Culture Shock Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports creative and professional development of various groups of people. Humans are always at the center of our actions – we look at their individual needs and potentials, their communities, and the space they live in. Our mission is to provide digital education access to everyone regardless of age or social status and to support local communities in Poland and abroad through various cultural and educational activities. We use new technologies and innovative educational tools, often created by ourselves, to break the barrier to the world of digital culture.
The Foundation works for the personal and professional development of various groups of recipients: people at risk of exclusion (disadvantaged youth, senior citizens, LGBTQ+, women, residents of smaller centers, OzN), NGO activists, activists and educators. Most of our achievements come from the area of development of civil society, equal opportunities for recipients, promotion of activist attitudes and research activities (e.g. projects: “Media-socialists” – supporting youth activism; “Dare to Act” – promoting involvement in local activities; “Exchanger/Cooperation” – community social activities; 3 editions of “Experts” – continuing education for seniors; “Business Culture Applications” – social research on mobile applications in culture).
Digital education is for us the basis of conscious presence in contemporary society (4 editions of FAM – Forum of Mobile Applications and Games for Culture, cooperation with several dozen partners, significant growth of the audience over 4 years).
We address our offer both to individuals (e.g. projects: “Media Lab” – intergenerational workshops of new technologies, “Magic in the process” – media education for young people), as well as institutions (development of volunteer work at DPS on behalf of the City of Warsaw). Every year we support several hundred people and several dozen institutions. Since 2010 we have been operating on a continuous basis – we have completed over 60 national (from district to national) and 6 international projects, cooperating with partners from 15 countries. Since 2019 we have been implementing the Burnout Aid project (Erasmus+ grant), under which we have conducted research on the professional burnout team in the NGO, diagnosing problems faced by the 3rd sector, which will result in creating a support system for the NGO. In 2020 the FCS team worked in 4 working groups at the Ombudsman, developing recommendations for better functioning of the sector.
OTHER AREAS OF OUR BUSINESS
New technologies and design
Our projects within new technologies and design contribute to the development of digital skills of the audience: young people and seniors, increasing participants’ awareness of new digital technologies in culture (projects: “MediaSocialists”, 2015, “Magic in Process”, 2015, “MediaLab Junior”, 2012, “MediaLab Senior”, 2012, “MediaLab Junior Warsaw”, 2013). In the area of design, the Foundation has held three “Expert” workshops (2012-2015) for seniors and young parents, giving participants the opportunity to create their own design of an object or spatial solution based on a needs analysis. We are a member of the Coalition for Open Education and the Broad Agreement for Digital Skills in Poland.
As part of the activities for the development of local communities, a great attraction is the space of the Warsaw Scarp, where our headquarters are located. Skarpa was the site of artistic and animation activities in the years 2011-2015 (biennial of art in public space Skarpa, projects: “Skarpa. Reactivation!”, 2011, “Skarpa: Relocation”, 2013, “Skarpa. Rewelacja”, 2015). On behalf of the Warsaw Cultural Way on the Slope coalition, the Culture Shock Foundation coordinated three editions of the open-air event “Mayday on the Slope”. (2012-2014) and “Warsaw Scarp Feast” (2015). Summarizing the last years of its activities on the Skarpa, the Foundation has prepared the first publication in over 20 years comprehensively describing this particular area (book “Skarpa Warszawska”, 2015).
Since 2014 we have been implementing the “Greenpoint. Transformations” project in New York. It is a cultural and social activity aimed at bringing out the potential of Greenpoint as a space for cultural, artistic and neighborhood activities. The project includes cultural animation and research on the social history of the place.
Between 2013 and 2015 we were a member of the Participatory Budget team in the Śródmieście district of Warsaw.
The Foundation also carries out artistic projects, supporting young artists. Between 2011 and 2014, in the Culture Shock Gallery, we regularly organized exhibitions of painting, sculpture and media art. Concerts and theatrical performances were held in the Space on the Slope, which we run.
The Culture Shock Foundation presented the effects of its projects during the Culture 2.0 Festival at the National Audiovisual Institute, Media Camp Culture 2.0 Opole 2013, the project conference Invisible Design in Poznan and the exhibition “Design in Public Space. Years Fly” in Cieszyn Castle. Our texts have been published in many publications, such as “Cultural Education. New times, new tools”. (article entitled “Medialab – Magic in the process”), published by the Lublin Commune; quarterly 2+3D (article “Expert – On design workshops for the elderly”), 2+3D No. 49.