Innovation in youth work is needed more than ever. Organisations working with young people are in a difficult position. They need to be flexible, changing activities from offline to online and back again, responding to how the current situation related to the pandemic and aggression in Ukraine is affecting young people. It is also a challenge to work at a strategic level and to incorporate innovation, with staff often groping for where to actually start.

That is why the main idea of the EduLabs project is to bring useful innovations literally to the door of youth workers. We knock and leave them on the doorstep as a gift 🙂 We want to make working with innovations as easy as possible and help them adapt new activities and approaches to their practice. The intention of the project is to modernise non-formal education in youth work by bringing innovative methodologies, interdisciplinary tools and approaches as close as possible to youth workers and youth work organisations so that they become widely used.

In practice, this means that approaches, methodologies and individual methods will be described in one place, in national languages, in a way that is readable by readers with hearing impairment and that their description is simple, easy to use in practice, but also includes tips on how to work with the method with a diverse group of participants (including those with special needs) and in online and offline variations. We will inspire youth workers with new approaches, trends and methods that they can use in everyday activities and increase their capacity to continuously work with innovations day by day.

In the project we will work on:

  • Toolbox – we will develop the existing website, add lots of interesting methods and information, translate it into other languages and follow it up with workshops.
  • Podcasts – for inspiration on various topical issues for youth work. We will record podcasts in Czech, but also in other languages (for example Slovak and English). We will build on the successful Talking Youth Work podcasts by transcribing them into written interviews.
  • An open online course (MOOC) on innovation – how to work with innovation systematically in youth work organisations and how to foster innovative thinking

In addition, we will organise workshops and conferences – online and offline.

During the project we want to reach at least 1500 youth workers outside the organisations involved in the project. If we count that each of them works with at least 10 young people, p

We plan to reach 15,000 young people by the end of the project. And thousands more will follow after the end of the project.

Thanks to the project, youth workers will:

  • Be better prepared to refresh their activities with young people live and online according to current situations and trends,
  • react more consciously to the current situation, bringing small innovations or whole new methodologies to where they (and their target groups) see fit in their activities
  • easily understand and use the methods and methodologies described and published online.

This means that their activities will be for the participants:

  • More fun and engaging – they will be guided by methods that are attractive to young people
  • More effective in developing young people’s competences – they will learn more and develop their competences more
  • More open and inclusive – thanks to the expanded description of methods in the Toolbox and ongoing testing in practice
  • Better organised – with clear learning objectives and deliberate work with young people’s competences

With all this, young people will be:

  • More motivated to engage in further activities, possibly organise them in the future and stay active in the local community or at other levels
  • Better prepared for their personal and professional life (thanks to the competences they have developed in the activities) and motivated to further their education
  • More tolerant and respectful because they will be used to inclusive activities and functioning in a diverse group

The EduLabs project is coordinated by the Association of Non-Formal Education together with partners from Finland (HUMAK – University for Applied Sciences), Portugal (social enterprise Team Mais) and Slovakia (YouthWatch). It was supported by the Erasmus+ programme and co-financed by national resources and the own resources of the participating organisations.