Participation Toolbox! – DAY 4

Day 4 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was visit day! Our participants got the visit of an international environmental movement, and went to meet with an inclusive local initiative: the first Anti-cafe of Berlin.

Extinction Rebellion

The group got the visit of Extinction Rebellion, an international group of activists who use non-violent actions to raise awareness on the urgency of climate change. They introduced the movement, their values and explained the current climate urgency. They shared about their actions and organised a workshop to share with the group their useful took aiming at planning an action.


After that, the participants went to the center of Berlin to meet with one of the co-founders of be’kesh, the first anti-café of Berlin. This cosy place has different purposes: vegan and vegetarian café, coworking space, and cultural venue hosting inspiring events such as concerts, discussion groups… An inspiring and alternative place that gave the participants an example of yet another form of participation.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 3

Day 3 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “Open the Participation Toolbox”. It focused on learning more about vulnerable groups and imagining solutions together to the participants’ local problems.

Participation of Vulnerable groups

The first session of the day allowed the participant to map and reflect on their identity. Religion, citizenship, economic situation, sexual orientation, ability, gender, migration… they were able to think privately about the privileged and less privileged aspects of their background.

They then played a simulation games which allowed them to put themselves in the shoes of people with fewer opportunities, and think more deeply about how society sees them.

Thinking about solutions

During the next session, the participants got back into the groups they had formed the day before. After having identified the roots and causes of their local issues, they worked together on imagining various solutions to tackle these challenges.


On the afternoon, the group had the opportunity to take part in 4 different workshops: digital tools, storytelling, performance, and advocacy/activism. These workshop gave them a taste of the many forms an action can take and gave them some tool to use later in the week, when implementing an action in Berlin.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 2

Day 2 of our training course “Participation Toolbox!” was entitled “99 challenges about participation”. The aim of the day was to understand participation and identify the challenges youth face in their regions.

Understanding participation

At the beginning of the day, the participants had to evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 their own experience of Participation: How much are you involved in your society? Do you feel you have an impact on society?

The group then reflected on the forms participation can take through a world café. Together they defined: digital participation, individual participation, political/institutional participation and alternative participation.

Experiential activity

Divided in 4 groups, the participants had to put themselves in the shoes of different stakeholders of society: the company, the financial power, workers and civil society. They had to come up with a strategy and action to suggest to a fictive government and experience the difficulties of communication between entities with conflicting interests.


In the afternoon, each participant were asked to answer on paper questions on their local challenges. During this silent Brainstorming, they highlighted the problems faced by young people in their countries. From the group’s answers were isolated a dozen of different issues and each participant could decide on the cause they felt the closest to.

Design thinking

On the last session, the team of trainers explained the principle of Design Thinking. The participants then had to put this technique into practice, identifying the roots of the problems they chose to work on.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation Toolbox! – DAY 1

Youth Express Network is currently holding the training course “Participation Toolbox!”, second activity of our annual work plan “Shake the Box! – Alternative ways of Participation”.

29 young people are gathered in Berlin, Germany, to improve their capacity to advocate for their active participation in society and develop their competences towards a better implementation and perceptibility of their initiative. The training course is hosted by our partner organisation CUBE – Your take on Europe.

Introductions, icebreakers and team buildings… Day 1 allowed the participants to get to know each other and build a safe and productive environment for the days to come.


The day started with the usual name games and practical informations: introduction to the project, Youth Express Network and our host organisation CUBE, presentation of the programme, the aim and objectives of the week.

Getting to know each other

The next sessions allowed participants to get to know each other. They discussed in pairs and answered several questions to learn interesting facts about each other. They then got to express the reason that motivated them to participate to this training course, and lay on paper their fears, expectations and contributions.

Building a Safe Space

The afternoon started by a session aiming at creating a safe space within the group. To do so, the room was divided in two zones: the learning zone – confort zone – the panic zone. The participants were invited to position themselves in these zones according to how they feel on various contexts or topics such as: speaking in public, physical contact or sharing their emotions. They also learned what is a debriefing and got to create their rules for the rest of the week.

Developing a good group dynamic

To finish the day, the group went into a park in Berlin. The participants took part in a Team Building activity which developed their team spirit, cohesion and communication skills. Later in the evening, they went into a “walk and talk”, to both enjoy the city center and learn new things about their teammates.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

General Assembly 2019

We held our General Assembly on the 10th of August 2019! The member organisations, board and office of Youth Express Network gathered in Berlin to talk about the past and future of the organisation.

There were in total 23 people attending the meeting, among which 16 represented member organisations.

2018: Youth, Art and Social Inclusion

The agenda of the meeting started by a presentation of all of the activities organised or attended by the Network last year. At the end of this presentation, the General Assembly approved the annual activity report for the year 2018. You can find this report here bellow!

Finances and statutes

Among the main point of the agenda was the usual review and voting of the financial report of 2018, and provisionnal budget for the year 2019. This General Assembly also was presented with suggestions for an updated version of the statutes of Youth Express Network. They voted and approved these new statutes.

Planning the future

The Board explained the future participation of Youth Express Network to the EU Youth Dialogue, and planned with each member meetings that will help evaluating their needs and expectations in order to set our next Vision, a strategic document setting Youth Express Network’s directions and objectives for the next years to come!

Member and Board Elections!

We welcomed one new member organisation from the Netherlands: Be Innovated.

Be Innovated supports schools with a range of lessons aiming at inspiring, motivating and connecting young people, stimulating their independence, critical thinking and sociability.

Like every year, the General Assembly also elected the Board Members. 4 people obtained the required numbers of vote and joined the 3 board members still in mandate to form a new board. Here is the new board’s composition:

  • Ramiz ALIYEV – Common Sense Youth Organisation (Azerbaïjan) – President
  • Sirarpi MANYAN – Federation of Youth Clubs Armenia – Vice-President
  • Olya KHVASEVICH – New Faces (Belarus) – Treasurer (newly elected)
  • Fatma ÇIMEN  – Youth for Understanding Turkey – Secretary (newly elected)
  • Nino TSULAIA – Institute for Democratic Changes (Georgia) – Board Member
  • Andrea PANTARELLI – Affafulazione (Italy) – Board Member (newly elected)
  • Adina HALILOVIC – PRONI Center for youth development (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Board Member (newly elected)

EU4YOU – Final Seminar

The participants of our KA2 “EU4YOU – Entrepreneurship for cultYOUre” met one last time in July, in Strasbourg, France, for the final seminar of this Capacity Building project. One last meeting to reflect on the past two years, harvest the fruits of our work and evaluate the project.

The aim of this long-term project was to develop innovative complementary pathways for boosting employability of young people through social youth entrepreneurship and providing them with tools for cultural entrepreneurship in particular. Youth Express Network developped this project together with partners from 3 different continents.


On the first day of this final seminar, the group focused on reconnecting with each other and sharing about each other’s experiences on the previous phases of the project: the 16 job shadowing and multiple workshops implemented at local level.


On day 2, the participants got to start the day with a visit of the European Parliament! During the afternoon, the group worked on reviewing and finalising the Toolkit, a task they continued through the week!


The third day of or final seminar was dedicated to Field Visits and discovering local successful initiatives! The group was welcomed by Libre Objet, an organisation aiming at creating objects by up-cycling unused materials, and employing people in process of professional reinsertion.


On Day 4, the participants worked hard on finalising their toolkit! Find it here! 😉

DAY 5 & 6

The last two days were dedicated to evaluating this two-year long project, its impact on the 8 different NGOs that took part in it, and the impact it had on the participants, youth workers and young people who got to join the initiative at any point of EU4YOU!

– – – 

This seminar closed a successful 2-year long partnership, spread over 8 countries and 3 continents! It allowed dozens of youth workers to discover the good practices of their peers, opened them to different realities, different methods and solutions… It allowed the creation of future inter-continental partnerships and resulted on the creation of a detailed toolkit, aiming at helping young people develop their own projects of social and/or cultural entrepreneurship.

Thanks to all of our partners for their dedication: Active Bulgarian Society​ (Bulgaria), Active Youth (Lithuania), Bic Serrès (Greece), CSDS (Vietnam), Brigada De Voluntarios Bolivarianos del Peru​ (Peru), International Initiatives for Cooperation (Mexico), Fundación Ses​ (Argentina).

« EntreprenEUrship for CultYOUre » is supported by
the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union

Participation out of the Box – Day 5

Our seminar “Participation out of the Box” has come to an end. The fifth and last day of the activity was dedicated to evaluating the whole programme and planning the next steps towards implementing local actions with young people.

My action plan

The participants got to plan the action they would like to implement at home: What issues can I identify in my local community? Which issues are my “personal fight”? How will I approach the issue / problem? How can I encourage the participation of young people?

Evaluation and closing ceremony

The afternoon was dedicated to evaluating the 5-day activity. The participants shared on their highlights of the week, and expressed if they felt the objectives of the seminar were met. After the evaluation session, the group closed the seminar, exchanging their certificates.

Our work plan « Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is now on track to continue its course towards bringing together different layers of society and implementing an action of youth participation. Let’s claim and show, all together, that vulnerable youth’s participation is real, effective and promising!

This activity was hosted in Oviedo, Spain, by our member organisation Asociación Youropia.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation out of the Box! – Day 4

After learning about youth participation and meeting young people determined to change their society, the participants spent the 4th day of our seminar learning how to support vulnerable youth into developing their own local action.

Debriefing the visits

The day started with a session dedicated to debriefing the past day. The group got to share what they loved most about the field visits they experienced on Day 3, and express what they’ll take back home from the initiatives and people they met.

Identifying the challenges faced by Young People

Later on that day, the participants were invited to discuss and identify the barriers and challenges faced by Youth in their country. They focused their reflection on 4 different areas : Social barriers (gender, economic situation…), Physical barriers (transportation, costs…), Cultural barriers (languages, religion…), Behavioural barriers (self-esteem, disempowerment..).

How to advocate? Steps towards Advocacy

During the last session of the day, the team of facilitators introduced to the group the Steps to Advocacy: where to start when advocating, who to contact, how to do it… The participants got a better idea on how to develop and implement an action plan, how to find allies, how to communicate about your action to make it impactful, and recognised.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation out of the Box! – Day 3

Our seminar “Participation out of the Box” is currently taking place in Oviedo, Spain! Today, our host Youropia took our group on 3 different field visit to meet with young people actively involved to change their society.

Youth Consultation of the EU Youth Dialogue

Before going on our field visits, the group got to try another system of participation : they expressed their opinion for the consultation on youth of the EU Youth Dialogue. Following a silent version of the ‘Open Space Technology’, everyone was invited to reflect and write their opinion to 4 questions:

  • What can we do at European level to make sure all young people from various backgrounds, including marginalised youth, are equally treated, protected, safe and secure in the workplace and the labour market of the future?
  • How quality youth work development can be supported with European level actions and measures? And what these measures should be?
  • What are the most important competencies that youth workers need for doing European / international youth work in order to support and work with youth and why?
  • What measures and actions can we take at European level to provide access to quality youth work for all?

Their answers will be transmitted to decision makers through the participation of Youth Express Network in the EU Youth Dialogue process.

Meeting with young volunteers

Later this morning, the participants got introduced to Silivia and Néstor, two young people currently volunteering towards the inclusion of Migrants. They got to hear about their involvement and learn how they support refugees in finding a job.

When young people unite

In the afternoon, the group met with AMA (Asamblea Moza d’Asturies), a group of young volunteers and activists, who work towards solving the issues Youth face in their region, mainly through organising manifestations and youth friendly events. The meeting was kindly hosted by Paraiso Local Creativo, an artistic collaborative space.

Supporting a Youth Initiative

To finish the day, the group joined an event fully organised at the initiative of a little group of young people: the Pride March of Avilés, a city near Oviedo. This very young Pride (2 years old), was entirely driven and organised by Kaleide, an organisation created by young people to promote diversity.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Participation out of the Box! – Day 2

Day 2 of our seminar “Participation out of the Box” focused on defining two of the main concepts at the center of our annual programme: Youth Participation and Vulnerable Youth.

What is Youth Participation?

The first session of the day allowed the participants to think about youth participation and understand it with more depth. They started this reflection by brainstorming together on their definition of civic participation. After gaining more knowledge about youth participation, the participants watched a set of videos showing impactful youth initiatives and young activists currently involved in changing their society.

Who is Vulnerable Youth?

Divided in two groups, the participants explored the meaning of “Vulnerable Youth”, by reflecting together on 4 questions: What does Vulnerable mean?; What does it mean to be Vulnerable?; What are Vulnerable groups and why are they Vulnerable? How to identify Vulnerable young people? After the reflections, each group shared their conclusions.

My story of Youth Participation

Sometimes even the simplest act already is a form of participation. During this session, the participants were asked to recall one of their own participation story and draw a scene representing their action. From helping solving a local deforestation issue to taking part in a European exchange, they got to share their experiences and realise how diverse and efficient alternative youth participation can be.

Why do we need Youth Participation?

For the last session of the day, the participants were divided in 4 smaller groups. They were invited to imagine and film a video promoting Youth Participation. You can see one of the four videos that were produced here bellow.

« Shake the Box! Alternative ways of participation » is supported by
the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe
and the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.