Brief description of the organization
Social Lab is a consortium founded by social cooperatives. It has been active in the Apulian regional territory since 2013. The consortium initiative was born from the wish to organize in a structured way the work started by the third sector organizations in the local area for years, to produce social inclusion, social innovation, opportunities for employability and local development, with a specific focus on the involvement of vulnerable people or people at social risk.
Problem addressed by the good practice
The initiative aims at avoiding intercultural misunderstandings and conflicts.
The target group are young people between 16 – 30 years old.
Summary of the good practice
Failing to understand the global interconnectedness, the more complex cultural, social and political context in which people live, can lead to intercultural misunderstandings and conflicts, like the ones connected to the EU regarding the migration flow. European countries need to arm youth with the right concept of Intercultural dialogue as it is a tool to prevent conflicts and to engage in conflict transformation. Indeed, intercultural learning as a social and political aim promotes a world view in which people are actively engaged in processes that facilitate intercultural encounters, understand the potential of diversity, interact with others as equals, question power relations and take action for a more just society.
To empower youth, the consortium needs to empower youth workers and boost, first of all, Youth work that is known as a tool for personal development, social integration and the active citizenship of young people. The 2-year-project – “EXPLORE: Motivating Youth into Intercultural Dialogue” – aims to support the capacity building of youth workers and invest in the quality of youth work, by developing and sharing effective methods (storytelling, gamification, intercultural local encounters and creative communication) in reaching out to young people and work on intercultural competences to prevent intolerance among youth, engaging them in an intercultural dialogue mindset and strengthening knowledge and acceptance of diversity.
To achieve this, Social Lab will gather different public and private institutions from 5 countries that have: (1) the same need to diversify methods to reach out to youth on intercultural dialogue, facing lack of motivation of youth to engage or even some misconceptions of youth workers regarding the topic (for example, oversimplification of intercultural learning); (2) different contexts and experiences on intercultural learning with youth; (3) different knowledge, tools regarding intercultural skills (ICC) training and approach to youth, worthy to share on an EU level; and (4) intend to improve the quality of youth work in each organization, strengthening cross-cooperation and a multidisciplinary approach.
Therefore, the objectives of the project are:
- Invest in the capacity building of youth workers on intercultural competences and youth motivation promoting high-quality work and innovative methods of reaching out to Youth
- Learn, adapt and develop knowledge, competences and tools to work on diversity, intercultural learning and intercultural dialogue, using a creative methodology like local intercultural encounters/immersion experiences, gamification, and storytelling, among others
- Promote the exchange of good practices regarding ICC training and youth work among public/private partners from 5 countries, strengthening cross-cooperation
- Broaden the definition of culture, youth motivation and intercultural learning crossing approaches of public/private entities, addressing stereotypes and misunderstandings
- Strengthening the strategy of communication to the target group, through the exchange of good practices between public bodies, cooperatives and small-medium size organizations
- Contribute to the sense of belonging, as European Citizens and motivate participants to learn more about the EU through transnational workforce and mobility
Social Lab will create a journey of empowerment of youth workers on Intercultural Learning: (i) starting with the exchange of good practices and methodologies on a transnational level using digital tools as Map Platforms; (ii) transnational training and creation of activities using Storytelling and Gamification methodology applied to intercultural learning; (iii) transnational training on Local Intercultural Encounters or Immersion Experiences (events, projects, etc.) and exploration of Creative Communication; (iv) finishing with a practical Booklet “Motivating Youth into Intercultural Dialogue”, disseminating the outcomes of the project.
Social Lab expects that this project will make a contribution for the professional development and recognition of youth work and youth workers that will be aware of the complex perspectives on intercultural learning and contact, learn the creative and practical methodology to better engage youth into intercultural dialogue and will learn how to better communicate with the next generation of change-makers. Additionally, Social Lab will reinforce an international network that will continue to cooperate and create new initiatives.
More information about “EXPLORE: Motivating Youth into Intercultural Dialogue” is available on the Consorzio Social Lab website.