Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Screenshot Online Kick Off 1 DIYW

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Reviving youth engagement and participation in democratic life


Whereas various innovations to democratize contemporary democracies have been imagined, designed, tested and even institutionalised on different levels of decision-making (e.g. citizens assemblies, participatory budgeting, deliberative polls etc.), these Democratic Innovations (DIs) still do not play a role in youth work and non-formal education today. The DIYW (Democratic Innovations in Youth Work) project aims at tackling the issue of democratic disenchantment and erosion by developing, testing and disseminating didactic materials that support youth workers, facilitators and trainers in democratic education as well as school teachers to introduce to young people the subject of Democratic Innovations with the use of non-formal education methods.

We are currently looking for youth moderators in Berlin. Here you can find the application form (in German).

The context

Current democratic institutions and their design are challenged by various phenomena, e.g. radical right-wing populists in power, rising distrust of citizens, fake news, decline in involvement in electoral politics, but also digitalisation or ad hoc social movements. Young people are especially concerned as many of them grow up in a fully digitalised world, get politically engaged beyond institutions or are the target of manipulation and disinformation.

“Developing new extra-electoral mechanisms and high standards for democratic participatory processes seem to be the best way to respond credibly to the demand of citizens, especially youth, to be more regularly involved in public decision-making”, asserts Katarzyna Klimowicz, European Project Manager at Citizens For Europe. More inclusive and deliberative ways of decision-making are particularly needed to avoid the bubbles of social networks and populist instrumentalization of social divides.”

The project

The project DIYW (Democratic Innovations in Youth Work) is about how democracies could function in the future and which capacities do young people need to participate in shaping this future. It aims at supporting them in becoming more active, critical and directly involved citizens by developing their democratic skills and encouraging critical thinking of youth towards their involvement in decision-making processes, digital and direct democracy as well as the risks of populist instrumentalization. The project strives to increase their awareness of already existing opportunities that Democratic Innovations bring not only for their own extra-electoral engagement in the democratic life but in general for a more participative and inclusive society.

 

Videos and Trainings for Democracy

Our Strategic Partnership is initiated by 4 civil society organizations and social businesses – Catalan Association of Youth Policies Professionals (SP), Center for Citizenship Education (PL), Citizens For Europe (DE) and DeGeDE (German Society for Democratic Education - DE). DIYW brings together youth workers, teachers, civil society actors, young people as well as experts in democratic innovations and in video-making.

Together, they will co-produce:
- Videos for Democracy: a series of 9 educational short-documentaries showcasing DIs (e.g citizens assemblies, e-petitions, participatory budgeting, deliberative polls, citizens juries, etc.) and inspiring stories of people who participated in their design and implementation;
- A Didactic Guide for Youth workers and teachers explaining how to introduce the topic of DIs in youth work with the use of the didactic videos and non-formal education methods;
- A Train the Democracy trainer: methodological training course to provide youth workers and school teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge to use the videos and didactic guide.

All the collaboratively developed outputs will be based on thorough desk and field research and consequently tested in a real work environment by young people, youth workers and teachers. They will be available in 5 different languages (English, German, Polish, Spanish and Catalan) and freely accessed through a multimedia interactive online platform as well as presented in a final conference that will take place in each partner country (Germany, Poland, Spain).


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Partner organizations

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OTHER PROJECTS 

February 9, 2021
Screenshot Online Kick Off 1 DIYW

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Democratic Innovations in Youth Work

Reviving youth engagement and participation in democratic life

Whereas various innovations to democratize contemporary democracies have been imagined, designed, tested and even institutionalised on different levels of decision-making (e.g. citizens assemblies, participatory budgeting, deliberative polls etc.), Democratic Innovations (DIs) still do not play a role in youth work and non-formal education today. The DIYW (Democratic Innovations in Youth Work) project aims at tackling the issue of democratic disenchantment and erosion by developing, testing and disseminating didactic materials that support youth workers, facilitators and trainers in democratic education as well as school teachers to introduce to young people the subject of Democratic Innovations with the use of non-formal education methods.
September 10, 2018
Group photo Activists and Partners European Democracy Network

EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY NETWORK

European Democracy Network

For the defense of freedom, democracy and fundamental rights!

Democracy and its underlying fundamental rights are in decline in Europe. More and more right-wing populist parties and leaders are taking over governments and dismantling the democratic constitutional state – even in the so-called consolidated democracies. In this context, we believe it is necessary to support activists and initiatives who are under threat. As transnational partnership we initiated the European Democracy Network (EDN) to support, empower and connect activists who stand against the erosion of democracy and fundamental rights, and advocate for legal, political, social or climate justice. We believe that we can only encounter the shrinking of civic space in transnational solidarity and across issues.
September 9, 2018

VIRAL ACTION FUND

ViRaL Action-fund

Strengthening Diversity, Combating Racism, Engaging Locally

With a re-granting scheme, we support people on the ground throughout Germany who oppose racism and are committed to the recognition of diversity. ViRaL seeks to reach out with anti-racist counter-narratives to people who have have not yet dealt with the topic, as well as to provide resources and support to those who are targeted by racism and exclusion. We provide the selected projects with mini-grants, tailored trainings and the tools they need, and we share our network and infrastructure with them.
September 8, 2018
CHIEF Feature Image

CHIEF

CHIEF, Towards an inclusive cultural education

Designing a multi-stakeholder collaboration to trigger change

The European CHIEF project builds a dialogue between young people, researchers, education practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and civil society activists in order to facilitate a future of Europe based on more inclusive notions of cultural heritage and cultural identity. Citizens For Europe will methodically design a multi-stakeholders' process and accompany a series of workshops to create a sustainable environment for dialogue between these actors and develop effective policy recommendations at the local and European level.
September 1, 2018

WAHLRECHT FÜR ALLE – Voting right for All

Wahlrecht für Alle - Voting right for all

We demand the right to vote for all people living here!

In Berlin more than 700,000 residents are excluded from voting in elections for local, regional and national representatives and referendums, simply because the Berlin electoral law is tied to German citizenship. Since 2011, the Berlin alliance “Wahlrecht für Alle” (“Voting Right for All”) has drawn attention to this injustice and has been committed to enabling the political participation of all people living in Berlin, regardless of their nationality. We therefore call for national voting right for EU citizens and third-country nationals, as well as for local and municipal voting right for third-country nationals.
August 31, 2018

NiCeR

NiCeR - Empowering local and newcomer youth

Using theater to strengthen youth participation in local life

Started in December 2015, the two-year NiCeR project used theater and the power of storytelling to develop a counter-narrative that strengthened youth participation in local cultural and social life while promoting skills development, empowerment and living together in cultural diversity. In Berlin, 30 young people from Berlin, Kosovo, Syria and Afghanistan came together, created and performed the musical What the Volk?! based on identity, belonging, migration and the power of language.
August 30, 2018

You and Me

You and Me - Empowering rural youth

A Youth film project for a new European narrative

Our youth film project brought together 9 young who grew up in the rural areas in Spain, Greece and Germany. They grabbed a camera and told their own stories beyond the media spin and stereotypes that have dominated the mainstream narrative in the European Union over the last few years. After taking part in a film training, they travelled in September and October 2016 as transnational groups through the rural areas of Brandenburg (Germany), Lesbos (Greece) and Aragón (Spain), where they interviewed other youngsters about their lives in the rural areas, their dreams and everyday challenges.