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Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Jul 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The This Is Your Space! project combines the goals of the structured dialogue process with the tools of creative problem-solving and innovation. The goal of this unusual synthesis of different approaches, is to involve young people into decision-making processes as initiators, proposers, innovators. In 2013 the Foundation for Democratic Youth started its first social innovation initiatives, and thanks to these experiments, we’ve found a new approach which we believe should have a meaningful role in the field of youth work. Through many years we’ve been searching for methods, which involve young people effectively into the solution of various community-related problems. In 2015 we developed a new methodology based on the tool-set of social innovation, which helps developing creative problem solving skills amongst youth. We realized that a new model of active citizenship arised in the past decades: the innovator - the changemaker who provides sustainable and responsible solutions for the broader society. The tools and methods of innovation can be used effectively in youth empowerment, leadership development, and in preparing the next generations for the challenges of the future. We also experienced, that young people find the social innovation mindset quite attractive and motivating.We would like to combine this approach with the structured dialogue initiative, since the goal of the latter is to promote active participation of youth in discussing current challenges, future decisions and alternative solutions. What we suggest with our project proposal is, that in order to make young people able to fulfill this role, we have to provide them with skills, experiences and know-how – we have to make them believe that they can really become changemakers.We are going to involve more than 1000 high school students, 40 teachers and more than 100 decision makers in the project. We are going to organise altogether 25 events in 6 cities of Hungary. The activities of the project are built on each other:- we organise school debate days, where we raise local problems and dilemmas- then we offer hackathons – 2-days-long creative events, where the participants work on a specific local issue in teams, and consult with experienced professionals. Through the hackathons the students can experience active participation, they work and think as real problem-solvers for the sake of their own communities.- we finish the process with an unique youth conference, where – comparing with regular TED-like conferences – famous changemakers will meet with a teenager audience. With this event we want to give the chance for young people to learn about those inspiring success-stories and positive examples which normally remain unknown to them.We strongly believe that every young student has the potential of developing innovative, meaningful ideas which can change the life of communities in the future. We also belive that creative problem-solving is a skill which can be developed: anybody has the chance to become an initiator or innovator, if s/he is surrounded by a supportive environment, and provided with the necessary mindset, skills and tools.We expect that this project:- helps to renew the structured dialogue process in an innovative manner- provides meaningful possibility for cooperation between young people and decision makers- by involving teachers, it helps promoting the development of problem-solving skills in schools- provides meaningful and unique experiences for high school students - contributes to the upraising of a young generation of innovators, who consider problems as possibilities, who believe that they can have an impact, who are comitted to solving social issues, and are optimistic about the future.
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