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YOUNG diverCITY | Civic Europe
Community development, Youth participation and empowerment

YOUNG diverCITY winner

Pluralistic approaches and horizontal dialogue to define new youth policies


Who is behind this?

Ilaria Zomer

centro studi sereno regis


Who is joining forces?

Città di Settimo Torinese


Casa dei Popoli Onlus (House of Peoples)


Tavolo Giovani Settimo Torinese APS


We will involve too 6 secondary schools and a vocational school present in the area, the local reception centre for asylum seekers and around other 20 cultural, juvenile, religious, sport associations


Idea pitch

YOUNG diverCITY is a structured dialogue experience: an horizontal and inclusive space within which 300 young people, aged between 12 and 29,coming from diverse backgrounds, are able to engage with political decision makers to rewrite the youth policies putting them at the centre of local development and responding to the pandemic in Settimo Torinese. YOUNG diverCITY adopts the European Youth Strategy's three stages for the promotion of youth citizenship: Engage, Empower and Connect

Where will your project idea take place?

Settimo Torinese, Metropolitan City of Turin, Piedmont, North West Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Public gathering places have been closed for a year now, while schools have been only occasionally open. All of this had a strong negative effect on young people's well-being and on their capacity to make their voices heard.YOUNG diverCITY thus aims at:

Promoting confrontation, following non-formal education's mthodology, between young people and political decision-makers on innovative youth policies
Developing a city strategy for young people, one involving young people's visions.
Involving in the structured dialogue experience young people coming from different backgrounds and contexts
Promoting young people's active citizenship as well as a strengthened trust towards institutions and adults, promoting a positive view of young people

Who are you doing it for?

The project focuses on engaging adolescents and youth aged between 12 and 29. In Settimo live 8128 adolescents and young people (of which 756 are non-Italian). 20% are NEETs and currently 15% drop out of school before the end of their studies. The needs and experiences of adolescents and of young adults are very different but they are situated on a continuum that is not only temporal. They require a holistic political vision that involves them personally. The pandemic has affected young people and adolescents in a very strong way, territorial services report an increase in episodes of suffering, self-harm, an increase in psychiatric disorders, an increase in NEETs and school dropouts, but also acts of vandalism against public spaces in the territory.

How do you plan to get there?

3 main phases:
ENGAGEMENT: realities working with young people involved in the project will design at least 20 micro-actions for youth engagement. Micro-actions are activities involving small groups of young people, they can use different methodologies, according to the specific mission of the reality organising it and to the target group.Micro-actions aim to multiply the participation channels for young people coming from different backgrounds and to help groups of young people to develop a vision on youth policies for the structured dialogue.
CONNECT:two days of structured dialogue, facilitated through the instruments of non-formal education, between 300 local young people and political decision-makers. Structured dialogue constructs a space of reciprocal acquaintance and confrontation. During the first day, young people will be able to present their view, developed during the micro-actions, to other young people.During the second day, divided in small groups and accompanied by properly trained facilitators, young people and adolescents will confront with the political decision-makers
EMPOWER:this phase involves the collective writing of guidelines for the elaboration of Settimo's youth policies and the constitution of a monitoring group to continue the dialogue with the local administration on developing and applying the guidelines for the youth territorial policy

What are the expected results?

YOUNG diverCITY aims at collectively constructing guidelines for Settimo Torinese's new youth policies as the result of youth involvement, built on a horizontal and dialogical dimension and designed giving value to diversity and inclusion.
300 young people will have an experience of active citizenship, affecting directly their individual sense of self efficacy and their positive role in the community.
A platform for collaboration within civil society is reconstructed and consolidated through a concrete goal, the development of guidelines and the monitoring of their implementation, in order to strengthen ways in which young people can assume an active role in their own communities' construction.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

YOUNG diverCITY is a structured dialogue project.Structured dialogue is a non-formal space in which young people and decision-makers evenly confront in small groups, discussing visions regarding the future of local young people. Structured dialogue is horizontal, it allows those who usually are voiceless (young, foreign people) to take the floor, and values diversity.Structured dialogue is prepared through an intense phase of youth involvement (micro-actions) accompanying 300 young people to take part to the dialogue in a conscious and informed manner. Furthermore, a place for different groups of young people to present their reflection is created.Finally, the project aims at creating a group to monitor local institutions' implementation of the guidelines resulting from the confrontation

Why is this idea important to you?

Ilaria Zomer, peace educator at Centro Studi Sereno Regis, has been working for several years in the training of young facilitators for community development.
Paola Pesci, employee of the Municipality of Settimo Torinese, youth policy sector, for 20 years committed to the enhancement of the role of young people in the territory.
Irene Galletti, has numerous experiences of peer-leadership in youth groups that deal with advocacy, re-appropriation of urban spaces and innovation in participatory processes. President of A.P.S. "Tavolo Giovani".
Michele Pizzino, director of the House of Peoples, has been working for 20 years in global education for young people.
We all believe that the development of community can and must start from young people and we want to listen to them.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Project management - Human Resourses of leading organisation on coordination, community and partner facilitation, administration, project communication, monitoring of results and evaluation of the impact 12.000
Small Actions by partners and community organisations- Human Resources (youth workers and community facilitators), logistic costs, materials 16.500
Structured dialogue – Organisational costs, rent of audio-video tools, communication materials, catering 6.500

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Most of all, we would like to receive the “unpleasant” questions, which will allow us to reflect on our idea and to improve it. We would also like to be approached by realities willing to implement similar ideas in their area.

Project Journey


Young DiverCITY: Structured Dialogue!

On 27 and 28 May 300 young people between 12 and 29 gathered at the Archimede Library for the apex activity of the Young DiverCITY project: the structured dialogue youth/political decision-makers.  34 organisations, associations, youth groups joined the two-day event individually or in partnership with others. After an initial plenary moment with greetings from the Mayor Piastra and Councillor Raso representing the City Council, the boys and girls were distributed among the more than 25 workshops, activities and restitution proposals organised by as many groups of young people as the end result of the micro-actions. Here are some non-exhaustive examples of the proposed programme:   "Odi et amo, la mia Città e i luoghi che amo" interactive workshop to rediscover the places of the heart of the adolescents of Settimo Digital Escape Room: are you ready to solve the riddles of legality  "The many faces of migration", interactive workshop of testimonies to understand migration and how young people in Settimo see this phenomenon Peer education workshop, through an experiential journey and physical-body activities the young people will investigate the main themes for building active and aware youth communities  Show cooking on the theme of sustainable food and anti-waste  Workshop against fear for fearless hearts an experiential workshop on the theme of discrimination  Theatrical flashmob with the physical practice of Schiera generating listening, inclusion and sensitivity to collective action  Hip Hop school an exhibition of hip hop as a tool for personal expression and emancipation with lyrics written by the girls and boys of the Italian school for foreigners  Remembering to change: testimonies and reflections by young men and women who took part in a journey of knowledge and remembrance to Auschwitz

Settimo Arcobaleno, interviews and testimonies collected by the girls of the territorial educators, on the LGBTQI+ community in Settimo, Cineforum with a selection of contents chosen by the participants in the pathway to narrate anxieties and reflections of young people today.  Portraits, emotions and reflections from a school that resists: the problems and desires of young people between school and territory starting from sketches and drawings made by boys and girls. Theatrical tools with which to play and construct a dramaturgy on the topics that are closest to our hearts.  Slow down your style: interactive game and clothes reuse workshop to think together about fast fashion.  Presentation of the Municipal Youth Council project and proposal of workshop and participatory activities on gender issues  Exhibition of self-defence techniques and reflection on bullying by boys and girls from the Ci.En. association.  Settimo XV- Per Cent Gamber a fantasy adventure to rediscover the history and traditions of the Settimo area  Theatrical readings and reflections on the theme of mental illness among young people and addiction.  Live in progress, presentation of live sessions realised at symbolic locations in the city with young local artists and the path that led to their realisation.  Let's draw the 2030 Agenda, a creative activity to raise awareness about the Millennium Goals.  On the first day of activities, the boys and girls involved alternated in the role of activity and workshop leaders and users of the workshops and activities of others. This structure strongly favoured co-responsibility for the day's programme, influenced the quality of the learning processes and allowed young people from different backgrounds and contexts to confront and talk to each other.  The second day's work was divided into two parts: in the morning, divided into tables according to the different age groups, with the help of facilitators and with the presence at each table of political decision-makers and employees of the Municipality of Settimo, the young people discussed starting from a SWOT analysis of the territory with respect to the specific youth perspective. An important moment of listening and confrontation as equals in which the facilitators were very careful to rebalance the power between young people and adults and to enhance the possibility of expression of the boys and girls present.  In the afternoon, however, the young people moved to another space in the city, the Suoneria, dedicated to culture and entertainment, and inside the city theatre, representatives of the two groups took turns on stage to publicly present their demands and ideas for youth policies. The mayor and the council present at the debate had the opportunity to respond to the proposals in a timely manner and to imagine avenues for work, but also to point out any services already in place or different attributions of responsibility between the municipality and other local government bodies. The two-day event ended with a party with music, performances and plenty of space for socialising and informal acquaintance among the boys and girls.





Ilaria Zomer on Oct. 19, 2022
Join forces!

MICRO-ACTIONS: let's prepare for the structured dialogue!

In November, we started the activity of involving sports, cultural, educational and youth associations, schools and services that take care of young people in the area of social services. A call for participation has been launched and 34 realities in the area started paths of involvement and accompanying participation in the two-day structured dialogue. Over 300 young people were intercepted and directly involved in the activities with the most diverse themes, tools and formats.  IIS 8 Marzo School took part in the project with its group of school peer educators, with class 3B which chose to raise awareness among its peers on the theme of fast fashion and class 4°A developed, thanks to the support of the Archimede Library, an Escape Room on the theme of legality; these educational activities were facilitated directly by the Sereno Regis Study Centre. In parallel, also at the IIS 8 March, TAssociazione Treno della Memoria collected the desired instances of change from young people and reflected on themes such as freedom, democracy and anti-fascism. A second group of young people from the area, again with the facilitation of the Train of Remembrance, prepared a testimony of their educational experience in Auschwitz on the subject of the Holocaust and a reflection on the role of Remembrance in the City's youth policies. At Galileo Ferraris High School, the Acmos association carried out an accompaniment on the topic of youth participation with class and institute representatives, who in the meantime collected the requests of comrades to bring to the structured dialogue. At the same time, Potenziali Educativi Multimediali used theatre and bodly expression to bring out the issues and priorities of the institute's students. Compagnia 3001 carried out an activity with the IC Calvino Intermediate school entitled Odi Et Amo to discover the places of the heart of the city's adolescents. Fondazione Comunità Solidale accompanied young new citizens to tell their migration experiences to young people and schools in the area. ENAIP classes meanwhile developed a practical workshop on food waste, healthy eating and youth volunteering. The civil service volunteers prepared a stand on gender and anti-discrimination issues; the girls from the territorial education also thought about the same topic and worked meanwhile on collecting short interviews of people from the LGBTQI+ community. The Se-Giova project organised Letture Psichedeliche (psychedelic readings) in the Library on the theme of addiction and against the stigmatisation of mental illness; the theme of wellbeing was also addressed by the Compagnia Genovese Beltramo, which accompanied the boys and girls to write a play about a city of the future in which young people no longer feel emotions.... On the imaginative level, the Terre Selvagge youth group also works on a role-playing game set in 15th century Settimo with historical research and analysis of period documents. On the artistic level, Original Artist helped the students of the CPIA (Qualification Secondary School for Foreign Citizens) in writing a rap text, while the youth group Suppellettili shot music videos with young emerging artists on the symbolic places of the city of Settimo, Amate l'Architettura instead devoted itself to the creation of murals and the redesign of public spaces. Agesci and the cooperative il Margine instead conducted small researched on the condition of young people and young people with disabilities in the area. Finally, some associations chose sport for youth involvement: self-defence to combat bullying for the CiEn amateur sports association and volleyball to bring together young people from different communities with Oratori di Settimo and Associazione Ivoriani Solidali. 

There were 3 film forum meetings organised by the informal youth group CineFIAT to address certain priority issues among young people. On the other hand, boys and girls aged between 11 and 13 were involved in specific activities of the Municipal Youth Council, which this year focused on gender issues, and in after-school activities, in the creation of a mural within the school premises by the NGO CISV and in the creation of a role-playing game by the boys and girls of the La Traccia association's. 




Ilaria Zomer on Oct. 17, 2022


Ilaria Zomer

Idea created on April 23, 2021
Last edit on April 25, 2021

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