Costumes Convergentes Associação
Level-Up CommYOUnity is a project idea that will boost youth participation like it should always have been - fun, engaging and rewarding. We want to co-create a digital system with the Youth Sector and the Local Stakeholders. A digital system where youth participation and involvement in their community is awarded with ‘’social credits’’ that can be later on exchanged for benefits/prizes. The future calls for more than awareness, so we bring innovation and a new paradigm of local participation.
Braga, north of Portugal
Level-Up CommYOUnity main aim is to co-create a youth-friendly, youth-led and youth-oriented system that tackles the barriers keeping youth from participating/getting involved with their communities, in specific our community in Braga. Youth civic engagement is the challenge we aim to tackle as youth is the future of our community and unfortunately youth is not at all involved in Braga’s development.
For that, and in line with the reasons mentioned before, our project will (1) engage youth with their community while supporting their active participation in the challenges of their community, (2) give voice to their opinions in decision making processes and (3) provide a system/tool capable of motivating and raising interest among the youth sector thanks to the gamification elements.
Our project is focused on the youth sector of Braga, with particular interest in young people with fewer opportunities. We want to focus particularly on this sector as youth is the future of our society and because we believe in the driving force that youth can create, the waves of change they can make as we have seen, for example, with Greta. Most importantly, we want to work with youth to change the very negative numbers that we have seen in the last years. For example, according to Eurobarometer 478 from 2019, community participation has dropped to the levels we had in 2013 and only 34% of youth take part in voluntary activities. Numbers that will tend to decrease in a pandemic/post-pandemic reality. This also enforces the need to redesign the traditional methods of youth engagement.
Level-Up CommYOUnity is an idea that wishes to upgrade participation at the local level. A digital tool/system that will engage youth to participate in local actions and get rewards for their participation through game-based elements.
For this tool to be developed, and since it is meant for youth and for youth participation, our action plan is based on dialogue, co-creation and training moments that all together will guide us to the creation and implementation of this innovative participation system. All actions will be done through non-formal education methods.
First step will be dialogue with local stakeholders - public, private and education institutions, local youth NGO’s and the youth sector. In these sessions we will gather participants and partners to the creation of the tool.
Secondly, we will create training courses where youth and local stakeholders representatives will get competences, knowledge and skills on civic and democratic participation, gamification and social innovation and entrepreneurship.
Thirdly, the co-creation/brainstorming sessions that will engage these trained people into the creation of the final tool.
Lastly, a pilot will be made at the local level with the developed tool to further evaluate its impact and work on improvements.
Participants will be engaged in every step of the process and will be ambassadors of the tool itself.
At the end of our project we will have a digital tool for youth participation at the local level. A tool that was co-created with youth and youth local agents, a youth-led and youth-oriented solution for the decreasing numbers on youth civic engagement, a tool adapted to the new generations and new digital reality through gamification and rewards upon participating.
We will see a shorter and faster connection between youth and the local institutions which will promote transparency and trust on the policy making bodies. Also, the tool shall give space for youth to voice their opinion on their community policies which will also foster youth engagement at the policy making.
Lastly, we will see cooperation among the different local agents and the youth sector for common goals.
Level-Up CommYOUnity will be a digital system for local level participation. It will collect local challenges that youth can interact with and get rewards.
For example, an Ecology NGO needs help to plant trees - Youth can participate as volunteers and get ‘’social credits’’ for it, later to be exchanged for prizes. The results are: (1) Youth is engaged, (2) NGO receive volunteers and support and (3) the community was developed and enhanced through a social action.
Also, our tool shall create a space for opinion and debate, or to provide youth-friendly information. For example: Municipality wants to solve a social issue in town, they can use the platform to collect relevant inputs from the youth sector to contribute to policy making, before making any change.
We are 3 youngsters born and raised in Braga - Almeno, Cláudia and António. This is our region and this is where we developed as the people we are today. For that reason, we want to help as much as possible this region to prosper, mainly regarding the youth sector as we are all Youth Workers. Almeno Antunes, 28, is a Youth Worker since 2012, working as trainer and social innovator. Cláudia Correia, 26, Marketeer working for Social Innovation projects related to youth development. António Arantes, 29, senior software developer who has worked locally by creating social programs for youngsters.
We got united last year with the goal of creating innovative solutions to change the paradigm of youth work as we’ve seen how the traditional methods are not coping with the newer generations.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel Costs: 24000 EUR
Office expenses and equipments/materials: 5000 EUR
Trainings and Meetings: 5000 EUR
Promotion, Visibility, Others: 1000 EUR
We’re open to any kind of feedback and we would be very happy to connect and share some ideas. We truly wish to make this project a reality so any support would be great, mainly on the gamification aspect.