AYCH PLATFORM: Your Ideas In Liverpool.

Aych Platform is the Pacific Stream brand for the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project that aims to bring the youth of Liverpool to the business world and new technologies.

In the Baltic Triangle of Liverpool they have opened a multi-purpose center where you can find advice and help to develop your ideas and your business. Baltic Triangle, a converted industrial zone, is an alternative neighborhood with new alternative businesses housed in old warehouses near Jamaica Street. The neighborhood houses music studios, informal restaurants and a garden for outdoor events, innovative coworking spaces, ….

The Aych methodology is a new way of doing things within the development of youth towards new ways of understanding the development of a life project. Non-formal education is very present in the Aych project, so it wants to show that outside the “official” projects and ideas can also be developed and support a new social movement with youth as a true protagonist.

If you want more information you can follow the social networks of Aych Platform or its website: http://aych.pacificstream.info/

João Sousa: new collection

João Sousa, designer installed in the fashion and design incubator of the Santo thyrso factory, in the framework of the AYCH project, continues his professional growth.

The young designer has just released the promotional video of the new campaign, completely recorded in the factory of Santo thyrso.

Here it is.

Komal Khan – an AYCH ambassador in Gijón

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Today we are talking with Komal Khan, an AYCH ambassador in Gijón.

 

Hi Komal, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I just completed my master recently, it was Erasmus Mundus master, it was focused in sustainable transportation, electric and electrical power systems. I conducted my master thesis in a topic of using of the blockchain for energy trading purposes. I also used some IoT technologies to complete my project. That was my master, now I am a PhD candidate, recently I just signed my contract, I received governmental scholarship in Spain for my PhD studies in the same field. So I am trying to create a platform that I have already designed, trying to add more features to my design and propose it to the market.

What do you know about AYCH programme?

I already participated last year in Creative Jam, it was organised in Gijón and it was very interesting and motivating experience. Through AYCH you can find new methodologies, new ideas, different approach and opinions and all of that AYCH tries to coordinate and arrange. It encourages young people to come up with new ideas to make this world a better place to live in. So last year it was very inspiring and I had an opportunity to gave a workshop connected to the topic of my thesis. I used  an algorithm programme, it was a visual programming tool and basically my workshop taught about using of that programme. I liked that, because in this way you can present your knowledge and in the same time you can integrate different ideas. You presents something and maybe someone who is in the audience can be inspired by your idea and create some new solutions in the future. I think it is a very good opportunity, so I am delighted to participate and to contribute to this programme.

What is being an AYCH ambassador for you?

Being an AYCH ambassador is to participate in something that I want other people to involve in as well. It is a social interaction for me. I am working in the scientific field, but you can´t only see academic approach, it is also needed to expose your ideas in other environment, with people less connected with scientific work. You can enhance your knowledge; maybe you will find better solutions.  I am proud that I can represent AYCH programme as an ambassador.

What are your future plans?

I’ll continue my research work and join academics for the training of our youth to prepare them in the field of technology. Moreover, I am intended to mentor specially the females to increase their participation in STEMS field.

 

QUESTIONS: DAN BARTON

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Today we are talking with Dan Barton, who is Communication & Partnerships Lead at Space, an organisation that unlocks the potential of young people and their communities by providing a safe space to grow, connect and inspire each other. In other words, Space supports young people from different backgrounds by realizing their potential.

Dan, all your work is focus on youth. Can you tell us a little about Space and what possibilities it offers to young people?

Yes, we work with young people aged between 11 and 21 primarily, and provide additional services for young people aged up to 25 who have special needs. We have 8 youth centres across the third largest county in England. We provide universal access for young people to freely engage with trusted youth workers to try new things, challenge themselves and discuss things they can’t talk to their parents about! These activities include sports, arts & music, technology, social action and volunteering.

Space has 8 Youth Centres across Devon. Are they more or less the same or are they specialized in any area?

The offer is similar in each centre, in that young people can access specialist information regarding sexual health and techniques to manage risk and look after their wellbeing but some of the youth centres do have physical differences. Some have outdoor sports spaces, some have recording studios and music rehearsal rooms for example.

Who is your target audience?

We offer a service for all young people to freely engage, but due to our inclusive nature and our training in anti-oppressive practice, we attract a very diverse group of young people, with specialist sessions for young people in care of the state, young LGBTQ people, young people with disabilities for instance.

I read on the blog of Space stories of young people with difficult background who found help in Space.  The team of the Space seem to be like psychologists, you don’t give up on young people. How do you support them?

Yes, it’s similar in that our youth workers are professionally trained to be able to respond to the changing needs of young people, whatever they may be. So for example currently we are working hard in relation to street-violence and an increase in vulnerable young people being ‘groomed’ into drug-related crime and violence. Some of our young people have experienced ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ (such as Domestic Violence, alcoholism at home, poverty and low literacy in the family for example) and so therefore have disadvantages in trying to get ahead in life – we try to offer the same opportunities for them as their peers, who may not have experienced the same upbringing expect as given. One of our core values as youth workers is to not give up on people, even when they are exhibiting what some may regard as ‘challenging behaviour’ we look beyond the behaviour and try to help them find a solution.

There are cases when someone comes to Space but  you can´t help him?

There are certainly examples of young people repeating mistakes and not reaching their potential in the time that we know them but we like to think that in some small way we have helped to make an impact in their lives – even if in just making them smile a few times!

What´s the impact Space has in the society?

We work closely with other services, like social services, police, schools and colleges to make sure that young people can reach their potential. We believe that by providing the services that we do, we not only provide young people directly with the possibility to make change in themselves but we open the doors for wider society to see then differently and maybe value them more as important actors in the world.

What is the best part of your job?

I am no longer directly responsible for working with young people, so my job feels different – i currently work within the leadership team for Space as an organisation of 100 staff. I enjoy designing and launching projects and initiatives that will have positive impact in young people’s lives, and i also enjoy seeing new youth workers develop their skills and develop trusting relationships with young people that will last for years and years!

Green Cities: AYCH Kids II Drawing Contest 2020 is open!

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2020, green cities’ year in the Atlantic Arc 

In 2020, two Atlantic Cities are at the forefront of European Green Cities. Lisbon, in Portugal is the European Green Capital, whereas Limerick, in Ireland, is the European Green Leaf. Moreover, the Atlantic Cities network is involved in the EURE project, a pan European initiative dealing with sustainability. In December 2019, Ursula Von der Leyen presented the “European Green Deal”, a plan to get a more sustainable Europe.

The Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs-AYCH project within the Interreg Atlantic Space program aims to collect the idea of Green Cities this year and contribute to the point of view of young people through their creativity and the creation of prototypes. For example, Creative Jam International of Santo Tirso this year is located to the youth prototype in the field of the relationship of nature and the city.

As urbanisation and climate change are becoming great challenges for cities, they need to engage to find new solutions for maintaining and improving the quality of life. For example, public green spaces play a key role as well as public transport or buildings with efficient energy.

Therefore, this year, our drawing contest AYCH Kids II will focus on green cities, seen by children. Teachers, parents, legal tutors or relatives are encouraged to help kids to think about the green dimension of cities.

How can you participate?  Please, click here.

AYCH RESIDENCIES: An opportunity to make Europe

GOALS

The aim of the AYCH residencies is to provide an immersion experience as part of the Incubator Program and the Non-formal Education Plan. The participants get the chance to benefit from the expertise available in one of the AYCH Hub to significantly develop their project, connect with experts and like minded young people and discover a new city in the Atlantic Area. 

Who can participate?

Young people aged between 16 and 30 years old.

Under 18’: with permission from their legal guardians; they can do the residency if they are accompanied by a responsible person from their own hub.. 

Over 18’: they can make the residences inside or outside their own country.

What are the outcomes?

  • Great opportunity for young people (YP) to travel and meet others .
  • Makes best use of the skills and specialism of hubs to support the YP’s ideas
  • Great opportunity for YP to immerse themselves in different aspects of the project and expertise. Flexibility, breadth of expertise and opportunities available to YP. Transnational nature of the activity and perspectives, and meet people from across the Atlantic Area Member States

Residencies Organisation

We provide a personalized residence of 5 working days (or more) with another AYCH partner so that the product or idea of the participant develops significantly in another Hub.

 

CONVERSATION with Roy Jones

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Today we are talking with Roy Jones, the director of Pacificstream, a company specialised in supporting entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds across a diverse range of the creative and digital industries.

Roy, you have been involved with the creative industries since 1971, so you can evaluate things from more wide perspective. What is your opinion about present creative industries situation? Did it change from the time you started to work in this field?

Speaking of it from being in UK, there has been a difference; first of all, whole digital thing appeared. When I started to work in creative industries we didn’t even had a computer. Also, what I suppose happened here in the UK is that the creative industry as a sector is seen as very significant for development of cities. Liverpool for example, just only this week, recognizes that they have created more digital design jobs that any other city in the North of England.

This area where we are at the moment is a creative quarter. Ten years ago we moved here and we were the only company working with the creative industry. This area now is just full of people working in the creative industry, so it’s like every other person walking down the street is carrying a guitar.

The other side of that is when I first started to work in creative working it was easier to get employment within the big companies. Nowadays, it’s very difficult. So, a lot of people start their own businesses and that’s where we involve, we support young people setting up there their own businesses within the creative industry. We work with designers, musicians, performers, etc. helping them start their business. It always have been self-employed designers, one person, company if you like, working individually, but it’s so much more important recently, because it’s just so difficult to get work, it’s so competitive.

It seems that it is really hard for creative people to break through nowadays, cause of the competition on the market. So, how exactly Pacific Stream support young creative people to make their businesses really working?

It’s making sure that they have right business head, you have to have entrepreneurial approach to work. And again, traditionally people in creative industries haven’t been entrepreneurs, they don’t think like business people. That’s a big generalization, but also it’s true. You don’t find many artists that consider themselves businessmen. And it’s around intellectual property as well, getting people to recognize the true worth of their intellectual properties, their ideas. We’ve been in the industry where people give so much away and the art is not valued in the same way. If you employ a lawyer or a plumber you are ready to pay them to get it right, you believe they have right knowledge and skills to get a job done. But in the same time, an artist or a designer, they have a lot of skills, lot of knowledge they have gained over the years but people don’t seem to appreciate it in the same way or to understand it in the same way. Classic example ´why should I pay that much for a painting? ´

Or for a photography.

Yes, nowadays we can all take photos on our smartphones, but we are not photographers, are we? And you can see the difference between somebody that has the understanding of design and form, colours and everything else. So we help people to promote and market themselves, help them run their business, what they need legally as a business, all that stuff they need to know to operate.

And can you tell me, what are benefits of Pacific Stream to be a part of AYCH?

We were the fist people with Plymouth who talked about the whole idea. Plymouth College of Art came up to see us, see what we were doing with business development on the business incubator we have, operating it with creative industries. That is how came the idea of the project of AYCH. Together with Plymouth we were almost the instigators of the project in the first place, cause it’s something we were involved on various levels for many years. Previously one of our big European projects was looking at virtual incubation for the creative industries. Now this project works with more actual hands-on support, so in this case bricks-and-mortar co working space. Bricks-and-mortar incubator rather than virtual one.  So, we’ve been involved with this work, twelve years or more, with this area.

So how the incubation is working?

We have space in Liverpool where people can come and have a desk to work, so they can be people coming in with access 24/7 and we are there to give them help, we call it hot desk. So they can come just for few hours of a day, or 3 days a week, a week, it depends of what they want. There is a cost of that, but in the moment we are able to subsidise that through the project. And those who are in the project they have to pay as well, but it is still very low rate, it’s not expensive. We try to make it easy as possible to them to have a physical space where they can work out and they work in the area that is full of other creative people. There are so many people to co-working, so a lot of work is done by just bumping into someone else in the café. If you are a graphic designer you may need a photographer, if you are a photographer you may need a videographer and so on.

What is your target audience?

Anyone who has a creative idea, so it doesn’t have to be a person involved directly in creative industries. If they have creative idea we approach it the way so they can develop that idea, that idea may become a business or it may help to build a portfolio. We’ve got two engineers and two doctors working with at the moment on an idea that has nothing to do with health. I am working with the group of Chinese student studying international business and their idea is to develop an app for promoting tourism within China town here in Liverpool.

Why  Liverpool?

My background is education. I was an art teacher for many years, so I moved to Liverpool to teach art. I think I am the only business advisor with art degree.  I got out of Academia 20 years ago but because my teaching was around photography and drawing and though photography I got more involved in teaching some new technologies around web design in Photoshop and all that kind of applications. It was through web design I got more involved in business, because we started designing websites for companies but we ending up supporting the company as well. And then within the European work we were the partner who did a website for communication site of the project.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

After having carefully studied the current situation on the COVID-19 problem in Europe, the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project partnership has decided to POSTPON THE CREATION OF THE CREATIVE JAM DE SANTO TIRSO. We will give information of the new date in a future communication.

Xosé L. Garza Silvela
Chair of Communication

Conversation with Richard Doak

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by Anna

Today we are talking with Richard Doak who is youth worker in Space, an organisation that supports young people from different backgrounds by realizing their potential.

Richard, tell us a little about your work and about Space.

I work in the Space for over 10 years now, I am a qualified youth worker and I have a specialism in music that I developed over the years with the young people. I ´ve built recording studios in our youth centres, I am entrained to the music equipment, electronic music and production. That´s kind of where my area of expertise is.

So how does it look your cooperation with young people?

You impact and talk to young people, you give them advices and guidelines, but it is not that we force it on the young people. So it´s for them to think about and maybe it has an effect later in the future, so it´s sort of information and letting young people come to the right conclusions, make their own decisions.  We are not dictating what someone must and can´t do, we are just advising and letting them explore.  Having a constant, like  youth workers, so when young people experiment with something and it is not going well or they want to talk about it so they can come back to us and we look at good and bad sites, so it´s a developing process but in very informal way.

Are you working alone with youth or there is a team?

I am the only full-time worker in the project and I have a colleague in North Devon, because it is so far. He delivers evening sessions with young people up in the north and then I am covering middle and the south, so that´s my delivery.

What´s the best part of your job?

Work with teenagers, it´s always exciting, challenging, it keeps my brain thinking of new activities.

How does work the incubation process in Space?

In Space we have the same deliverables as any other association in AYCH but the way we are doing things is slightly different, mostly because we are working with younger participants of 14-19 years old. We are doing three hubs, one on south, another on north and the last one in the middle, it´s 1,5 hour of travel, so you can see the distance.  So the incubation process I am doing is slightly different because of the age range. So we meet up every week and I just keep it constant. Some weeks we are working on design, some weeks we look at the business, but it is still very informal. Like, if you are looking at Plymouth Collage of Art  for example, they have a list which says on this day we are doing this, on that they we are doing that and you just have to go, but for me it´s like constant move, we keep it relaxed and just work on ideas slowly without a panic. Some weeks someone can have a problem, because something in his life has happened, so some weeks I just have to forget about incubation and just do a youth work, give my support.  Another weeks we are very productive.

You will do a workshop during  Creative Jam in Santo Tirso, what is it about?

The workshop is going to be about sewing a glow with chips on it to control the music with the hand.  So we will make sewing to create a glow and then make coding to connect chips from the glow with a laptop and when they will coding then it will work. Santo Tirso is specialized in fashion so I wanted to do something relevant to what they are doing that´s why the workshop connects sound and fashion.

What do you think about AYCH project?

I think it´s great, the project is both challenging and exciting for Space, because we´ve never done anything like that before. It is really good opportunity to try new things. We developed our technologies as well, cause we didn´t have a lot in our youth centres, so now we have 3d printers, laser cutters, VR equipment, so we could move foreward to inspire young people as well.

Joao Sousa – an AYCH ambassador in Santo Tirso

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Joao is an AYCH ambassador in Santo Tirso. He was 4 years old when he decided to become a fashion designer and he never changed his mind. He had the opportunity to work with many professionals of the fashion industry in Portugal, with his school projects, national and international fashion contests. In 2018 he made his first fashion collection for Spring Summer 19 entitled “Filhos do Lago” and had an opportunity to make the first debut show at Bloom, the platform for young fashion designers in Portugal Fashion Week. In 2019 he returned to Portuguese fashion week with his vision for Fall Winter 19 “Refuge” collection, highlighted by Vogue Italia as one of the best of PTFW Winter Season.

Joao, why did you choose fashion designing as a career?

Since I was a child I always was doing creative things in school and home. My family is involved in the fashion industry and arts, so I grew up with the idea of becoming a fashion designer. I started my journey as a designer in Porto Fashion School and I started to develop myself professionally. I love work with solid colours as cream and white and do lots of handmade things to transform my pieces in exclusive garments for my clients.

How did you discovered AYCH?

I discovered AYCH because I was in Fábrica de Santo Thyrso hub and someone from the project presented me the idea, I liked it and joined it.

AYCH it’s an amazing opportunity of developing your project and connecting with young people from other countries and backgrounds. It helps to discover new things, cultures, and inspirations.

What do you think about the project? Does international cooperation among young people is needed?

Yes! When I was in Plymouth in January I absolutely loved the experience! Being an ambassador of my project and the Portuguese fashion industry makes me proud of my journey!

And how do you understand the role of Ambassador?

I think that an ambassador should support other to not give up of their dreams and projects. I am not able to support them financially or with “job stuff” because I don’t have professional background. But at least I can give other hope and a “don’t give up” message, for me it is amazing to feel supported!

How do you see your role in the project in near future?

I hope to be able to travel to other countries and represent my country and my work! I think it would be an interesting opportunity!