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  • Yazarın fotoğrafıLeyla Arsan

"Ebru" Approach in Green&Digital Competence Development

On 8 March 2024, at the Ministry of National Education Lifelong Learning Summit, Leyla Arsan CEO of TAGES proposed the "Ebru Approach" as an innovative lifelong learning approach to close the gap between the new and old generation and between different disciplines with the EU's Green and Digital Skills approaches on Climate Change and Green Skills at the Green Skills Panel. Many thanks to our esteemed academicians Prof. Gonca Telli Yamamoto, Dr. Özgür Ölce and our moderator Serap Karabacak.


The most important problem of the world is population, and as the population increases, so do the problems. In today's conjuncture, life rolls on in a spiral of production-consumption. The energy requirement created by this spiral is increasing day by day. Of course, these lead to different results with evolving and evolving brains. While there is a part of the population that is hungry and needs to be fed, another part is hungry for communication. In order to meet these hungers, it was necessary to work harder, think, design and look for ways to turn this production-consumption spiral with more energy. It was necessary because the requirements have changed. Brains have developed, the hunger for communication has been satiated by information and communication technologies and globalisation, but the real hunger is still swinging back and forth as a pendulum between the imbalance between overconsumption crazies and the real hunger level. This is a separate energy problem. In a nutshell, no matter what we do, there is a serious energy problem. There is a serious resource problem. With technological development attempting to solve all these problems, production and consumption are changing shape and increasing even more, but the direction is different and the method is different. While energy is still necessary for energy efficiency, all research in recent years is based on questions such as how to reuse these resources, how to use them less, or how to create alternatives. The concept of circularity is the answer to these questions. So much so that; the circularity at the basis of the roundness of the earth has a meaning in our own ways of doing business. But this is not easy at all. Just as it was difficult to convince a generation who thought the earth was flat that it was round, it is just as difficult to change the linear thinking system into a circular one. Science is again in full swing, but we need to work hard. In fact, don't we ask each other "how is it going?" "What the heck, we're just rolling along". I mean, there is always a rolling, we are rolling and going, but what are we doing while we are rolling, where and how are we rolling? Are we stones so that we do not change? Even a stone changes, its corners wear out, break, its shape changes if water touches it. The question is what we do in this rolling. How much we can breathe in and out, how much oxygen we take in, how much carbon we give out. Oxygen is so important that it connects us to life, makes us think, keeps our heart beating and keeps us alive. The rolling world lives on oxygen. Water, soil, air, fire all contain oxygen. As these resources are depleted from the earth, we will run out of oxygen, our life energy will run out. This is where all the fear is. The fear of extinction has now gripped us. There are efforts for this, some of them are futile. This issue of hunger is very dangerous. Because like unsaturated fat, it poisons people. Always wanting more, consuming more, becoming richer, more, more, bigger, more ostentatious, more of me, me, me, me. This me will die one day, but the compensation for the damages it causes will be a thousand times the life of the person who leaves. Those who stay and live will continue to poison the world from generation to generation. Unfortunately, this part cannot be solved. The impulses of insatiability and over-ownership, over-consumption and selfishness are leading the world to war and accelerating the extinction. This fear of extinction unfortunately exists in scientific thinkers. Like those who do not listen to what the scientist in American films says and then disappear. This is such a reality that we are living in plain sight. However, of course, these evolutions are not in one direction, the new generation is creating its own revolution with its own evolution.

There is a new generation that thinks more democratically, consumes less and even derives, has an innately circular and decentralised view of life, is born into advanced digital technology, has a more equal view of life without hunger if it is not the poor, and therefore can remove this hunger imbalance pendulum altogether. However, there is a different conflict here; this new generation, which is already ready, is trying to raise the old generation. In other words, the generation that is still linear and centralised (authoritarian) thinking, which is not aware of all these new concepts, is trying to raise this new generation. This is a serious conflict. Because at the moment, industries and business life are still under the ownership of the old generation, managed in a linear and centralised way. Newly emerging innovative initiatives and the new generation have to keep up with the way of doing business of this generation in order to sustain their new business so that they can win and run their initiative. All possibilities and opportunities are in the hands of the old generation. The management styles of states are still hierarchical, and democratic structures are also managed hierarchically. There are decision centres, presidents, authorities. Now, with this current way of thinking, these structures are trying to put forward and implement innovative approaches to save the world while the world is disappearing; circular, decentralised approaches, green and digital, more oxygen, derivation, less consumption, efficiency of resources, air, water, soil, sun, but the solution to this is in the new generation. Certainly not in the current generation. The solution is not in the oil companies, not in the big private sector organisations, not in the big investors, not in the giant countries of the world and their cooperation agreements or summits. All of those summits are rubbish structures that speak the truth but move the wrong. So where is the solution?


There is no such thing as a solution. Every solution continues its roll to create its own new problem. What matters here is the intention. Approach. Perspective. Ways of thinking. Mindset. Because the solution of one may become the problem of another. For example, creating a world that increasingly releases carbon, decreases oxygen and increases concrete cannot be a solution. Creating this solution with technology alone cannot be a real solution. Any solution that does not put people at the centre is doomed to create much bigger problems. If you let people who do not act with knowledge use technology, new problems arise. This is only a new question in the image of the solution we find to the problems we have created. Since the 1990s, when the concept of becoming an information society was first put forward, countries, and the European Union in the forefront, have continued to measure whether they can become a digital economy and society, but progress is very slow. Because the most important issue on the way to becoming an information society is to produce data, to share the data produced with the society and to enable the society to produce and act by using information. In addition to this, while thinking about technology development, let's think about technological developments and applications related to creating less carbon emissions and less carbon footprint, which climate change forces us to do. For example; even if you increase electric vehicles, this time there will still be an energy problem. But if I generate and use my own electricity myself and then reuse it, if I reduce the consumption of electricity, I will have a healthier and long-term life. It is also less costly. I don't even want to get into the issue of plastics, it is one of my biggest areas of struggle. My power is not enough for oil companies and big capital companies. But the new generation will.

The new generation is ready, but we, as their parents and role models, need to change our own mentality. There are many opportunities for this.


We say projects, the concepts of projects and funds are very popular these days. Especially when it comes to EU projects, the water stops flowing. I don't know why. It is assumed that the EU distributes money. This idea and believing in it is really ridiculous. On the other hand, I say to myself, how nice that there is an awareness of a power called the EU. But the real power here is neither an institution, nor a state, nor a capital. The real power here is the unity of democratic minds that are open, sharing, thinking and developing. This is where the power comes from. Money is just a carrot, a tool to be used later, but the main purpose is to create structures that prioritise human beings on a universal scale, that will give more oxygen and life energy, and that will realise this as soon as possible in the fastest way possible. This is what the projects are for. The European Union, which we call the EU, includes many different countries of the world into the system in many funding programmes. It is gradually developing and improving its ecosystem so that more benefit can be provided to the world and humanity. The European Union carries out a magnificent programme in the field of Research and Development. Its name changes every 7 years, but its essence is the same and it develops more and more every period. Its current name is Horizon Europe. It is the world's largest budgeted scientific and technological R&D and Innovation programme that brings together the largest number of countries. Turkey is fortunate that it can participate in this programme equally with other EU countries and benefit from the funds.

But participation in this programme is not very high, it is increasing year by year, but it is still very challenging that the country is still swinging in the current economic hunger pendulum. But I say, let the old generation deal with this bottleneck, let us focus on the youth. The new generation is ready.

New Competences

The requirement is very clearly defined in the EU. It calls for green and digital competences in its new targets. There is another wonderful EU programme for the development of these new competencies. Erasmus Plus. This programme supports projects for the development of competencies that support the EU green agreement, green and digital transformation, especially for the target groups to be focused on universities, vocational education, youth, secondary schools, teachers, university-industry cooperation, adults and gender equality. These projects are very valuable because each of them creates a new educational infrastructure, curriculum and training tools. These educational tools are implemented with the philosophy of "lifelong learning", open to all, sustainable, accessible and improvable education systems. Since the projects try out the tools in pilot applications, there are lessons learnt and therefore it is possible to transfer them to different fields, sectors and educational institutions. These are projects that can involve the new generation more, transfer new ways of thinking to the current generation, and make different generations work together. Great projects. Together with Pandemic, we completed an Erasmus Plus project called DIGITAL improvement through GAME in Teaching. This project aimed to develop a digital game for middle and high school students to create smart start-up strategies in the city related to climate change, and this strategy game to be played by other students and thus disseminated in STEM learning. We successfully completed this project as 5 partners: CNR-IBIMET research institution and Sensale High School from Italy, Clicks&Links software company from the UK, K12 Foundation and our company TAGES from Turkey. The digital strategy game developed by Darüşşafaka School students from Turkey was played by students in Italy. Nowadays, we have prepared a new Erasmus Plus project and applied for it 3 days ago.

We have prepared a project titled 'Academy-industry partnership to develop curriculum and practical skills for Green Digitalisation'. This project application, created with the participation of 2 universities from Finland and Norway, Finnish Informatics Association and Istanbul Blockchain Women's Association and our company TAGES, examines and develops the education and training needed to enable 'green digitalisation' in order to ensure that the future (and today's) information technology workforce is equipped with the skills and competence to do 'green digitalisation' jobs.

This project, titled 'GreenSkillsforAll', aims to strengthen and develop digital green skills in software engineering higher education by creating curriculum initiatives on digital green skills, creating measurable open badges/micro-credentials to meet the specific needs of the workforce in the sector, and incorporating these newly developed green skills into the sector, The project aims to stimulate a greater societal interest in green digitalisation through participation and motivation for the transition to more environmentally friendly green digital practices, and to promote cooperation, joint development and sharing of expertise and best practices among the universities/institutions participating in the project. Within the scope of the project, the requirements of green and digital skills will become more evident in the hacktons to be held with the participation of organisations and individuals from different disciplines, university students, different communities, environment, circular economy, climate change, digital solutions, living laboratories, participatory citizens and other groups. In the project, which also includes approaches that will reveal more gender equality, the Istanbul Blockchain Women's Association will contribute to this project to ensure that more women acquire digital and green skills in the development of green and digital solutions on the axis of digitalisation-gender equality-sustainability. Today is 8 March International Labouring Women's Day. I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate this day.


Many digital technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big and Open Data, Cyber Security, Internet of Things have to develop for a more sustainable and greener, oxygen-rich, more sustainable and smart, in other words, a more resilient world for the development of humanity and nature. Otherwise, we have to implement all kinds of ethical, legal and regulatory work together. Democratic, open, circular and decentralised solutions will move us forward faster. Not only artificial intelligence but also blockchain technology offers structures that will eliminate obstacles and create faster solutions. Both digital solution developers and those working for sustainability should be able to develop cross-cutting and integrated fusion or, in Turkish, "Ebrûlî" specialisations. Young and current generations should be able to innovate together in intertwined community structures. With intertwined structures, specialisations, experiences, knowledge and approaches should also be intertwined so that renewal and mindset changes can occur in each individual. Perhaps we should emphasise the Ebru approach more in the development of interdisciplinary and intergenerational competence. I would like to thank the esteemed photographer Attila Durak and the esteemed writer Kıyafet Telli, who are my sources of inspiration in this regard. These structures should be open to continuous development, sharing and innovation, and open data should be flying around in every field in every subject.

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