fbpx
Youth work and war: a social pedagogical perspective

Youth work and war: a social pedagogical perspective

Another stain on humanity Another scar we can't heal Another warning, another warning (Remember Russia, Fisher Z, From: Word Salad, United Artists Records, 1979) Could this mess have been avoided? In short, yes, we could have prevented this war. Interpreting that simple answer is a very complex story though. Let us start our story with the last...

The kids are not ok

The kids are not ok

Today I went to give a climate talk at my old high school in Geneva — and was given a masterclass in our failings. This is the story of a day that shook me up. I have given climate talks at high schools before. In 2019, I was invited by the first Geneva climate strikers to go around the high schools on the morning of their first strike. I went,...

THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE. THINKING ABOUT YOUTH WORK IN 2030

THE FUTURE IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE. THINKING ABOUT YOUTH WORK IN 2030

I have been watching science fiction films and reading sci-fi books all my life. Space operas are my thing. For me they deal with the fundamental issues of our lives: how we relate to ourselves and the world, how we deal with otherness, and how technology changes our lives. Stories about the future with space travel and flying hoverboards are...

Every act that increases positive interaction between people is an act of peace

Every act that increases positive interaction between people is an act of peace

“Take a moment to think about how much energy and effort it takes for an army to conquer countries and nations. Think about what we are capable of. Compared to war, our actions for peace need to be even harder and go further. They need to reach people's hearts.” With this sentence I usually end the last day of the Gutsy Go coach training. It has...

Young People Have the Least Trust in Democratic Institutions

Young People Have the Least Trust in Democratic Institutions

Research in recent years - and indeed in decades - has shown a worrying trend across the Northern Hemisphere: people's satisfaction with democracy is declining. Compared to 2005, almost a fifth of all respondents have been dissatisfied worldwide1, and it has raised the number of dissatisfied people from forty percent to sixty. It is worth...

Ever-changing Youth Participation in Ever-changing Societies

Ever-changing Youth Participation in Ever-changing Societies

Things have always changed; change is a part of life. But in the past few decades and years, the pace of change seems to be picking up, and the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us just how quickly things can be changing all of a sudden: literally from day to day.  How does youth participation work in these ever-changing conditions? And how can...

Introduction – about Aliens, Newcomers and Democracy

Introduction – about Aliens, Newcomers and Democracy

"The alien's eyes closed, it waggled all its limbs very energetically, and its mouth parts crackled." This is how science fiction writer Iain M. Banks describes a laughing alien aboard a distant spaceship. If we were to travel to distant planets today and observe the laughter of inhabitants there, but perhaps their social order instead, we would...

Opportunities for Dialogue: Young People and Urban Space

Opportunities for Dialogue: Young People and Urban Space

When I was 10, I went to tennis practice. The practice took place about 500 meters from my home, and I walked to the practice and back home on my own. I remember that on this journey, I had two favorite spots that made the walk exciting. On the way, there was a low dilapidated pre-war stone wall, which ran parallel to the sidewalk, and I...

One is not born as a good e-citizen; one learns to be that

One is not born as a good e-citizen; one learns to be that

I`m born into this world, my first experience with social systems is family and home. They already exist, and I`m born as a member of them; I do not need to actively build them myself or participate in shaping them. As I get older, I may have to do chores; for example, I have to occasionally mow the lawn in the garden, but these tasks are more of...

Dimensions of well-being

Dimensions of well-being

One of the many ways to understand what youth work has to do with the well-being of young people The definition of well-being (Too) many years ago I was studying linguistics and although it was not my cup of tea, I took one lesson from the linguistic point of view – the importance and power of words we use to name things. So, when I am on the way...

8 guaranteed ways to burn yourself out as a mentor!

8 guaranteed ways to burn yourself out as a mentor!

INTRO As two experienced mentors, we have been in search of a practical guide to help us fail completely in our work for a long time. Since we haven’t found one yet, in our last European training course we organised a brainstorming session that gave us and the participants some useful tips. We gather these ideas here and hope that they give you a...

Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in Youth Work

Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in Youth Work

1. Introduction We live in the 'information age'. Our young people are surrounded by information coming from all sorts of directions and wrapped in all sorts of packaging. Every day a young person spends more than a third of their free time consuming, interacting with and producing media—an important indicator when it comes to thinking about what...

Student voices: Fighting to be heard during COVID-19 chaos

Student voices: Fighting to be heard during COVID-19 chaos

“The attitude was, ‘we are going to decide everything and you are not important’,” recalls 18-year-old Maja Kalin. This is the way educational decisions were made in the early days of COVID-19 in her home country of Slovenia. “The government said from the very beginning, ‘the final exams are going to happen, and there is no question about this’.”...

Youth Participation in the Spotlight: Do Young People Really ‘Not Care’?

Youth Participation in the Spotlight: Do Young People Really ‘Not Care’?

Participation is part of the central policies and treaties of the United Nations and the European Union. Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 165.2 of the Treaty of the European Union specifically address the right of young people to be heard on matters affecting their lives.  The EU Youth Strategy...