JOY – Ode to Joy – Developing Attunement through the Experience of Joy

The project

JOY – Ode to Joy – Developing Attunement through the Experience of Joy

Project Number



01/11/2021 – 30/04/2024

Funding institution

Erasmus+ Cooperation partnerships in adult education


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    Description of the project

    Society is changing rapidly, with increasing pace of change. Many young adults can´t balance anymore the (everchanging) expectations from society/school/work with their inner-self, their personal characteristics and their social roles and they follow their own learning pathway.

    The project Ode to Joy, is named after one of the positive emotions (joy, pride, contentment, esteem) which are catalysts for increasing people’s satisfaction generally in their personal lives and professionally in their work. Joyful people are more motivated to act and participate, are much less likely to experience burn out, and have a better mental and physical health and are more resilient towards uncomfortable emotions. We want to achieve this through fusing experience-based methods together, such as drama, bodywork, dance, music, symbolwork, storytelling, nature work, that help NEETs reconnect with their body and mind, increasing their ability to experience joy and to connect and through this experience develop a greater sense of attunement and joy.

    Moreover, considering that the recognition and validation of the competences acquired in non-formal and informal settings is difficult but extremely important for employability and participation, the Ode to Joy project wants to intervene with specific instruments that are able to connect with the deeper layers of a person (invisible knowledge and skills, social roles, self-image, personal characteristics, motives, and underlying positive emotions) and use the positive emotions to make them visible and connect them with recognizable demands form companies/organisations, through valuation of prior learning.


    • Research phase about experiential methodologies for NEETs integration into labour market with small-scale qualitative analysis for analysing their usability for the development of the JOY Model
    • International Training Event for project staff
    • Development of the JOY training curricula and collection of feedbacks through dissemination events with stakeholders
    • Testing at local level
    • Development of the JOY Positioning Paper for the endorsement of the JOY-model, methodology and instruments in a wider EU level, on the basis of valorised results


    • JOY Model: A report of a cross-national research of the perception of the actors in the system (NEETs, companies, Education, Government), including a needs analysis for the impact of COVID19 and the economic tensions on the position of NEETs, and a Guideline for a pedagogical methodology for the JOY-training instruments.
    • Ode to Joy Educators’ Resources – Toolbox and Handbook: a collection of methods/approaches aimed at providing trainers and adult educators with detailed knowledge to enrich their working practice and supporting them in their curriculum-planning and implementation task. This result will contain: the Toolbox with a collection of specific exercises and instruments of the methods (drama, storytelling, working with nature, bodywork, symbol work, bottom-up valuation of prior learning) that aim to enhance the experience of positive emotions; and the Handbook will be a collection of articles about the approaches and the impact mechanism of the methods serving as a “theoretical” background for the Toolbox.
    • JOY Course – The training scheme includes structure/materials needed to increase the awareness of competences and the connection with their emotions, personal characteristics, motivation and the role they play. The training approach will be multilevel, multidisciplinary and work-based, able to train a NEET-person in a relatively short time, including elements for identification of informal and non-formal learning.
    • JOY Positioning Paper – a Memorandum of Understanding addressed to policymakers, stakeholders that participate in policy-making consultations, Education and Training providers, and organisations dealing with NEETs to pave the way for the endorsement of the JOY-model, methodology and instruments in a wider EU level, influencing decision making towards the use of positive psychology and recognition of acquired competences for strengthening employability and participation of NEETs.