A Fourth World People’s University is a forum where people from different social backgrounds can come together. They meet to discuss and share ideas. The basis of this encounter is the recognition that the knowledge and experience of people living in poverty has value. Therefore this type of forum creates a space where people freely express themselves. This gives birth to new ideas, projects and proposals.
“It’s a place where we feel comfortable learning and sharing our ideas, lives, and values with each other.”
Participant of a Fourth Would People’s University in the United States. Read more on ATD USA’s website.
Concrete examples included a European Fourth World People’s University looking at how the EU can address poverty and a People’s University in the US on engaging young people and building trust.
A People’s University will often focus on a theme. For example in 2016, ATD Fourth World Belgium selected “Young and old together, forging ahead to give a future to all.” For over two months participants talked and exchanged ideas on this subject.
Another example of a topic was citizenship in Madagascar. The ATD team there lead meetings on this subject over a two year period.