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“Social Diplomacy –mind mapping opportunities”
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Historically, young people have faced social exclusion, and the recent economic downturn has prompted high unemployment, which particularly affects the younger generation. However, some disadvantaged groups of young people face exclusion in the longer term for reasons beyond the current crisis. Remaining outside the global labor market has far-reaching consequences – not solely economic. These include a loss of confidence, an undermining of trust and expectations, and an increasing risk of social exclusion and disengagement from society. Apart from the economic crisis there are other issues that affect youth and lead to political crisis. Global threats such as terroristic attacks and armed conflicts caused a huge refugee and migration wave in Europe. These and many other factors stipulate increasing of intolerance, xenophobia, violence, conflicts oriented by cultural fears, numerous stereotypes and prejudices, intercultural misunderstanding, inability to think critically and lack of intercultural competence in general. Young people are more than others affected by those issues, especially being in a situation of current economic crisis. They feel afraid, they are frustrated, they don’t know what to feel and how to react, as a result they became either inactive or join the extremist movements, and they definitely need to be supported in this hard situation by adults, by peers, by educational institution, by NGOs and by policy makers. The current challenges form the social trends of nowdays: moving towards more global, innovative society based on knowledge, which requires a high level of intercultural understanding, based on the fundamental values of human rights, social cohesion and democracy. This position determines the significance of cooperation in the youth field especially in the area of social diplomacy, advocacy and active citizenship, which provides a basis for mutual understanding and global citizenship. Youth participation and active citizenship are the priority topics in Europe and Russia, as nowadays we more and more often hear about the “lost generation” or generation “Y” that is stuck n the teenage and do not bear any responsibility. This project aims to empower young people and youth workers to work together for increasing the level of youth participation and active citizenship at local, regional, national and international levels. With this project we will challenge our self, as we would love to have 2 activities: first one is a Youth Exchange for 60 ppl from 4 countries (will take place in August in Austria) – the grassroots activity, when young people will speak out their needs, share challenges and could invent some ideas in order to address those challenges and then, during the second activity - 35 ppl from 14 different organisations from EU and partner countries (Partnership-building, that will take place at the end of September in Armenia) youth workers and leaders will discuss the same things but at different level, and will work out a strategy based on the research done during the youth exchange on how to address those challenges through social diplomacy. During both activities project ideas will be developed as well as that will be a space to discuss face to face the different forms and models of social diplomacy such as digital one – online campaigning, petitions etc. Objectives: • To explore the meaning of social diplomacy in a current social and political situations in different countries, to identify its potential, limits, challenges and current state. • To get-to-know each other personally and professionally; • To discuss what is social diplomacy is and what are the forms and models • To Share own “success stories” and making social diplomacy in a change-making process at local level; • To identify the common “change field” – main challenges to be addressed centralized as a network of young diplomats. • To innovative mechanisms and to develop a new ideas; to draft project ideas (Youth exchanges, trainings, seminars, voluntary projects etc.) • To contribute to capacity building of other organisations by doing “peer reviews”; • To deepen knowledge on EYF and Erasmus + programs, other European and national funding opportunities and to find potential partners for application At the end of the project we would love to have at least 10 projects, that will be realized as a follow up activity and that will address the mentioned issues.
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