Białystok Youth Hack Day 2023 – Empowering Youth Initiatives

Proposal abstract

Białystok Youth Hack Day 2023 is a one-day event, which brings together youth leaders and young activists who want to accelerate social innovation while developing their communities.

Our initiative draws on the ever-popular idea of IT hackathons and design thinking methodology. By marrying the two approaches to problem-solving, we would like to create a youth-friendly platform by which young people of Białystok can address their needs and turn them into feasible projects.

The day reflects the spirit of the design thinking framework and is focused on 4 key areas: sociocultural innovation, technology, environment, and health. During the 9 am-5 pm timeline, the participating teams design ready-to-use solutions, which tackle given challenges. The hackathon concludes with the selection of three of the most feasible projects, which then will be further developed under the watchful eye of SocLab experts.

Who we are

The SocLAb Foundation – Laboratory for Research and Social Actions has been supporting local communities since 2011. Our mission is to increase people’s involvement in public life. We want them to become informed and active citizens, especially in their local communities. Providing support to public institutions, we offer them our knowledge and reinforcements in their activities, conducting participatory processes and implementing social innovation. We are committed to ensuring that the process of making decisions that are significant to the community takes into account their opinions and is based on dialogue and reliable social diagnosis. Our activities focus on grass-root initiatives, local communities, local governing bodies, non-governmental organisations and other institutions acting in the interest of the common good. Our expertise particularly lies in areas of education and training, civic participation, research, and social innovations.

What we want to do and how we will do it

The focal point of our initiative is a one-day event aiming at bringing together young people and getting them to work in teams on ideas and solutions they consider essential. Our action plan is broken down into three phases: Event planning and preparation Nov 2022 – March 2023 Event – March 30th 2023 Youth projects implementation – April – May 2023 The first phase is concerned with defining our goals and planning the initiative. Until now, we have established the main objectives, identified the target groups, and build a network of partners willing to support the initiative. The second phase relates to the event production activities, such as recruitment, signing agreements, PR and marketing, venue set-up, and last but not least – the event itself. In the run-up to the event, we are recruiting up to 25 participants aged 15-24 ranging from youth leaders, local activists, and members of outreach projects or youth clubs. Participants may register their teams (3-5) and select one of the subject areas they want to explore during the hackathon. Over the day, each team is supported by a mentor and is guided through the Design Thinking methodology. The third phase evolves around the implementation of the selected three youth projects. We predict that with the support from SocLab experts and together with the winning teams we are going to achieve projects’ objectives by June 2023. Apart from tangible results, we are going to produce a video documenting the project journey, which we hope will serve as a blueprint for youth engagement. The outcomes: Directly involving up to 25 young people from Białystok Municipality Implementing three winning projects by June 25th 2023 Social media campaign reaching out to circs 25000 young people in Białystok Giving young people know-how beneficial in solving future challenges A video documenting the process and final results

How much money do we need and what for?

In order to achieve the project’s objectives we are looking for a total of €3000 Awards/Prizes – €1650 Mentors / Expert facilitators – €425 Refreshment – €425 PR and Marketing, video production – €500 Venue – €0 – in favour Training/Workshops on the day as well as post-event support and mentoring – 0 PLN (€) provided by SocLab staff as part of their ongoing activities. TOTAL: (€3000)

Why / How does it contribute to /reflects the municipalism principles

– We seek solutions and sources of change at the local and grass-roots level – We empower and mobilise local youth by giving them practical tools and know-how crucial for instigating actions – We create a safe platform, thus helping local youth leaders and activists voice their needs and concerns, and tackle local problems, which are not being addressed by local authorities. – We are supporting participants in undertaking key roles in shaping their sociocultural landscape – We provide youth with a practical framework thus enabling them to leverage their ideas and turn them into actions – We re-empower commons, restore their confidence in their ability to innovate, create, and shape their future – We are igniting youth’s interest in municipal movement, local politics and community-related matters – We are hoping to kickstart a youth grassroots movement that will become a critical and meaningful voice in shaping the future of the municipality of Białystok