Connecting the Dots Symposium: Young people, social inclusion and digitalisation

  • Youth
  • 16/07/2018
  • Paulina Nalivaikaitė, Youth Ambassador

From 26-28 June 2018, Lithuanian Safer Internet Youth Forum member and Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Ambassador Paulina Nalivaikaitė participated in the Connecting the Dots Symposium: Young people, social inclusion and digitalisation, organised by the EU-CoE Youth Partnership. Here, she reflects on her experience.

The event focused on exploring the intersection between social inclusion of young people and digitalisation, reflecting especially on how digitalisation affects young people's lives, and the role of youth policy, youth work and youth research in this respect. As such, the symposium focused on the following topics:

  • Access to services, youth-friendly services, and services for social inclusion.
  • Reaching out to young people and the digital divide.
  • Resilience and empowerment for social inclusion.
  • Discrimination in the digital space, hate speech, cyberbullying and harassment.

On the evening of arrival we had a "Coyote" magazine presentation and an interactive icebreaker game to prepare us for the days ahead.

On the first day, informative presentations were delivered by different speakers, including:

  • Mailis Reps, Minister for Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia.
  • Snežana Samardžic-Morkovic, Director General of Democracy (via a video message).
  • Dr Victoria Nash, Deputy Director, Policy and Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute (keynote speech).

Later, there was a project fair of good practice. Here, participants who already had experience in fostering social inclusion or combatting social inclusion through digital tools had the chance to present their practices.

participants


The second day of symposium consisted of different workshops broken down by topics.

Round 1

Workshop 1: Access to services, youth-friendly services, and services for social inclusion

  • Smart Toolbox: a virtual toolbox for youth workers, which contains information and tips about smart youth work generally and guidelines on how to organise an event using digital tools, presented by Kati Nõlvak (ENTK).
  • CLICNJOB: an online service enabling youth workers to better support young people and their social inclusion, presented by Thomas Vandriessche, Wetechcare (France).
  • Youth Employment Plan and the Digital Social Lab: developing young people's entrepreneurial skills, presented by Antonio Román-Casas, AUPEX (Spain).

Workshop 2: Reaching out to young people and the digital divide

  • Eurodesk Chatbot on Facebook Messenger: tools to reach out young people more easily and faster, presented by Grazia Cannarsa, EURODESK (Belgium).
  • Youth Work HD: empowering youth workers through online education to enhance social inclusion, presented by Sanjin Smajlović, Centre of Technical Culture Rijeka (Croatia).
  • YouTube in Youth Work: involving YouTubers to spread information about youth policy and youth work opportunities, presented by Jolanta Sakalauskienė, Ministry of Social Security and Labour (Lithuania).

Workshop 3: Resilience and empowerment for social inclusion

  • Quintana 4D: Digital Ghosts of a Future Past - using the digital space to enhance access to culture, presented by Paolo Russo, Stati Generali dell'Innovazione (Italy).
  • LGBTIQ in tech: dealing with intersectionality in the digital space, presented by Heidi Puntgartnik, TransAkcija Institute (Slovenia).
  • Youth hacking and Democracy Labs: offering empowerment in digitalisation for young people with fewer opportunities, presented by Cin Pietschmann, Open Knowledge Foundation (Germany).

Workshop 4: Combatting discrimination in the digital space, hate speech, cyberbullying and harassment

  • No Hate Speech Movement Campaign: producing online activists for human rights online, presented by Nelli Gishyan, Youth Alliance via Networking Educational NGO/No Hate Speech Movement Armenia (Armenia).
  • BRIGHTS: boosting global citizenship education using digital storytelling, presented by Barbara Quarta, ALL DIGITAL (Belgium).
  • Different? Wonderful!: using the digital space to celebrate diversity and combat discrimination, presented by Krenare Lleshi, DRIT (Kosovo*).

Round 2

Workshop 1: Access to services, youth-friendly services, and services for social inclusion

  • Youth care leavers: a care leaver mobile application to support young people leaving alternative care, presented by Annamaria Nagy, SOS Children's Villages International (Austria).
  • Click for Support: REALized: web-based intervention for young consumers of new psychoactive substances - "Mind Your Trip", presented by Nadine van Gelder, LWL - Coordination Office for Drug-Related Issues (Germany).
  • GEYC Community: how to engage people online and give them access to youth information and opportunities, presented by Gabriel-Andrei Brezoiu, GEYC (Romania).

Workshop 2: Reaching out to young people and the digital divide

  • No Profit Challenge - app to make links between community organisations and volunteers, presented by Francesco Perconti, Giosef (Italy).
  • Moderated online discussion group as a component of targeted youth work: intervention by PROMEQ research project, presented by Sanna Aaltonen, Finnish Youth Research Society (Finland).
  • Study on new trends in youth employment and its relationship with the digital revolution to establish a framework for Ibero-American governments and launch a training program in digital skills, presented by Alejandra Sáenz, International Youth Organism for IberoAmerica (Spain).

Workshop 3: Resilience and empowerment for social inclusion

  • Youth shape their future through digital tools: #OPIN #webDays - e-participation and involving young people in shaping the net policy and voicing their ideas for the technological developments, presented by Evaldas Rupkus, IJAB (Germany).
  • Online platform and app linking refugees to training and employment opportunities, presented by Maria Kanellopoulou, CARITAS (Greece).
  • Digitalents Helsinki: a youth community, in which young people learn coding, game development and new media by doing, presented by Karoliina Leisti, Digitalents Helsinki (Finland).

Workshop 4: Combatting discrimination in the digital space, hate speech, cyberbullying and harassment

  • Non-toxic: non-discriminating gaming culture, presented by Riikka Kaukinen, City of Helsinki (Finland).
  • "NoHateMakers in action: combating hate speech in EuroMED": producing digital pieces of counter-narratives, and "HRe-activism against Hate Speech" - youth online activism for human rights combating hate speech, presented by Alessandra Coppola, APICE (Italy).

On the last day, participants drew conclusions and heard storytelling via a live example of good practice from Mr Cin Pietschmann, Jugend hackt Orga, followed by a closing ceremony.

image from the workshop

Reflecting on my participation, the symposium was a great opportunity to exchange good practices with other countries and their projects. I was able to introduce participants to the "Safer Internet Youth Forum" concept as operated within my own country, where I explained what we are doing, what problems we are facing, and so on. Moreover, attending the symposium has inspired me with new ideas, which I hope to implement soon.

Find out more about the work of the BIK Youth Ambassadors.

Find out more about the work of the Lithuanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

About the author:

Paulina (Lithuania)

Paulina is a 18-year-old student from Vilnius, Lithuania. Last year, she took part in the #TogetherForRespect campaign launched in Brussels during the Safer Internet Forum (SIF). She defines herself as a creative, hardworking perfectionist committed to bringing hercontribution to the BIK Youth initiatives in which she has a lot of faith.
    


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