SomeCamp EU is a training event for youth workers and people active in the youth field, organized by ENTK – the Estonian Youth Work Center, and Verke, in Tallin, Estonia to discuss and share the concept of smart youth work.

Set at the Club of Different Rooms, in the hipster gentrified urban regeneration district of Telliskivi Creative City, it gathered many people from different European countries for three days of keynote speeches, workshops, visits etc dealing with smart youth, the latest and newest definition of educational work done using (also) digital tools, media and platforms.

I was invited to host a workshop on videogame-based learning, and had the chance to take part in some visits, as the one in the impressive fablab-for-kids VIVITA. I also learnt about the new opensource format developed by Verke to boost innovation in NGOs and youth sector organisations: a perfect example of digital transformation, inspired by the internal innovation-support processes developed by Adobe and, moreover, soon available for free from their website. It’s called InnoBox and I found it very valuable.

smart youth work @ somecamp Eu
Time is up! Verke’s Juha Kiviniemi facilitating the InnoBox test drive session.

Estonia has a long tradition of establishing youth policies, and this SomeCampEU was also celebrating 20 years (!) of youth policies in the Country… with a retro gaming night! Can you believe it?!

ENTK is doing a great job in updating their national policies and adding digital youth work in the framework of youth activities, including also the need to reflect, elaborate, think about its impact in terms of transformation, innovation etc. – this is basically what smart youth work is about, and so then digital youth work is just the practical aspect of it.

For this reason I felt really honored, and terribly worried, when ENTK specified that my invitation to Tallin was for the workshop and for taking part in the opening panel discussion about smart youth work. So the panel would be hosting an officer from Estonian Ministry of Education, a member of a Finnish think-thank about innovation and digital transformation… and me?!

smart youth work and greenscreen
…onstage in slippers and a greenscreen all around me. really?!

Juha from Verke candidly admitted that it was his idea to call me for this role, and Ully and Kate from ENTK made their best to convince me that I could do it, and to make me feel at home once I arrived. I really want to thank them for inviting me in this really great event.

The very policy of Club of Different Rooms, with mandatory slippers for everybody, really helped to make me feel in my living room… except for having a green screen all around me, and seeing me in the internet streaming as I were in a forest, sitting by a campfire (in Estonia in December? brrr….).

Was I able to say something meaningful about smart youth work? You can decide by yourself, here is the full video streaming from the panel discussion.

Comments are open, let me know what do you think! 🙂