Testimonials of UMpowerment
In preparation to the conference we have scrutinised already existing initiatives that we perceive as good examples of empowerment within the UM. The aim of this exercise was multiple: firstly, we wanted to get an overview of already existing initiatives in order to better understand the map of empowerment in the UM community context. Secondly, we looked for more insights on the concept of empowerment and food for thought. Thirdly, we were able to test how other member of the community responded to our idea on organising the conference. The response to our letter and questionnaire sent out in the beginning of March confirmed us in our initial belief that we want to spread the concept of empowerment further in the UM context. It is at this point that we would like to thank all of you who took the time to fill in the questionnaire and share with us your experience with the concept of empowerment. Last but not least, and this was what we hoped for most, the testimonials are a great tool to inspire and to motivate, as they can provide a glimpse of the experience and fun experienced by those who engage themselves in one of the empowered initiatives. Rather than rephrasing the testimonials and thereby diluting the first hand experience of empowerment we decided to include them integrally.