Information Package


“Larissa – 1st Summer School” on building a Learning City

“Innovative methods and projects”

14 -17 June 2018


The aim of the “Larissa-1st Summer School” on Learning Cities is to provide information, knowledge and skills about the organization, implementation and evaluation of successful projects that will help build a Learning City, based on the UNESCO concept of a learning city. Also to form a strong network of UNESCO Learning Cities’ experts.


  • Representatives of member cities of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities e.g. local elected representatives, executives or city managers.
  • Representatives of non-governmental organizations and private sector partners active in the field of education and lifelong learning.

Working languages:

Greek and English (with simultaneous interpretation).

Cost arrangements:

Municipality of Larissa will sponsor the cost of the workshop, meals during the event and accommodation for cities’ representatives from abroad.


Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO

Ms Bithara Paulina

Head of Education & Sciences

Tel: 0030 210 3682 396/386/374


Municipality of Larissa

Dr Kyropoulos Theodoros

Head of Health Section of Municipality of Larissa

Tel: 0030 2410 680205, 00306977718929



In 2012, UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning set the conditions for the establishment of a Global Network of Learning Cities. The title itself refers to the «Learning Organizations», highlighting a more general philosophy and searching for contemporary practical developments and renegotiating solids within a world that is changing and characterized by an unprecedented economic, social and cultural crisis.

The response to the multiple crisis of modern societies could be a kind of «integration strategy», focusing on dialogue and also to:

  • Methods and approaches aimed to better co-ordination and greater effectiveness of co-operation between services and citizens to achieve some result.
  • Participation of citizens
  • Full knowledge of local needs and peculiarities
  • Ability to experiment

Is it possible that Learning Cities might open such a «dialogue»? Is it possible to create cooperative networks by shaping joint actions, institutions and citizens on the basis of lifelong learning?

UNESCO texts refer to specific conditions when referring to «Learning Cities «:
• Strong political will and commitment of city authorities
• Participation of all interested parties
• Mobilization and exploitation of resources

Larissa in December 2015 became the first Greek city-member of UNESCO’s Learning Cities Network. Until May 2017 10 Greek cities followed and the Greek community became the third most numerous group of members of the network. The “Larissa – Learning City» project is an ambitious endeavour of the Municipality of Larissa that aims to intervene dynamically in the field of Lifelong Learning. In cooperation with the Adult Education Association, an important adult education institution in the country, launched actions based on the humanitarian principles of Lifelong Learning. The aim is to promote critical thinking, to involve citizens actively and to encourage partnerships.

Larissa strongly believes that Lifelong Learning can transform cities and citizens in many ways. In order to achieve a strong and vibrant culture of learning the City Council in the beginning of 2015 set the following objectives:

  • Networking at local level and communication with the citizens
  • Invest on culture and education in a friendly learning environment
  • Extroversion and seeking for alliances and interaction in local, national and international level
  • Actions in favour of vulnerable groups and multi-cultural populations in a holistic approach aiming to social cohesion.

In March 2015, Larissa, under the scientific supervision of the Adult Education Association launched actions based on the humanitarian principles of Lifelong Learning. A capable network is established between public sector, civil society organizations and citizens leading to creative, successful projects based on the people’s needs and interests especially in favour of vulnerable groups (disabled, deprived, Roma). The purpose of these actions is to cultivate critical thinking, active citizenship and encourage partnerships which lead to sustainable development.

Every learning city has the recourses to raise the aspiration of citizens and to embrace the joy of learning in ways that will tackle socio-economic crisis and achieve sustainable development. In doing so, learning cities should live, work and learn through continuous exchange of knowledge and good practice in the field.

Larissa’s Summer School vision is based on this philosophy. Experts should have the chance to interact, to deepen on issues of quality, organization and evaluation of their projects, to act together, to form partnerships and after all to use a common language.

Exchange and growth of expertise is fundamental to achieving sustainable and constantly developing Learning Cities.


The “Larissa – 1st Summer School” on Building a Learning City will be organized in two sessions:

a) A two day Experts Workshop, designed for local elected representatives, executives or city managers from Greek and European members of the UNESCO Learning Cities Network with maximum 30-35 participants (two per city).

b) A one day open conference – Symposium with presentation of good practices from cities – members of the UNESCO Learning Cities’ Network, workshops with experiential and participative character, exchange of experiences and discussion.

Place and date of the event

a) Experts Workshop: It will be held in Larissa City, from 14 to 15 June 2018. The venue will be The Mill of Pappas, 13 Dionysou Str. 41447 Larissa Greece

b) Symposium: the Symposium (one day open conference) will be held on 16 June 2018 in the Auditorium of Medical School at the University of Thessaly


The “Larissa – 1st Summer School” on Building a Learning City is co-organized by the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO and the Municipality of Larissa.

Scientific guidance

The scientific guidance and design of the educational part of the project is carried out by distinguished members of the Hellenic Adult Education Association, based on the lifelong learning principles. Dr Alexis Kokkos, Professor of Adult Education at Hellenic Open University and president of Hellenic Adult Education Association is the general supervisor of the project, while Ted Fleming Professor of Adult Education at Columbia University-New York is the scientific advisor (Appendix I).

Detailed Description of the “Larissa – 1st Summer School” work

A) Experts’ Workshop (14 & 15 /06/2018, Mill of Pappas, Larissa)

Title: Drawing up/ developing a project in a Learning City

Aim and objectives

The program is addressed to executives of Municipalities and stakeholders involved in a Learning City. The purpose of the Program is to provide knowledge and skills, based on the Guidelines for Building Learning Cities of UIL that will enable the participants: to contribute creatively and effectively to building their Learning City and also to form an international collaborative network of Learning Cities executives. Emphasis is placed on the following topics:

a) Project Configuration Methodology, which includes the following issues:

  • Identification of the purpose of the project in relation to the Learning City’s economic, social and cultural situation.
  • Identifying the target group.
  • Identifying the sub-objectives / actions.
  • Organization of activities (coordinated involvement of stakeholders, human resources competencies, timetable, facilities and sustainable funding, organization of celebratory events).
  • Methodology of monitoring and evaluation of activities.

b) Enhance quality in learning:

This unit includes a theoretical approach and practice on how people who are involved in the activities of a Learning City can become more positive about learning in a creative and effective way.

Training Methodology

The Summer Course will use experiential learning and will include, for each issue, expertise from Learning Cities.

B) Symposium (16/06/18, Auditorium of Medical School, University of Thessaly)

Aim and objectives

The Symposium will bring together individuals from municipalities, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners that share the Lifelong Learning philosophy. During the round table discussions the attendees will have the opportunity to discuss on subjects of common interest, to exchange ideas and good practices, to share their knowledge and skills about projects and learning cities, their impact on community and what barriers and possible solutions exist or recommended.

Topics of the round table discussions:

  • Green and healthy cities
  • Learning Cities and Social cohesion
  • Learning Cities and Employment and entrepreneurship
  • Learning Cities and Culture
  • Learning Cities and New technologies


Each city/municipality that wishes to participate as a speaker at the Symposium is invited to present in 10 minutes one of the above topics related to its city’s good practice, fill the attached “Speaker’s profile” form (Appendix II) and send it to Mr Kyropoulos Theodoros e-mail: until May 10, 2018.

Certificate of attendance and relevant workshop material will be distributed to the participants.

C) Side-events

  1. Opening of the photo exhibition “Greek Monuments of UNESCO World Heritage” by Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO on June 14, 2018 at the Mill of Pappas.
  2. Historical and Cultural walk in the city of Larissa (June 17). The participants will have the opportunity to discover the cultural and historical aspects of the city: the Folklore Museum of Larissa, The Diachronic Museum of Larissa, the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – and a cultural walk in the centre of the city (Ancient Theatre, Bezesteni, Yeni Mosque). (APPENDIX III).