Update: The session has been accepted onto the schedule for the event. So if you have a youth work background and were thinking of coming along then it would be absolutely great to see you there (and to have your input). See the 2gether website for booking info on 2-day and day tickets.
[Summary: seeking youth workers and young people interested in developing ideas at 2gether 08 on an innovation lab for youth work and digital technologies]
I've just been putting together a pitch for a session at the 2gether 08 social innovation event. 2gether describes itself as:
A festival of ideas and action. On July 2-3 in London more than 300 people will gather to explore how digital technologies can bring us major social benefits.
The festival organisers have invited participants to suggest ideas for sessions and conversations at the event, and I've suggested a session called:
Towards an innovation lab for youth work 2.0 – Informal education and work with young people in a digital age
Here's what I've put down as the session objective:
To sketch out what an innovation lab for youth work and informal education might look like.
Young people (13 – 18) face more challenging transitions and challenging environments in their lives than ever before. Youth work should be there supporting young people's personal and social development in the digital realm, and using digital tools. This session is about creating a vision, and identifying next steps, to bring greater use of social technology into work with young people outside of school settings.
The session will involve some inputs about current youth work challenges (video/stories etc.) and will facilitate idea exploration around youth work 2.0.
It would be great to see this help in the development of some sort of Futurelab for Youth Work. However, if this sessions does get the green light in some form, I'm going to need some help. I'm not, after all, a youth worker. After spending the last six-months spending time in youth centers and with youth workers I'm convinced that, when it's well resourced and supported, youth work has an amazing amount to offer. But for a youth work innovation lab to really work it's going to need both young people and youth workers directly involved – those who understand the territory from working in it every day.
So – if you're interested in exploring youth work 2.0, you could spare some time on the 2nd or 3rd of July, and could get yourself along to 2gether 08 – get in touch and lets see what ideas we can weave into, and bring out of, this rather innovative looking festival…
I've started a thread over on the UK Youth Online network for anyone interested in exploring this more, even if you can't make it along to 2gether (or this pitch doesn't end up in the final festival…).