Nowadays we are witnessing a social media revolution – e.g. Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year, Instgram has about 400 million monthly users, while Snapchat has 100 million daily ones! At the same time apps such as Pokemon GO storm the whole world in just an eyeblink. As Erik Qualman from a movie Social Media Revolution 2016 said – “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”. All this made NGOs from Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Latvia unite and create a project for youth workers to share their experiences on the best ways to use digital tools in youth organizations. As a result, a Erasmus+ youth worker mobility “Let’s Digitalise Youth Organizations” was held in Kaunas, Lithuania on August 8-15th, 2016.
In short, the project was aiming to grow digital communication professionals, who could effectively communicate with youth and help NGOs be more visible in the EU. To reach it, the main objectives of the project were:
- Teach youth workers how to effectively use digital communication tools in youth organisations;
- Develop new ideas for better digital communication in youth organisations;
- Share the knowledge how to reach a clear and appealing image of a youth organisation through digital tools;
- Set the most effective ways for cooperation between youth organisations through digital tools;
- Connect digital tools theoretical and practical learning methods through non-formal education.
Tools and workshops
27 youth workers coming from 5 different countries (Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Romania and Latvia) had the chance to take part in numerous workshops and activities related to the topic. Since most of them were young leaders of student associations, youth NGOs, volunteers of local youth councils and similarly involved into youth work, they could also successfuly share their knowledge between each other.
To accomplish the goals listed above and really understand how to digitalise youth organisations, the participants had workshops on social media usage for NGOs (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.), cloud services and file sharing (e.g. Dropbox, Google Docs, WeTransfer), Digital Art (Photoshop) and Sports (Xbox Kinect), Website / Blog creation, and many more. They also had an opportunity to talk with social media expert Mantvydas Leknickas, who has ran social media by storm (has more than 50,000 followers on FB) and is running successful marketing agency Cocos (http://www.cocos.lt/). The event with M.Leknickas was available for public to join and was also streamed online. The participants also vistied startup hub Blaster, where they met IT specialists and got broader knowledge about digital tools used by professionals. Apart from many other activities related to the topic, the participants could also get into the Pokemon world by catching them in Kaunas! This and many other non-formal education methods were successfuly used to train youth workers on NGO digitalisation.
Whie learning, participants created a lot of entertaining digital materials that will help other youth workers and youth across Europe get to know more about digital tools and their usage in NGOs. You can find them in a site created during the project (still being updated): http://activeyouth.lt/en/lets-digitalise-youth-organisations/. One of the best materials created during the project were the following videos, which really represent the fun part of the project:
All in all, as one of the participants of the project Ignas Malinauskas said – “The project could not have been better! I learned so much in such an entertaining way!”. With this in mind, let’s keep on digitalising and sharing this knowledge with others in Europe!