Youth work – empowering the changemakers of tomorrow

Super Youth Worker
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consorzio comunità brianza

via dei tintori 18, 20900 Monza, Italy

  • Participation of young people in decision making

A practice of processes and methods

YSD aim is to support youth workers and young people (16-25 y.o.) through a civic education and engagement approach fostering their competences and offering them the opportunity to experience a real participation in local decision-making to rethink their cities and public spaces towards healthier streets and resilient neighbourhoods.
As tangible results, the project realized between May 21 and May 23:
-18 youth workers in 6 EU Countries (IT, EL, SK, DE, FI, PL) trained to mentor young people to co-design services with the PA
-120 young people acquiring skills as Young service designers in a 40 hours learning by doing training
-12 Youth Public Innovation Labs at local level with councilors, mayors
-10 Pilot of Services co-designed by young participants and PA
-Involvement of civil servants from the cities supporting YSD
-Creation of an E-learning Collaborative Platform
-Toolkit “Young Service Designers and Cities as partners and allies.
YSD furnishs a pragmatic roadmap for anyone interested in engaging with the development of youth policies.

YSD planned 5 macrophases:

1 Macro Phase: ANALYZE 

ORIENTATION , VISION SETTING , TERRITORIALISATION – Identifying the physical space to work with the young people and where they can develop and promote their services for the community- CONNECTIONS- Mapping and opening up a dialogue with key local stakeholders to define how they can contribute to the  activation of young people in their local communities.

2 Macro Phase: TRAINING FOR YOUTH WORKERS The ToT on Service Design  put at the centre the service design methodologies as the primary approach focused on the public sector. 18 youth workers across 6 EU countries have been trained and engaged as mentor to deliver the YSD Capacity building programme.

Phase: ENGAGE 

CALL FOR YOUNG SERVICE DESIGNERS  A call co-designed among partners is published to reach 20 young people per country willing to take part in  the YSD Journey. 116 young people recruited to participate to the CB programme.

4 Macro Phase: EMPOWER   40 hours of training in each country partner  for young people aged 16-25 years old . 116 young people trained to design solutions to common challenges addressed to two Youth goals: Green Europe and Inclusive societies. The goal of the first part of the training foresaw  at  least the design of  2 services in response to the identified challenges to be co-designed with the public administration and  the local ecosystem. With the project a total of 10 services co-designed by young people and municipalities piloted in the cities.  

5 Macro Phase: CONNECT  Two international events planned and delivered in Poland and Finland  to connect 60 young European people approaching YSD Journey from  Poland, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Greece, and Finland.  The international events represented a great opportunity also for the Youth  workers coming across Europe for experimenting new methods and acquiring knowledge and skills  to attract the interest of young people in active citizenship and to stimulate their willingness in  proposing solutions for tackling local challenges. 

YSD recognizes that the municipalities play a pivotal role. They should transcend their conventional role as mere service providers and embrace their capacity as agents of progress, aligning with the novel European cross-cutting priorities encompassing environmental sustainability, digital transformation, and societal inclusivity.

YSD can be defined as a successful intervention aimed at provoking a reversal of the disintegration and fragmentation of youth policies that becomes feasible by adopting instruments that revive and revitalise democratic participation in a bottom-up logic, by stimulating at policy level the creation of permanent infrastructures of debate and co-design between administrations and young people. An immediate and concrete result was certainly that of conveying to young people the awareness that it is increasingly necessary to establish direct communication with politicians, administrators, and decision-makers; Young people can make proposals and young people can co-design among peers and together with institutions, because this is a right.Attempts have been made, especially in some partner countries, to weaken the wall being erected between institutions and young people. The whole path has been developed in the light of the European Green Deal and thus of the planned green and digital transition whose strategic choices and operational decisions will impact precisely on the Z generation, which must take centre stage in the debate and be put in a position to express its contributions and play its part.

Youth workers