Participative learning labs to produce green guidance tools and resources

The initiative to operationalize green or sustainable approaches in careers services is entering a new phase. Participative workshops with experts and practitioners are being held in several European countries around questions such as

  • What is the role of career guidance in constructing sustainable individual and collective lifestyles?
  • How can practitioners support peoples’ transition into green jobs or help them “green” their current career?
  • What are the ethical limits of our practice, what interests should careers sector serve? Should we contribute to meeting the demands of the economy and the labor market, whatever the cost and the impact on the planet?

In this process a methodology of “Learning Labs / Innovation factories” is used. Diverse group composed of practitioners and experts from different sectors (different VET sectors, working with different target groups, involving participants working with vulnerable target groups, such as practitioners from NGOs and employment services) is facilitated by an expert from the national project partner. The group involving participants working with vulnerable target groups The facilitator manages the whole process – from the initial brainstorming to the design of the outputs. The working groups meet 2-4 times. Experiential approaches in contact with nature are used. The outdoor experience will allow the members of the working group to perceive the topic from a different perspective, to be spontaneous, to bring playfulness and emotion to the process. The experience is followed by a reflection on the process and a plan for the next meetings. In the final phase of this process, the facilitator identifies inspirational material that will be further developed into Green Guidance Handbook and Green Guidance Toolbox.

The first innovation factory meeting met in Slovakia in a beautiful mountain range with 13 careers practitioners and experts.

The group critically reflected on the role of careers practitioners in helping people access decent and sustainable careers, tried some existing tools (such as Sustainable Career Card Sorts by Shékina Rochat, methods developed by the Slow Ta Carrière collective Sabrina Tacchini and Aline Müller Guidetti) Following ideas were brainstormed in the group the first day around what could be “green guidance”, facilitators grouped them arbitrarily into following thematic clusters:


– help clients to find the smallest possible step without giving unsolicited advice

– help dealing with climate anxiety, also by finding specific ways of contributing to sustainability, meaningful engagement

– contribute to the change in mentality, culture by acting on individual level

– help people change their consumption habits

– helping people find specific ways of engaging themselves in ecological movements

– sharing experience of people in green jobs

– sharing stories of people who greened their careers


– focusing on life values, to identify what are the attitudes of the clients

– help client refocus on meaning vs consumerist lifestyle, money

– helping people fulfill their authentic needs

– focusing attention to how my work contributes to others, to the world

– personal ambition vs personal satisfaction, sufficiency


– finding better work-life balance

– talking about working less, shortening the work week, flexible hours, home-office, helping people slowing down


– developing utopian thinking, developing hope, thinking about the future of work, showing examples from the past and indigienous cultures with sustainable ways of lifing

– think about the future of work, new occupations, traditional crafts

– showing the colourful palette of possible green occupations

– reassure about the reversibility of choices


– informing, educating about climate change

– attention to eco-shaming/blaming

– deconstructing existing ideologies

– raising awareness

– contribute to deconstructing myths about climate change, of existing ideologies

– developing ability to critically assess green washing, hoaxes, desinformation

– focus attention on decent work, health and safety impact of green jobs, safe working environmental

– differentiated approach based on the typology of clients

– deconstruct the “I am not concerned” attitudes, talk about current damage and future risks

– deconstruct the expectation of immediate outcome

– help clients to make sens of the multitude of information and fight disinformation

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