Young people are engaged and keen on shaping the digital world. This has been proven by the results of the implemented blended youth mobility – the Spring School on Digital Citizenship in Brussels, Belgium from April 26th till May 2nd, 2022.
As part of the strategic partnership DICIPASS4YOUTH (Pr. Nr.: 2019-1-DE04-KA205-017888), funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, 24 participants from Germany 🇩🇪, Spain 🇪🇸, Lithuania 🇱🇹 and Greece 🇬🇷 have gathered in one of the most important cities for the EU 🇪🇺 institutions to talk about digital citizenship, outline the challenges and lay down a map for improvements for the idea of democratic participation\life online.
The youth exchange took place from April 26th till May 2nd, 2022, and included group work, case studies, debates, online and on-spot tasks, as well as study visits and talks with the EU representatives.
New technologies and approaches are merging the physical, digital, and biological worlds in ways that will fundamentally transform humankind. The extent to which that transformation is positive will depend on how we navigate the risks and opportunities that arise along the way.– Klaus Schwab, German engineer, economist
Day 1. April 27th
The first program day was about getting to know each other. Since the youth exchange took place at the time when COVID-19 restrictions were subsiding, it was especially important to give a test to communication competences of the participants.
In the afternoon, the participants were introduced to the project, which brought them all to Brussels. The representative of Cyprus partner, Andriana Georgiou, has joined the room in Brussels via an online call and talked about the developed Code of Conduct.
After that the young people were invited to review the DICIPASS Code of Conduct, add comments or propose changes to the text, and even derive policy recommendation thinking of the planned meeting with the EU Parliament member.
Day 2. April 28th
The second program day stated with the topic Digital Europe, and then went on to the session on Digital Rights and Responsibilities. The participants have used the developed during the project e-learning platform – dicipass.4learning.eu – and entered the dedicated course environment. The session was developed using tools of non-formal education and had a component of experiential learning, which led the participants go through an experience and then reflect on it.
After the coffee break, the educators introduced the next session on the topic of Digital Access. Here the participants were working in the groups to come up with several examples of commercial/free, open-source/proprietary software. The young people have questioned the market of applications, the attitudes and habits of users, which slowly led to the next exercise on the topic of Digital Law and Copyright.
In the afternoon, the participants looked more at the role of the EU in citizens’ life, especially paying attention to the digital realm and digital economy. The last activity of the day was a role play game based on a real case study of the EU vs. Google (Android Antitrust Case, 2018). The participants assumed roles of representative of different institutions, e.g. a tech conglomerate, a mobile phone producer, an antitrust body of the EU, a union of smaller competitors companies. That experience helped the participants to understand more of EU regulatory role in the digital market.
Day 3. April 29th
The third day the participants spent outside of the seminar room, visiting first the House of European History and then meeting with the representatives of the EU in the European Parliament. We spoke directly with the Youth Outreach Unit and the Communications Unit of the European Parliament, engaging with them on how they use tools (such as VR, AR, XR) to engage citizens in their work. The group was then treated to piloting new versions of the EPs Roleplaying simulation, which tackled debates on the intersections of technology, politics and society!
In the evening the participants have gathered in the hotel lobby for the Intercultural Evening.
Day 4. April 30th
The forth day was marked by the combination of real and augmented world. The participants went on Scavenger Hunt and find the interaction/overlaps of AR, VR and real world. In teams that mixed national groups, participants completed a series of tasks that required engaging with the real world, but through digital tools. Tasks included: the photo scavenger hunt, writing a reflective piece on an experience online, creating dissemination material and making an advertisement skit for the DICIPASS project!
In the afternoon, the participants gathered again to check out the results of the different teams and start a new discussion. The similar but different approaches between the teams were compared and contrasted and opened new dialogues on how different age groups and nations are using (and misusing technology). The young people brought up the discussion of how digital world is influencing social life and what kind of health hazards exist because of it. These discussions were then integrated into our notes for our partners on how we engage with this project and its material in the future.
Day 5. May 1st
The final day was spent reflecting on experiences (as for many participants this was their first Erasmus+ experience). We reflected on basic logistics, the format of the program, the location of the exchange, and the content delivered. Overall, a positive picture was formed, and the participants were happy to engage with the program, and found the location of the exchange, in Brussels, a strong added value to the project, given the access to institutions and partners organisations.
Participants will continue to engage online, and our network of partners ensures that there will be future opportunities for these young people to participate and shape our projects on digitalisation. We would like to thank everyone for their active, engaged and critical engagement in this activity!
The partnership of the DICIPASS4YOUTH (Pr. Nr.: 2019-1-DE04-KA205-017888) project:
CGE Culture Goes Europe – Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V.
Treball, estades i formació – Open Europe Reus
University of Piraeus (Research Center)
CCS Digital Education
Pasaulio pilietis / Globalcitizen.lt