European Digital Youth Summit 2018

 Alternativi International team was part of European Digital Youth Summit 2018 organized in Brasov, Romania on 14 of December 2018. On the conference two of our representatives were speaker and rapporteur of Turn Online workshop.

 

Find out what are the workshop and conference conclusions below: 

Opening panel

  • EDYS – European Digital Youth Summit 2018 had a diverse Opening Panel – welcoming government, academia and civil society representatives – which made it eclectic and interesting both for the offline and online audience.
  • Our host city, Brasov, was the kick-start: Mrs. Vlad, in charge of Smart City projects for the community, introduced completed, ongoing and future initiatives of Brasov regarding e-learning, e-governance and citizen involvement. A highlight of the speech was her appeal to the community’ needs regarding active participation, which is vital to aid in the performance of these governmental instruments.
  • EDYS took place in the Transylvania University, so we were also lucky to listen to two of its representatives: Mr. Nechita and Mrs. Lache, who were eager to welcome us and had very motivating words for the audience. Mr. Nechita admitted that he had joined mobility projects later on in life, already as a professor, and has ever since been "addicted" to them. He wanted to inspire the students to take action in searching for alternatives to the mobile, via different initiatives promoted by the University. On her turn, Mrs. Lache expressed her wish for making internationalisation experiences mandatory because she firmly believes in their power to transform the society. She showed figures of different internationalisation projects that UTBV develops and manifested that she was a bit underwhelmed, as she wants more people to be involved and go abroad, especially when so many opportunities are open to diverse profiles.
  • The next intervention was a very "political" one: Mr. Benga, from the Romanian Parliament, was thrilled to show the attendants that they cared a lot about education, traveling and digital media, but not so much about politics. He explained why politics and policy are required to advance in these three other aspects, giving insights on his personal experience in office and as an exchange student in the USA. He believes that students should be the center of education, but they also need to own this role and be active,e specially digitally.
  • There were two international guests for the wrap-up, that provided a practical view on their fields. : Mr. Zaman from the UK and Mrs. Gelashvili from Georgia.  As a European youth projects and NGO manager, Mr. Zaman explained how important it is to learn from the partnerships that are established abroad and how we need to wisely reflect on our objectives, means and use everything at our disposal to reach our goals, especially in a digital society. As a trainer and reporter, Mrs. Gelashvili made it clear that “word of mouth” has now become "world of mouth", providing statistics on digital usage which were impressive – even though they were from previous years. This showed the audience that the social media role in our current lives is escalating and we need to be prepared and aware of the changes.
  • After every guest’s speech we had the chance to receive live questions from our online audience and also from the people present at the event. These interactions enriched the meeting and challenged the speakers to reflect on their statements. Plus, as a digital summit, we also played around with technology, voting live on different polls: for example, we learnt that surprisingly 58% of the audience has never participated in an international exchange. This is an important figure for GEYC, the local organizer of EDYS 2018, who has mobility and digital goals and will continue to strive for more experiences like this, to reach a wider community.
  • As a general conclusion, the main lessons from the morning at EDYS are that active participation is necessary in every aspect of our lives, from personal issues (like doing an academic exchange abroad) to political aspects that relate to our community. As the smart- phone is in our hands, our (digital) involvement should also be visible, and we need to take the time and make an effort to be committedly behind it.

TURN ONline workshop

  • “TURN Online” workshop, part of the European Digital Youth Summit 2018 agenda, was led by Cristiana – TURN Online project responsible on behalf of the Group of the European Youth for Change’s project, “TURN Online”.
  • More than 50 participants attended the practical workshop focused on how to engage online and offline communities. At the very beginning, Cristiana presented shortly “TURN Online” project, as the carried workshop was a dissemination activity for it – what is it about(digitalization of youth NGOs), who launched it, when and what is coming up next, such as the MOOC Course on Digital transformation of youth organizations.
  • The session started with a fun energizer about the two most used digital tools amongst the participants. The group was divided into 6 smaller groups and participants had the chance to interact freely and share their opinion on the topic. Afterwards, the participants got back in a full circle and each group presented their findings.
  • The core of the workshop followed afterwards. The participants, divided now into 3 groups, took part in a “World Café” – a designated space where they discussed the following 3 matters:
    – What role does digital media have in forming online & offline communities?
    – Erasmus Virtual Exchange – how does this program increase the impact in the communities around the globe?
    – European youth projects – how do you engage youth in online & offline communities?
    – At each table an experienced speaker in the topic was facilitating the discussion.
  • I am happy to say that the participants were very active. They asked questions, listened to the others and talked in depth about nowadays realities and future challenges. The level of interaction was energetic and positive, with high level of constructive communication.
  • For the conclusion of the workshop, the guest speakers presented the results of the discussions and summarized the main outcomes. The participants consolidated their active position and used the chance to ask more questions and to search for additional information from the speakers on what caught their attention during the workshop. It was a very productive and fulfilling session!

Main outcomes

  • The role of non-formal education – auditorium brings the students around the topic and the question is “how to motivate the youth participation?”
  • Via active participation you start to motivate yourself, using self-motivation methods you start to see your main abilities in force
  • Barrier? I already jumped over it
  • Personal effect – you start budget planning, become more responsible to be able to live on your own, face the challenges, find solutions in order to avoid cultural shocks and cultural barriers.
  • The countries’ indicators of inclusive development show that countries such as Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, and my country – Azerbaijan – have good figures in inclusive development index with less sources and funding sources. Cultural awareness – you`re not just experiencing all the good things, you also become aware of the differences.
  • Scholarship possibilities for students – if one can reach them, then why is there still a lack of participation? – this issue needs evaluation in all the steps
  • Opens new possibilities – to feel ready to enter the job market
  • For discovering what you want you should communicate, network, discover yourself.
  • Early leavers from education and training may face heightened difficulties in the labour market. The figure below (figure from page 4 of this pdf – https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/pdfscache/1150.pdf) ranks the EU Member States according to the share of early leavers in the population aged 18-24 and presents an analysis of whether these early leavers are employed or not: those not in employment may or may not want to work. In 2016, the 10.7 % of early leavers from education and training were composed as follows: a 4.5 % share of the EU-28’s population aged 18-24 were early leavers in employment, while 4.0 % were early leavers not employed but wanting to work, and the remaining early leavers (2.2 % of the population aged 18-24) were not employed and did not want to work.

 

For more information about EDYS, please check the following link: http://edys.eu/

 

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