European Youth Forum
Democracy is in dire straits. The reason we believe this is that we witness a growing distance between youth & the structures of representative democracy. Our research shows that it is increasingly difficult for youth to participate in the decision making that affects their lives. They are far from being apathetic: they join causes, social movements, protest and boycott certain products. That is why we are crowd-sourcing the best ideas on how to build a politics that is truly youth-inclusive.
Our research shows that youth in Europe are trapped in a vicious circle of political marginalisation. It is increasingly difficult for them to participate as they face more social & economic barriers. Voting or joining a party is then not on the top of their to do list. This is worse in recent years since the economic crisis & ensuing austerity measures. Young people are then less represented in politics, leading to low levels of trust and a system and a system that is increasingly undemocratic.
Through our project, we aim to:
- Crowdsource the best ideas on how to open up democracy and political systems to be more representative and inclusive for young people
- Raise awareness of the dangers linked to a growing political marginalisation of young people, who are increasingly disconnected from the decisions that affect them, which poses a risk to the future of democratic societies and to social cohesion.
Through the organisation of facilitated workshops across Europe, we plan to collect the best ideas from young people on how to build a genuinely youth-inclusive politics. We use a workshop methodology based on non-formal methods that is fun for the participants, while generating ideas based on the groups collective input.
We will then present these ideas from all workshops to decision makers in international fora and high level events, in 2016 and 2017.
Young people - both from members of youth organisations, but also all participants who participate in the workshops we organise
Political parties and international institutions - we plan to present the ideas generated throughout the project in different formats to high level decisions makers, including political parties and international organisations.
YouthUP not only identifies the problem of youth participation in Europe but offers solutions - a huge gap in current literature on the topic. We are in a unique position of being from an organisation that is the most representative platform of young people and youth organisations in Europe, which provides the potential for impact and dissemination. Finally, our campaign combines online community building with offline events, ensuring a strong community of young people who co-create the campaign
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Contribution to personnel costs (20000) Travel and accommodation for facilitators to different cities across Europe (10000) A "training for a trainers" session in Brussels to create a pot of facilitators for workshops (5000). Development of a toolkit to ensure offline/online interaction in workshops (5000)
We would like to hear from as many other organisations as possible who would be interested in joining our campaign, such as by offering to host a youthup workshop. All you need to host a workshop is a room, 20 participants, and loads of post-its and a flipchart - we will take care of the rest. And you're set to help us co-create our campaign!