News 19.12.2019

SomeCamp EU gathered over 40 participants from 11 countries to learn more about smart youth work and digital youth work

Estonian Youth Work Centre (National Centre of Competence on Youth Policy and Youth Work, EYWC) and Verke (National Centre of Expertise on Digital Youth Work, Finland) organised international SomeCamp EU event for the first time ever in Tallinn, Estonia on 9th-11th December 2019. The event aimed at exploring and further developing the smart youth work scene in Europe, with a specific focus on youth work practices using digital media and technology.

SomeCamp EU was a practice-oriented event combining inspirational inputs by experts, peer-to-peer workshops run by participants and an innovation lab aimed at developing new digital youth work practices. The concept of SomeCamp EU is based on a similar event held by Verke nationally in Finland since 2015.

SomeCamp EU was full of sharing knowledge and creating new ideas for the youth work field. The event started with a thought-provoking panel discussion with Mirja Hämäläinen from Demos Helsinki think tank and a youth field educationalist and trainer Michele di Paola from Italy. The discussion dug deeper into the concept of smart youth work and explored the crossroads of digitalization, technology and youth work principles. The panel discussion was streamed to YouTube.

The participants also got to hear an inspiring keynote speech from Marten Kaevats, National Digital Adviser at the Government Office of Estonia. Kaevats inspired the participants’ mindset to the innovation process by sharing his views on some key societal and future trends in relation to digital developments. The keynote was also streamed to YouTube.

In SomeCamp EU the participants got an excellent opportunity to learn good practices from the youth field around Europe. Altogether there were 12 workshops where participants shared their knowledge, experiences and tools with each other. The topics handled, for instance, datafication in youth field, digital games, hackathons, digital media production and e-sports as a tool in youth work.

An important part of the SomeCamp concept is to create opportunities for participants to innovate something new for the youth field. This time the approach was based on a tool called Innobox that has been developed by Verke. Participants were shared to smaller groups to think about challenges, that young people face today, and during the day they shaped ideas on how to best solve these challenges by using digital technology.

As a result, the innovation process brought up new ideas on:

  1. helping young people to find balance between their activities in digital context and their “offline-life”
  2. building up better bridges between refugees and immigrants and local community in their new home environments
  3. facilitating young people to find new friends and meaningful activities for self-development
  4. service for parents and young people to challenge each other for doing something together
  5. helping young people in their career choices
  6. engaging young people in peer-to-peer support for online safety issues
  7. online help and support service for young people which would be based on young peoples’ choices to whom they would like to share their concerns with

SomeCamp EU got very positive feedback from participants all over Europe. They stated that the event strengthened their motivation and possibilities for international co-operation. The event also provided an inspiring example of cooperation between Estonian and Finnish youth work fields in the areas where both countries share a strong interest and expertise – smart youth work and digitalisation of youth work.

Pictures and more info about the event is shared on the website

SomeCamp EU was organised by Estonian Youth Work Centre and Verke, with the financial support of European Social Fund and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research in Estonia.