First day of GAP Soft Skills Summit

Project Coordinator Anne Holohan opened first day of GAP Soft Skills Summit with a presentation of overall purpose of GAP –project. Project aimed to meet with the challenges to work more effective together in peacebuilding environment. In order to meet with the challenges, we have developed training for peacekeepers to better learn soft skills. Project researchers followed ethnographic methods to analyse the cooperation among civilian, military and police. A journey of successful work among GAP Consortium and with several stakeholders is almost completed. The pilot course of soft skills with use of gamified methods is now organised and playing final version of GAP Game is possible. The interactive break out parallel sessions of the conference are still on-going with our conference participants. The topics of Summit Thursday are:

        A curriculum for the Role of Police in Peacekeeping

        Game-based Soft Skills Learning in Different Sectors

        Culture as a resource

        Training Needs in Contemporary Peacekeeping Missions

        Assessment tools to improve organisational effectiveness

        Gender: Challenges and Benefits

After the opportunity to play GAP Game, the day will be finalised with speeches by our guest speakers during Reception for Peacekeepers.

Course “Improving Performance in the CSDP Missions” organised successfully in Dublin

This week Laurea University of Applied Sciences has partnered with Trinity College Dublin in co-organising a training course on Improving Performance in the CSDP Missions, under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).  Principal Scientist Petteri Taitto from Laurea UAS and Prof Anne Holohan from Trinity College Dublin were the facilitators of the course

The course aims to increase the performance of future mission personnel when communicating and  cooperating in a stressful environment, taking into account cultural diversity and gender aspects, and thus to enhance the effectiveness of the CSDP Missions and Operations as part of the EU Integrated Approach. The course is designed to ensure that deploying personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge of the soft skills needed in the mission environment. 

The training programme builds on the skills identified by the GAP project as relevant for conflict prevention and peace building (CPPB) personnel, and delivered in a digital role-playing game, with assessment. The residential part includes playing the role-playing 2D computer game as well as individual assessment and group work. Participants will also have the opportunity to network, share views and perspectives with one another and with professionals in the field of CSDP. 

22 course participants are representing altogether 12 different nationalities coming from civilian, police and military domains working for peacekeeping and conflict prevention.  Course provided a safe learning environment for deeper understanding of the soft skills,  and an excellent opportunity to practice communication and cultural awareness in the simulated mission environment.

GAP in NATO Science for Peace and Security Information Day

On November 22, 2018, representatives of the scientific world, diplomats and defence experts from over 50 countries met to discuss international cooperation in the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Information Day that was organized at the War Studies University in Warsaw. The program this year celebrates the 60th anniversary. The last decade of its activity consists of almost 800 joint actions among 29 Member States and 41 partner countries – from the cyber defence in Jordan to humanitarian de-mining in Ukraine.

NATO program “Science for Peace and Security” (…) is to be a platform for dialogue between various expert and scientific environments and it will bring tangible benefits in the form of interesting and innovative products that may interested North Atlantic Alliance. It is difficult to provide a better context for similar discussions than a meeting at the War Studies University. University which is a natural environment for both, scientists and officers, who deal with security issues in their various dimensions and aspects on a daily basis.
… said, welcoming the participants, rector-commandant of the War Studies University – Brigadier General, PhD Eng. Ryszard Parafianowicz

It was a perfect opportunity to be able to discuss our project and show it to specialists from the environment of scientific and economic entities, mainly related to the area of security and defence (military and civil research institutes, scientific institutions, military universities, companies associated with the Polish Armaments Group). GAP representatives also presented the results of research conducted authorships Dr Valentina Trzcińska and Kamil Kuć M.A. on the preparation for foreign missions by the Polish Police and the participation and preparation of other police and military contingents. The discussed issues of soft skills such as cooperation, communication and trust have been described in detail as the three most important pillars of work during the foreign mission. Multiple comparisons to family or everyday life have made it easier for listeners to understand why these soft skills are so important on a mission and during of the training. A small visualization and moving it to the level of the mission was enough to recognize these skills as the most important and the listeners stated that there should be a strong emphasis on these skills during the training.

GAP Newsletter: User Experiences of GAP Soft Skills Game

In this Newsletter, the end users describes their user experiences when playing and testing the game in practice. Also it explains more about The Soft Skills in Peacebuilding Summit to be organised in Dublin (Ireland) in January 2019. Read more in our Newsletter: GAP Newsletter Dec 2018

The GAP Game already exists with promising capacities to teach and learn soft skills in the peacebuilding context. Now soft skills training and assessment is possible through a role-playing computer game. The past months our project experts and researchers have facilitated the evaluation of the GAP application’s constituent components in order to ensure that the game’s operational, educational, technical and specialist content is robust and relevant to end users in operational context. The community of end users critically assessed the content and usability of GAP Game.

Visualisation of GAP Soft Skills Game:

                  

 

GAP and Future Security Challenges

On 18 and 19 October, GAP crew presented recent project developments at the International Society of Military Sciences „Military Sciences and Future Security Challenges” international conference was organized by the National Security Department, with the participation of the entire university and members of ISMS. International Society of Military Sciences is an association that brings together military universities such as: Austrian National Defence Academy, Baltic Defence College, Royal Military College of Canada, Royal Danish Defence College, Finnish National Defence University, Netherlands Defence Academy, Norwegian Defence University College, Royal Military Academy of Belgium and War Studies University to exchange their observations and research results, and pursue that in military sciences it is not just about technology, techniques and procedures, because all conflicts concern people first and foremost and the military is not separated from the society.

During this jubilee conference, since the Association celebrated its tenth anniversary, the opening of the conference had a very festive character, due to the participation of all Rectors – Commandants of the universities who are members of the association. During this conference, where apart from celebrating the decade of existence of the association, there was ample time and place for debate and exchange of ideas. The most important thing was to find the answer to two very important questions: “What should be the balance of our efforts in the military profession, between transforming military science to serve prevention and management, and maximizing capacity for winning wars?” and “What do defence universities have to do to fulfill their responsibilities to society and the international community as custodians of the military sciences?” The participants could find answers to these two questions during speeches in 9 working groups. The participants were able to hear about 70 lectures during these two productive days delivered by international speakers from around the world.

During lectures in one of the panels, Security Education, Dr. Kamila Trochowska presented a speech on “Soft Skills for Security and Defense: Cross-Cultural Competence and Beyond”, which was devoted to the Gaming for Peace project’s 3C aspects. Moreover, the participants had the chance to further discuss GAP developments at the series of posters by Prof. Anne Holohan, Dr. Kamila Trochowska and Kamil Kuć. The “GAP: The Proteus effect in action” poster explained the 101 of the project, “Soft Skills and the Polish Police – interviews results” which summarized the results of research carried out by Dr Walentyna Trzcińska and MA Kamil Kuć about preparation for foreign missions in the Polish Police, and “GAP and Cross-Cultural Competence” expanded on operationalization of culture for CPPB purposes and the game itself.

The presentations received a truly positive feedback from our potential and future end-users. As one of te experienced military participants put it: “The world is changing, technology goes along. We must use the maximum of this technology be able to end conflicts faster. I believe that if this game fulfils its mission, we will witness progress in people, too”.

ESDC pilot course on Improving Performance in the CSDP Missions, 7-9 January 2019 in Dublin

The course aims to increase the performance of future mission personnel when communicating and cooperating in a stressful environment, taking into account cultural diversity and gender aspects, and thus to enhance the effectiveness of the CSDP Missions and Operations as part of the EU Integrated Approach. The course is designed to ensure that deploying personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge of the soft skills needed in the mission environment.

The training programme builds on the skills identified by the GAP project as relevant for conflict prevention and peace building (CPPB) personnel, and delivered in a digital role-playing game, with assessment. The residential part includes playing the role-playing 2D computer game as well as individual assessment and group work – as described in the course programme. Participants will also have the opportunity to network, share views and perspectives with one another and with professionals in the field of CSDP.

Please read more from the official invitation here: GAP Course on “Improving Performance” Invitation