From 27 April to 29 April, 60 students from 15 European countries met in Catania, Sicily, for the second event of the GenZ Votes! project.
In Catania, the 25 Youth Squads members, permanent components of the project, were joined by 15 new participants and 20 high school students from Convitto Nazionale Mario Cutelli, one of the GenZ Votes! Partners.
The event was a Hackathon on Youth Civic engagement.
On 19 April in preparation of the event EucA staff and the Youth Squads met online to co-create the event Agenda and discuss and selected the Hackaton challenges on topics related to democratic participation:
Disillusionment, lack of trust and perception that politics do not have an impact on our life;
Lack of knowledge of democratic processes, how to engage in politics and how to find the correct information on how to vote;
Disinformation, fake news, and EU communication not being able to counter it with accessible, reliable information;
Tackling challenges to youth participation at the next European Elections.
At the opening session, students divided per nationalities presented, to fellow youngsters, the challenges for democracy that young generations face in their home countries.
Through the Hackathon, students were introduced to the “Design Thinking” methodology by the facilitator Edoardo Bianchi, founder of Education Marketing Italia. Design Thinking is an interactive, non-linear process used in problem solving that focuses on collaboration between designers and users. It is a human-centred methodology divided in five stages: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
Participants were divided into 10 working groups.
During the three days, each group of participants analysed the problem, generated ideas, proposed a solution to a challenge, and afterwards had to brainstorm, film and edit engaging videos to encourage young Europeans to be active citizens.
At the end of the event, the 10 teams recorded and edited 30 videos to boost civic engagement in young people in preparation to the European Eleections of 2024.
“I personally found this really awakening and it made me a more aware citizen of the world. I think I got this unique opportunity to encounter new ideas, perspectives and ways of living, which opened my eyes even more” said A. from Greece.
On the last day of the event, a Video Festival took place. Teams presented the work done in the previous days and a jury of senior staff voted the most interesting and well-represented ideas! The team “Non sono affari tuoi”, from Convitto Nazionale Mario Cutelli won the competition!
EucA is extremely grateful to all the participants coming from Colleges and Universities all over the EU for their amazing work and profound commitment: thank you also to Perrotis College and Convitto Nazionale Mario Cutelli for collaborating on GenZ Votes! Your support has been precious!
Students joined Catania from Romania (3 from Cluj-Napoca), Austria (2 from Vienna), Hungary (6 from Budapest), Italy (2 from Rome, 1 from Catania, 1 from Torino), France (1 from Orchies, 1 from Paris), Greece (5 from Thessaloniki), Poland (1 from Warsaw, 1 from Krakow), Sweden (2 from Stockholm), Germany (3 from Bremen), Ireland (2 from Dublin), Spain (2 from Madrid), Portugal (2 from Lisbon), Netherlands (1 from Middleburg), Belgium (1 from Louvain-la-Neuve), Luxembourg (1 from Luxembourg).
What comes next?
An outstanding four-day event will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece with youth squads and new participants playing with storytelling, drama and improvisation techniques.
Have a look at the videos prepared by young people for young people on the GenZ Votes social media and help us to boost the audiovisual revolution!