Being able to work well together is a very important competence. After all, we are faced with complex issues, such as the consequences of climate change, safe internet use, future employment issues as a result of Artificial Intelligence and how our society should and can progress as a result of covid. Technological developments are rapid, but they also raise ethical and political questions: what is possible and how far do we want to go?

Multidisciplinary cooperation for complex problems

Because complex issues involve so many different disciplines and perspectives, it is necessary to work with people who have very different expertise. This is not just about knowledge, but also about different expertise, skills and vision; in short, multidisciplinary cooperation. Working in a multidisciplinary team is an art. Just understanding each other, having trust in each other, being able to make good agreements about the intended result and the process to get there, coming to a shared vision together, is not easy. And discussing and solving every problem on the way to the result together is quite a job.    

Company training and coaching in learning to work together

Companies and organizations, therefore, benefit from their managers and employees being able to cooperate well. There is a lot of training and coaching in learning to cooperate: efficient meetings, Design Thinking, self-managing teams, project-based work, etcetera.  

Learning to work together underexposed at school

Learned young is done old. So you would expect that in schools, too, much attention would be paid to learning how to work together. But this is often not the case at all. Pupils are given many collaborative assignments, but they are usually not coached or guided in how to optimally work together in carrying out those assignments. The result is that the pupil who feels most responsible carries out most of the assignment, the others do little or nothing, there is resentment because of the unequal division of labour and stress because the deadline for the assignment is jeopardised. Also, students often have little or no awareness of each other's qualities, let alone that they talk to each other about their vision of the subject.

Good example of developing cooperation

Fortunately, we are seeing more and more good examples of learning environments where young people learn to work together in an inspiring way and are prepared for their future. A good example is Learnlife

In the Learnlife community, parents, experts and companies work together with "learning guides" (teachers). They use their experience and expertise to develop young people and work with them on real life projects. In this way, young people develop all kinds of competences.

Cooperating in a playful manner in Core Values Game

We have created a Core Values Game to give young people insight into who am I, what am I capable of and what do I want. It is a game in which players use core values to talk to each other about what they consider important in life. There are also game variants in which players work together to solve fictional and social problems. The game playfully prepares young people for a future in which they will work together with all kinds of others. The game can be played at school, with friends, or with family.

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