Inaugural “Train the Trainer” Programme Successfully Concludes!

Welcome to the Train the Trainer program from the penguin project.
In this training program cultural workers are accompanied for a year whilst they develop new ways to understand their motivations, context and ability to influence their working culture towards a fair and rewarding relationship of mutual growth.

Look! Penguins can fly!

The Penguin Project proudly announces the completion of our inaugural Train the Trainer programme! We initiated this training to foster human-centered practices in the independent culture sector, addressing the impact of working in this creatively rich environment on the emotional well-being of cultural workers. Bringing together a select group of 11 cultural workers, leaders, and managers, we guided them in becoming Penguin Trainers and facilitators. Now equipped, they fly to the future to enhance awareness and abilities, promoting sustainable working environments across the cultural community. We hope that after the program our graduates will stay in contact with the penguin project and - through working with various cultural centres - contribute to a more sustainable working culture throughout the independent cultural sector.

The programme is now completed and the real work has just begun!

Now the training programme is complete, our trainers have with them a unique “penguin” approach to personal leadership and organizational culture. Grounded in values such as trust, respect, dignity, creativity, and courage, our trainers employ methods that blend metaphors, movement, and creativity with organizational theory, leadership, and real-world practice. This fusion of art and science, encompassing feeling, knowing, and doing, is at the core of the penguin approach. Equipped with these ideas and methods, our trainers are ready to conduct their own workshops. And they are not alone. They form a community of trainers, supported by an online platform for continuous learning and mutual support. Let's delve into this program and meet our inspiring trainers!

Our 10-month journey

The Opening Workshop Crafting Connections and Sparking Change

Our journey began in October 2022 with our trainers initially connecting online, delving into our book before convening in person. The first in person workshop took place from Jan 18th till 20th 2023 at Die Bäckerei - Kulturbackstube in Innsbruck. During the workshop, we laid the foundation for our participants covering topics such as “our spark”, listening on different levels, penguin metaphors and organisational development. More significantly, we evolved into a supportive group, committed to aiding each other in living and acting on our questions even after the time together was over and we all went back to our respective cultural centers.

Opening workshop

Album of our opening workshops

Train the Trainer Opening Workshop 2023

Penguin Lens Online: Navigating, Learning, and Leading Together

Over the following eight months, while dispersed across our respective centers, we conducted monthly online sessions. These sessions served to introduce new content and examine real-world cases through a penguin lens. We maintained accountability for our individual questions, revisiting workshop content as necessary.

As the online period drew to a close, we flipped the dynamic. Our trainees took the lead and crafted workshops for the group to actively participate in, providing a safe and supportive environment to experiment with facilitation skills.

Movement Residency in Piecice: Founders Embodiment Workshop

We the founders immersed ourselves in a transformative 3-day workshop on embodiment and dance movement therapy, guided by Janna and Iveta. This experience unveiled the potential of using our bodies as sensors, allowing us to tune into what lies beneath the surface of the mind. We learned to engage with the memories and emotions stored in our bodies, harnessing our physicality as an additional form of intelligence.

This workshop not only honed our skills and confidence in crafting profound participant experiences but also fostered a practice of connection that supported our personal development as individuals, leaders, trainers, and facilitators. A tangible outcome was the enhanced awareness and ability to incorporate movement into our workshop design. Click the button to find out more about what we did

More about the workshops

Movement Practice

Movement workshop

Closing Workshop: Flying to the future

In October 2023, we gathered once more in Innsbruck for a final 3-day workshop, jointly led by the Train the Trainer Programme team. Focused on consolidating our trainees' experiences, this workshop aimed to prepare them for the next phase – to 'fly,' metaphorically speaking.

Shaped by the group's needs, we designed a springboard experience to propel our trainers into the future. Tangibly, this involved learning how to facilitate processes, strengthen boundary-setting abilities, and address practical questions about the role of a penguin trainer.

Images of the closing workshop

Closing workshop of Train theTrainer 2023

Penguin Project Unleashed: Trainers Taking Flight and an Ongoing Odyssey of Learning and Connection

Now, some of our trainers are leading their own workshops, while we, the founders, are curating an online space for continuous learning and connection. This ensures our trainers can further develop themselves and contribute to the ongoing progress of the penguin project. Excitingly, we aspire to launch additional training programs like this, aiming to fill the sector with the spirit of penguins!

The Train the Trainer Team

Florian Cope-Ladstätter

Prepared himself for the challenge of the penguin project by doing a PhD in social sciences and also working in Die Bäckerei - Kulturbackstube for eight years. He loves his little son Rowan, reading books, but also rockclimbing for some reason. In the penguin project he is responsible for idea and concept development, field research and for all the beautiful words you are reading here.

Shawn Antoni Wright

Studied fine arts in Wales while earning his money by laying train tracks. He has learned about the relationship between structure and movement during a life of martial arts, from which he draws from until today. After working in China as an Art Director in the comercial sector he decided to move to Czech Republic to work for indipendent art and culture to find more meaningful way to controbute. Five years and many Budweisers later he then followed his girlfriend to Innsbruck and found a job in Die Bäckerei - Kulturbackstube where is supported the brand development and design. In the penguin project he is responsible for idea and concept development, Strategy, communications, field research and for the beautiful design and illustrations you are looking at.

Jana Ryšlavá

Freelance artist based in Czech Republic. After graduating from the SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, she devoted herself to teaching at Janáček’s Conservatory and developing the movement approach of AcroPartnering. She uses it to research different approaches of dance and circus and connect the circus and dance community. She believes that dance belongs to public spaces to open dialog with our audience. As the founder of MOVE Ostrava, she curates the MOVE Fest festival. “For me, the Penguin project is actually psycho hygiene for cultural workers. My focus is in the body and also the connection of art and creation.

Margit Liebhart

Is a partner at the Salzburg office of Trigon Entwicklungsberatung. She has been working as an organisational development consultant since 2010 and will contribute her rich experience in this field to the penguin project. Margit thrives for accompanying people and groups through developmental journeys along their real questions. This urge to get to the bottom of things and start working from there is what connects her to the penguin project. Together with her partner she has four kids and their house is full of life. Balancing out the different nourishing aspects of life is what she enjoys most these days.

Iveta Koblic

Iveta Koblic is an psychiatrist and psychotherapist. During the medical studies, her interest moved from natural sciences to human psyché and she also found her passion in dance. Bringing these areas together, she trained in Gestalt therapy and dance movement therapy, discovering the bodymind complexity and interconnections, which create an essence of her approach to different activities in the field of mental health, ranging from clinical work to providing lectures, workshops and even a bit of artistic work. She likes to move on the borders of different professional environments and cooperate in interdisciplinary teams, finding fresh inspiration and enrichment for her work and life. She is also a proud mother of two teenage boys, who are teaching her extra lessons in human relations and mental health every day.

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The Penguin Project is implemented thanks to support from the Erasmus+.