Local Youth, Global Horizons
Education thus far has focused on instilling certain values, habits, skills such as numeracy and literacy, and a preparedness for a relatively unchanging future. However, the accelerating speed of change requires an important emphasis on 2 overlooked areas. 1) global competence, that is, preparing to live, work and thrive in environments that differ significantly from the ones in which one is raised. 2) Long-term vision, problem-solving and thinking beyond one's generation or even lifetime.
Castellon, Valencian Community, eastern Spain.
The region is distant from the north western economic and demographic heartlands of Europe and exhibits a diversity of linguistic, ethnic and national backgrounds, including non-EU-official languages and migrant communities from both Eastern Europe and the Maghreb. The initiative tackles the problem of preparing youth through workshops, mentorship, online 1-on-1s and competitions to think and venture beyond the immediate spatial and temporal environment, by developing a cognitive and interpersonal skills that foster intercultural adaptability and a view on long-term thinking and strategy to attain both individual and community objectives beyond short-term planning or election cycles.
The idea strengthens democracy and active citizenship in three ways. First, it provides both in-person and online platforms to enable exchange between youth and adults from different backgrounds living in the community. Second, it encourages stakeholders to reflect and contribute to underrepresented but important visions of the future of education and how it can be developed and implemented to better prepare youth to be socially, linguistically and geographically mobile, while being able to think about and tackle long-term issues such as climate change and economic inequality that transcend traditional timespans measured in years, rather than decades. Finally, this enhances citizens' engagement and participation by stressing the responsibility and global and longer-term impacts of action.
Target groups are primarily youth in local towns who have relatively limited exposure to foreign travel, intercultural exchanges and embeddedness in international rather than national or regional networks. Second, experts, teachers, professionals and expatriates in the region are targeted to provide a mentoring and an exchange that broadens the horizons of youth and exposes them to new approaches and ideas. To diversify ideas, we reach out to minorities, migrants and underrepresented groups to present their experiences of mobility in Europe and how to prepare for a continuously uncertain future.
To get there, we plan to first secure the participation and access to necessary resources from a broad coalition of stakeholders in the region. Given ongoing travel restrictions, the effort is focused on one town at present, with the intention to set up meetings with mayors, school principals and local business leaders as conditions improve. Next, we will collect opinions and resources on education for global and long-term competence from local, regional and national stakeholders. Finally, we will launch the mentorship and central training programs that implement a 9-month curriculum to cultivate youth while providing concrete insights for recommendations to improve education for social and lifelong mobility.
Selection would enable this project to leverage financial and non-financial resources, implementation-focused mentorship, reputation for expansion and participation, and accelerate the recruitment of dedicated volunteers and teachers that collect voices, develop and implement an agenda for global and long-term competence, and expose youth to new opportunities. This empowers the local community by providing an indispensable boost to financial viability, institutional backing and recognition from high-level representatives in the region. Despite the existing support from teachers, businesses and families in the community, C.E.'s engagement would cement the collaboration and provide external guidance and support that ensures the accountability crucial to other civic and financial supporters.
This initiative contributes to strengthening democracy in Europe by enabling civic exchange and dialogue, encouraging reflection on how to proactively solve problems through community participation and prepare youth and minorities to live lives of global and long-term competence through training and mentoring in underrepresented skills and thinking. Expected outcomes are that participants are more involved in contributing to the resolution of common issues, that youth can live can recognise and successfully pursue more opportunities both within and beyond the region, that the community is more resilient in the face of change and that diversity of views is reconciled by focusing on making concrete recommendations and plans for implementation in a relatively marginalised area of Europe.
Today, globalization, digitalization and other technological, economic or geopolitical developments have contributed to an increasingly interconnected world where we face challenges that are international and intergenerational by nature, such as climate change, economic interdependence, and cross-border migration. This requires people to have the ability to understand and act on issues involving many different, complex cultures, communities and stakeholders. These new developments confront us with important educational and moral questions and challenge educational curricula to prepare youth to live, work, and thrive in unfamiliar environments. Having lived in different regions and returning to Spain now, our mission is to contribute to the preparedness of youth for a world of opportunity.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
4800 EUR Office and facilities rent
2800 EUR travel and accommodation
2400 EUR public relations, events and community outreach
6000 Personnel and skills development costs
How are existing local initiatives enabling multistakeholder dialogue on lifelong education and what role is community co-development playing to foster global and long-term thinking, in particular among youth? What have been the concrete results of approaches that bypass traditional establishments?