“BUILD YOUR FUTURE“: The Young – “The Playful and the Crazy Ones” – The Young – “The Caring Ones” (YPCC)
...the only way to make something happen is by doing it...this often rings true for how US entrepreneurs think. In Europe, however, people rather start out after having thoroughly studied the case and feeling certain about potential success. In addition, people often feel the burden of financial risks also including their needs of daily living. Another barrier is the pressure of presenting a clear career path in recruiting processes. When it comes to doing good for the community, people very often feel what they might be able to do would not make a difference – they are helpless in the face of various challenges. However, very often they are also not aware of the importance of certain issues.
...thus the questions remain how to directly or indirectly foster web entrepreneurship in Europe and how to find/create the right setting or even when & where to find an environment that allows people to “just go for it”.
Let´s focus on youngsters aged 15 – 19 because - compared to people who are at university or already have a job - they are for the most part unburdened as well as interested in their future
· They don´t have a family to look after, they don´t need to earn money, their families still look after them
· At that age, there is still playfulness in what they are doing in projects, and this is accepted by older peers (e.g. parents...). The playfulness brings out original ideas instead of adapting ideas that already exist.
· There is no career pressure yet that could slow down their careers or even negatively influence their future job seeking. Starting a project at this age would even be valued positively later in their CVs.
· Because of this unburdened setting, people are also willing to cooperate without immediate return.
· They care about their future, a future, they feel comfortable to live in
· Very often the young influence their parents (eg. Buing habbits - that´s why advertising is often focused on kids
How should the European Commission support youngsters, aged 15 – 19?
A) Let the young build their future
Build Your Future! Bring a sustainable future to your neighbourhood! Be the change!
How can you bring a sustainable future to your neighbourhood involving the Internet? How do you change things in your neighbourhood for the better? And how will you involve parents / younger school children, or even kindergarten kids, friends and others to realize your idea?
1. Let’s set up an annual online Eurovision video pitching contest for schools, enabling the young to present their ideas and realization plans through a standardized process, ask participants for a mentor they can choose (preferably a teacher). The youngsters are asked to implement their ideas. At the Eurovision pitching contest the following year, the best implemented projects will be celebrated.
2. Build a European website – “Build Your Future” in Facebook style, so that participants can present their projects to the public, post their proceedings/implementation history (including problems and how they have been solved) as well as build an online project community. Any participant will be informed by upcoming new projects automatically.
3. Bring positive and inspiring video interviews with successful social web entrepreneurs and people who have been using the Internet successfully for the good.
4. In a further step, successful projects are transferred to other regions, if applicable
„Build Your Future“ will lead to increased awareness as well as collaborative learning.
“Build Your Future” will raise awareness among
- the youngsters
- younger children/kindergarten kids
- local politicians
- the public (local), in second step also to the public on national/international level.
“Build Your Future” will generate more awareness of the topic itself as well asthat ICT can make the world smarter. It will demonstrate thatICT can generate innovations that can meet the challenges society is facing. It will also outline the hopes and goals of the young as well as the improvement of the quality of living.
- Involving the 15-19 year olds to build a sustainable future, using the Internet leads to future grownups with a different mind-set
- Educating sustainable development as well as putting in place sustainable education (systemic approach)
- Asking them to involve others (teachers, parents, friends, younger school or even kindergarten children) in their projects leads to an increased educational effect that is even enforced by each other thanks to of peer thinking.
- Teachers are asked to be involved by the youngsters and thus need to adjust accordingly (pull effect).
- People involved learn how many untapped resources exist within a person
- People involved learn that everybody can make a difference for the good
- People involved learn in real-life situations and in their immediate environment where they also get feedback for what they do, it allows for context learning. They develop a relationship to the existing world and enable it to change.
- They learn that their efforts become worthwhile and meaningful.
- Learning from children might open eyes, because they want to look behind the curtains – the Why–question
- Realising that evolution can be achieved by cooperation
- Collaborative learning is taking place
- Learning to focus on solutions is enforced
- Participants learn what makes them happy as well as, step by step, that they can make a difference
- Involvement in political issues could be increased
- Successful projects could be multiplied and adapted for other regions, communities, etc. The lessons learnt in first instance can be used in further implementation, i.e. Learning with regional issues on international level
“Build Your Future” is about changecoming from the bottom enabled by the top.
A) can be linked to B). B) was my first idea that helped me getting shortlisted. However B) could be done by others than the European Commission. However, strongly linking A) and B) would create nice synergies for either side and, in general, would foster web entrepreneurship in Europe.
1) Setting up a European pitching contest of these youngsters (presenting their ideas online in a closed setting via pitching videos to various investors that would be invited for evaluation, the best ideas will be presented personally to interested investors, and find resources to realise them) – this would be the starting point for an on-going pitching opportunity for all youngsters as well as building a European network of young web entrepreneurs, and fostering the network between schools.
2) Setting up an online platform to integrate all participants that are pitching (log in) – and having them communicate with each other as well as presenting the European web entrepreneur potential to the public