= The general education-city: Center for networking, concept generation and education.
The FO-city is a meeting- and conference center in the centre of Aarhus, comprising Frederik's St. 78A, B, and C, Frederik's St. 79, and the General Education House in Vester Alle 8, DK-8000 Aarhus C.
The FO vision is to create a center for networking, concept generation and education and emphasizes being a city for everybody, quality of life, the ability and will to exceed limits, and the will to "learn to learn".
The FO-city is the environment for an ambition to modernize and revitalize the popular education concept of Grundtvig in an open center for manners, education and opinion. Our goal is to develop into the neighborhood's focal point for information and service.
The FO-city must be socially and environmentally sustainable, which means that it is primarily inhabited by social enterprises and that day-to-day working methods adhere to green principles.
"The everyday folk high school"
The FO-city is "The everyday folk high school", placed where people meet, live, and stay. It's the new popular education platform in a diverse world which constantly requires you to create meaning in life and self-understanding.
The FO-city is a nice place to be, which challenges and engages, and is an important piece in the big city (Aarhus). Here are things which people need, feel like exploring, are passionate about or have never heard of. A combination of café, library, village hall, or the like, defined by the users, strengthening local resources and culture offers and acting as the basis for a local identity.
The FO-city breaks down the traditional institutional model and organizes and strengthens active citizenship, to the benefit of both community and individual.
The FO-city gives all citizens a hand, and works against society's propensity to break into those with few or no skills, and those with many or the most skills.
The core of the FO-city
The FO-city has a certain core - a basic service - which it grows around. The core, in this case, is FO-Aarhus.
The image of the FO-city is developed in interplay with the core, which means that the clients experience the place as a whole. Steady components in the FO-city are education, idea shop, rendezvous, café, working workshops, sales of crafts and other products, events, project workshop, and much more.
The sustainability of the FO-city rests on its ability to meet the spoken - or unspoken - needs of its "customers" and whether it can act both as a peaceful oasis in a hectic everyday life, and as a source of inspiration and a challenger of routines and habits. The clients clearly set the agenda and define the contents - not the demands and announcements of the Law of Popular Education.
In the FO-city, the free meeting of people, ideas and opinions is key. But equally important is being well-placed and inviting, and staff demands are steep in order for the FO-city to flourish as "the everyday folk high school". Information, culture and knowledge must be communicated, but to an equal degree there should be networking and conveying of contacts, ideas, views, and positions.
From those involved, developing an FO-city requires openness, responsiveness, respect for each other's ideas and thoughts, that people are viewed as equal parties whatever their background and affiliation. For the FO-city is about quality of life, about room and an environment for a local democracy, and whatever makes sense to the citizen. Room for community, help across generations and sectors, tolerance and obligation to others, making room for everybody, including the underprivileged, the diseased, the unemployed, the weak at reading and writing, etc.
Both internally and externally in the FO-city, partnerships are formed with the local shop- and business life and other actors in the area, in order to break down barriers between businesses, government institutions and voluntary involvement and own initiative (a.k.a. civil society).
The purpose of the FO-city is to create the best possible environment for the innovation and development of its "residents". The goal is becoming 1st choice for innovative businesses. The main instruments are to offer relevant services in the form of flexible facilities, networking and sparring, and contact to the region's businesses and knowledge institutions. Momentum in and between the businesses is the driving force.
The FO-city is both a nursery for fledgling firms and an innovative environment for established businesses. FO is also keen to take in R & D departments from larger businesses and temporary projects. Diversity and engagement are prerequisite for inspiration and growth.
In short, the FO-city is:
- A rendezvous, café, auditorium, classrooms
- A mediation room, presentation, citizen services, digitally and physically
- A culture room, homework shop, study/absorption, media and materials
- A community agent, bridge builder, initiator/catalyst
Inspiration from Grundtvig
In our daily activities and in the planning of the FO-city, we are often inspired by the father of popular education and poet, N.F.S. Grundtvig. This is one of the well-known verses from his hymn "Is light for the learned?":
Learning shall be our desire
be it just on the rushes
but for all time a voice like fire
life's learning causes blushes;
from the deeds of man it spring will
the way it's rocked it abides
radiant in our public council
till the evening star subsides!