Designing an innovative tool: highlights from the “Phygital Youth Participation” kick-off meeting

DYPALL Network actively participated in the kick-off meeting of the “Phygital youth participation – Digital innovation for stronger local democracies” project held from 12th – 15th November 2023, in Antwerp, Belgium. 

The project aims to develop a phygital tool – an innovative approach combining physical and digital strategies – to encourage youth engagement in local governance for effective policy-making with young people. The project primarily focuses on creating a unique platform for municipalities to gather young voices and perspectives effectively. Additionally, partners aim to establish a new methodology for fostering youth dialogue at the local level. This will include comprehensive guidelines for conducting consultations and participatory processes through digital tools, promoting dynamic interactions where young voices play a significant role in local governance.

One pivotal objective of the project is to enhance youth awareness and participation in the European Elections. Addressing the disconnection that many young individuals experience with conventional political systems, the initiative aims to bridge this gap through innovative tools. By making the process more interactive, attractive, and accessible, the project aims to facilitate a closer connection between young citizens and EU institutions, fostering inclusive and representative political discussions.

The forthcoming steps involve designing and developing the tool collaboratively among partners, with continuous exchange of ideas and feedback. Testing phases will engage youth workers and young people, aiming to refine a new methodology for youth dialogue at the local level and efficiently train youth workers in utilising the digital tool within a phygital context. The ultimate objective is to integrate the tool as a permanent feature for municipalities to engage meaningfully with young people.

The “Phygital Youth Participation – Digital Innovation for stronger local democracies” project is a pioneering initiative coordinated by Tree company (Belgium) and DYPALL Network in partnership with Levuur (Belgium), Danes Je Nov Dan (Slovenia), Municipality of Sint-Niklaas (Belgium), and DYPALL Network under the Erasmus+ programme.