to think about, when we got excluded form a social group as well as we talked about how to fix it.

The second part of the day was recreation time. Some of us played volleyball, others slept, went for a walk, talked and played games. Later some of us had a chance to do a river ride with a boat. So, it was exciting day, full of adventure. And finally the sun came.


/This is the 2nd part of the stories written by the participants of Bridge It! Introductory seminar about Culture diversity, that took place from 5th to 13th July in Veliky Novgorod. /


Introduction seminar 2017, Velikiy Novgorod. Part I

/From 5th to 13th July, Bridge It! Introductory seminar about Culture diversity took place in Veliky Novgorod. Facilitators introduced the idea of reflection teams during the seminar, in order to raise the participation level of the participants. The teams had to remind each morning, what happened during the previous day and wrote short stories about it. Here are the results./

July 6, 2017
By Artem and Nastya

14 young people lived in different cities, in different countries – and all of them had The Power. And then, one summer night, they got an e-mail from Sabine – one of the Masters – she called them into a secret base hidden in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the Russian forests.

Why? – You will ask. She wanted them to learn how to use The Power and change the world.

They never met before, so first of all they had to know each other – and some trials were waiting for them. They had to go through a “Snow Ball” avalanche of names and associations; while dancing at Mambo No 5, they learnt even more; after the hail of flying balls, was the last step where they had to become a real team in order to complete the “Mission (im)possible” – and they did it successfully.

When they became a team, they had to work out their own Code – basic principles to follow. They paved the way of education by learning more from their Master named Laura.
And finally they got a guide – to know what their main fate will be. The Masters gave them criteria for their projects and told what the stages would be.

And after the long and hard day they came to the “Magic Banya”- to recover after the road and meet a new day and new challenges.

July 7, 2017
By Azat and Maryana

Communication part: we learnt model of perceiving info:
– facts
– self-revealing
– relationships
– appeal
We ran around a room, looking for an answer to Tino’s questions.

4 ears

Then we found out about Active listening. Laura told us 5 main techniques of it. Then Laura showed us a white-gray-transparent stick, that was a tricky one. That way we learnt about differences of OBSERVATION – INTERPRETATION – JUDGEMENT. Interpretation branch was the most popular one, because we actually didn’t know the purposes of its use.

Me, myself & I, Identity
That was the part where Tino showed us “the chemistry of identification” in the form of a molecule of yourself.
First, we put a timeline of our milestones, showing the main changing moments of life. Later we put some important identities that we came up with ourselves. Tino asked us with a set of questions, which helped us to make bigger list of identities. We picked the 3 main ones that we identify with. We numbered them in accordance with their importance in our lives.

In the next part we chilled outside and shook our limbs.
We shared our comments to other participants (blindly). That’s where the deepest secrets and desires were revealed. Personal ones. Deep. You know.

What’s culture?
Idea of this conversation was to try to determine the definition of culture. Turned out that it’s pretty difficult without having a context behind. So, we started solo, then in pairs. At the final stage we came up with 3 main definitions. 2 big ones and 1 short. Now we know that before we start negotiating something we have to establish the definition of the topic that you will talk about.
Reflection of the day was made with your buddy. It’s a buddy time 🙂


After dinner we decided to finish our identities. We formed perfect triangle-oval or oval-triangle and showed the degree of acceptance and identification of our cards. That way everybody felt connected with each one of us at least one time. So basically you can find a common feature with almost everybody. You just need some time and some stickers. Also identity can change depending on your location, mood and condition.


Please find menu of the day included:
– Rice porridge
– Bread with butter
– Cacao

– Sweets / Apple
– Coffee / Tee

– Chicken soup with noodles and potatoes
– Cabbage with baked chicken

– Sweets
– Coffee / Tee

– Potatoes with fish
– Orange
– Coffee / Tee

Some late thoughts about the «Introduction» seminar of «Bridge It!» 2017

I was ought to write this blog after the first two days of our seminar in Glybokoye, but they were so intense, I didn’t want to miss anything that happens here. Now it’s already two days left till the end of the seminar, and I can establish the fact that magic has happened here.

The atmosphere of the community is wonderful and unique. First of all, you definitely won’t be lonely or not at ease here. It’s the time and the place to become a part of a team. In modern world to become so close and comfortable with people on the second day of meeting each other, it’s not what you’re expecting.


Second of all, organizers are not some old and scary people here, like grumpy professor from your University: Sebastian, Sille, Luba and Anya are extremely open, kind and smart people. They share their knowledge throughout seminar sessions, and then you easily can continue the talking at lunch time.


Then, you have a huge variety of methods to learn something new and express yourself. You don’t have to worry if you are not an expert yet, nobody will judge you here, but you definitely will receive a great portion of motivation – from exercises, from different and fascinating people you will meet at the same place at the same time, from the situation, when you have to explore: which problems are bothering you, which skills do you have, what do you have to learn and how you can reach you goals.


Already we have had a rally around Glubokoye place; we have met an eco-villager; we have been trying to find our connection with nature, we have been learning to share our ideas and proposals at everyday basis, we have visited Vyborg; we have had couching sessions with facilitators and a lot of talks with each other about projects and on other topics – and all of it is enriching, for sure.


What is next is a presentation of our project ideas, which is a little bit scary, and a farewell party, which we all looking forward to, but with slight sadness. How great that there is Tartu ahead!

11 of July 2017, Glubokoye
Margarita, participant of Bridge It!

Teams & mentors: perfect match

DAY 6, 2016-08-20
Perfect match of a mentor and project team has occurred!


Actually, the whole system / technique, developed and applied by Bridge It! 2016 for mentor’s selection. Below there are steps I could observe as a participant.

ROUND 1. Project idea visualizing – drawing posters by participants. Project idea presentation using the posters. Mentors take notes while listening.

ROUND 2. “Speed dating”, where mentors come up to several project teams and talk individually, asking for more details about the project.

ROUND 3. Teams make a secret choice based on 3 priorities, which mentors you would like to work with. And Mentors also make their choice.

ROUND 4. Final matching of project team & its mentor is made by Bridge It! facilitators, based on team’s choice and mentor’s choice (see red and blue stickers with a message WHO is your mentor!).

Well, the results impress a lot, because people seem to be happy. 🙂

Today the introduction talk – 1st talk with mentor, has happened after the matching process was finished.


A nice Tartu’s pictures for your inspiration today. 🙂


Bridge It! rockes, if people are inspired.

Take care of you,



#bridgeit #projectmanagement #tartu #estonia #sociallife #civiceducation #Baultic


Project Seminar: mentors have come!

Day 5, 2016-08-19

On the Day 5, our mentors for the upcoming projects have come to Tartu from Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia!


Thankfully, the warm and sunny weather is back again in Estonia, therefore, we were gifted to make introduction meeting with mentors and project teams outside.

Look, how energetic we are. 🙂

Also, some mentors were met via IT technologies, but video meeting was not less impressive than  live one.

And we have visualized our projects via posters in order to present the project ideas to mentors.

Bridge It! rocks, if people are inspired.

In addition, Bridge It! participants are still taking useful sessions about team work, communication, planning. For instance, there was a session about communication in the team, based on a communication model “Four ears” (or “Four-sides”) by Friedemann Schulz von Thun.



In case you are interested in “Four ears” model, please, see more information here:

Wrapping up, there is Platon, playing harmonica instrument, for your own inspiration to make your lives more musical. 🙂


Take care of you and be inspired,



#bridgeit #projectmanagement #tartu #estonia #sociallife #civiceducation #Baultic