After the kick-off meeting of the Youthlab in November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, members of the Youthlab come together for Europe's biggest festival for digital culture in Berlin. The re:publica conference in Berlin is presenting diverse topics concerning digitization and society, while also being one of the world’s most exceptional festivals on digital culture. Since its beginnings in 2007 with 700 bloggers in attendance, it has grown into an international society conference with 9,000 national and international participants (2017) coming from all areas of society. This year's motto has been POP - Power of People with which the festival wants to pop filter bubbles, step out into the public and make net culture and politics tangible for everyone.
The aim of re:publica is to present the opportunities and advantages of digitisation in the individual spheres of life, while at the same time critically examining them through a look behind the scenes. The visitors to re:publica constitute a cross section of our (digital) society. Participants include representatives from science, politics, business, hacker culture, NGOs, media and marketing, as well as bloggers, activists, artists and social media experts.
Mimshach, Isaac and Helena represented the Youthlab in two Global Changemaker sessions. Together with a dedicated audience, they discussed Global Youth Collaboration and how to rethink global networks and their importance in redefining the status quo of how we design, create and shape digital working and living on a global scale. The meet-ups were a great opportunity to discuss the vision for the Youthlab as well as to strenghten new connections with other organizations and innovators from Europe and beyond.
Between all the intriguing talks, meet-ups and workshops at re:publica this year, it was great to reconnect to supporters of the Youthlab like the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and representatives of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). A special thank you for giving us the opportunity to come together again in Berlin to Simone, Moritz and Kathrin as well the the Global Innovation Gathering for organizing and supporting us on all levels! You guys rock <3
The Africa-EU youthlab is a modern think-tank from the youth for the youth. 20 young digital changemakers from Africa and the EU were invited by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to participate in the Africa-EU YouthLab on 27 November in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. This marked the launch of an enthusiastic collective, motivated to work together on sharing experiences from various changemakers, digital entrepreneurs, and community managers, committed to inform policymakers and international cooperation agencies.
Main advocacy areas the Youth Lab is involved in is how to support young innovators in founding and growing digital working and living, how to enable local ecosystems that support founders of digital companies, and how to improve access to digital skills and knowledge through technology. Several local ecosystem meet-ups took place on the African continent in autumn 2017 to select the best candidates for the YouthLab. 10 African and 10 European digital innovators and entrepreneurs were selected to meet as the YouthLab in Abidjan on 25-27 November.
In addition to having had great fun with each other, the YouthLab worked on policy recommendations, formulated and edited with the help of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, that they presented at the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum in Abidjan (Palais de la Culture). Mostly present at the YouthLab Stand at the Digital Start-up Fair, respective members of the YouthLab participated in further high-level panels of the forum. Read more about our recommendations here.