European Conference “KA2 NOW – Innovation in Youth Work”
Article submitted by Youth Focus NW, Eurodesk UK Partner.
It was the first conference in the history of Erasmus+ Youth, to bring together different actors representing innovative KA2 projects in the youth field. Berlin was the place to discover many of these projects and their results, to share experiences, listen to speakers, to disseminate results and network with others.
It was an opportunity to hear about over 30 projects, learn from them and share experiences. Individual projects were presented in the marketplace, among them inclusion projects using circus and street art. There were lots of innovative methods presented that sparked ideas for connections and new projects.
It was also an opportunity to raise ideas on how the KA2 programme could be improved moving forward. It was great that the European Commission talked to practitioners who are experiencing the programme, the opportunities and challenges. What is good about it? We explored how it could be made easier to use and how to build existing successful practice rather than discarding it.
We took part in a number of discussions on innovation and specifically I attended a workshop on “Is the old the new new?” We discussed whether innovation means totally new or is it also taking what we know works and updating it, changing it for new contexts? It's not about reinventing the wheel if the wheel still works.
There were a number of talks; from the European Commission on the new programme, from Marketing influencers about trends, how to read them, about counter trends which were very thought-provoking. I have changed how I write reports based on the input on reporting given by the TV journalist. I now try to tell the story and follow that with the information on the project rather than give the context and information followed by the story. Most valuable discussions in groups and the talk by Jon Ord, University of Plymouth that gave plenty of space to think about new partnerships, opportunities and challenges.
I am considering how we move forward and made some new relationships, as havinf an international network is a great asset to our work.
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