Have you seen our video of the Creative Jam?. I’m sure you’ll like it!!!
Today, we are having a great chat on the sofa with entrepreneurs to learn how to run a business every day as part of the AYCH Incubation Programme, in Plymouth.
“The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like focus” Bruce Lee
The Aych incubation program is designed so that non-formal education reaches all young people in an informal, close and close way in which they feel a total accompaniment.
María Montoiro, of Galician origin, is a lawyer, lives in Rennes and has been working on European projects for years. She is currently the project coordinator in Atlantic Cities and develops part of her work in our project.
Why Aych can become important for the Atlantic Cities?
After 2008 economic and financial crisis, the Atlantic Cities were notably touched by this negative event, bringing its population into increasing numbers of unemployment, notably within youth. Therefore, in today’s economical context with rising youth unemployment AYCH Project allows Atlantic Cities to work closely with young people interested by the creative and cultural sector on their projects, ideas and more so as to “shape the future for an innovative economy”. In a few words, AYCH will empower youth from all backgrounds.
Atlantic Cities is all about youth and has developed its “Atlantic Futures” programme for youth. It includes various initiatives and EU projects such as AYCH. It is a perfect match with our ambitions for young people. We see it as a wonderful opportunity to create new synergies and share our values across European cities of the Atlantic Area. AYCH also serves as an indicator for Atlantic Cities to evaluate the youngsters’ needs so as to develop new ideas and initiatives to favour their future employment. Furthermore, as a transnational association, Atlantic Cities is working within the project on political capitalisation so as to give more visibility to AYCH and promote its outcomes to EU institutions and organisations.
The European cities for a “new moment”, will this affect the youth of the European countries the situation with the United Kingdom?
The situation of the United Kingdom will affect directly European youth in terms of mobility, by restricting them mobility opportunities as once the United Kingdom will be out of the European Union they didn’t be part of an open space with no borders.
Mobility opportunities in terms of studies and labour opportunities are a key element for create synergies within European youth in creative and cultural sector.
What connections can young people from European countries create through a project like Aych in the future?
Thanks to AYCH young people from various countries sharing the same interests have the opportunity to work together on new ideas but also to develop their intercultural knowledge. Once the project will be over, they can keep in touch through a network of former AYCH members which could act as a continuous platform for collaboration.
Moreover, Youth taking part in AYCH project will be in direct contact with business and organizations working in creative and cultural sector which will allow them to keep close ties afterwards. It will be very good for those looking for an internship or wanting to develop their own business in the future.
by Xosé L. Garza (Chair of Communication)
In the Europe of convulsions provoked by the unconsciousness of political solitude, projects such as AYCH emerge, showing that reason is on the side of those who come after our steps: young people.
A year ago the European youth was working to find solutions to problems that our old continent has, our cities, our Atlantic ocean, … creating prototypes that with imagination and creativity are surprising us very pleasantly.
From the United Kingdom we are told about applications to achieve people’s empathy, from Spain they tell us that they are prototyping so that emigration that comes to our Europe has other opportunities, and so we could list hundreds of ideas that aych is producing and that will be known in this 2019.
As usual, reality surpasses dreams, puts in its place the need and the ambition to create a new model that goes beyond the education that young people receive today. Aych is above all a creative space managed by partners from four countries where young people can develop their ideas regardless of their origin, training, ideology … Young people who come to us have clear that if they do not have training we give it, if they want to learn we accompany them, if they want to share we help them and if they want to do we are there; always with a transnational zeal that surpasses even what is imaginable.
But Aych is even an exercise in high international politics where the political decisions of some are far below what is really true; the reality of a convulsed Europe in recent times is far below the aspirations of all young people who meet in our project because the ultimate goal is to create a new Europe, and begin as in everything, by the foundations.
Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (aych.eu) is a project co-financed by the European Regional by Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Space program that takes place in France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
It’s time for creative jams in Aych, do not miss any of our activities in:
In Efford you can enjoy a creative jam if you are between 14 and 24 years old where you will create very interesting prototypes that can be great projects with the help of the Plymouth City Council professionals.
L’Ecole de Design Nantes-Atlantique has prepared for you a Creative Jam for three days in which you will undoubtedly learn a lot, if you are in Nantes or in the area cheer up.
And the Lug Open Factory has created a day of Design Thinking for you to start working on your idea, to create a new concept for a future project if you are between 16 and 30 years old.
Enjoy our activities and check our calendar.
Event takes place on January 10 and 11, at the Fábrica de Santo Thyrso
The Santo Thyrso Factory hosts the AYCH Creative Jam event on 10 and 11 January. The initiative, which is part of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (AYCH) project, is a competitive challenge, along with young participants will have the opportunity to form new project ideas to interact with Santo Tirso.
The Santo Tirso City Council, through INVEST Santo Tirso, is the Portuguese representative in the European project AYCH, an international partnership whose main objective is to develop new approaches in support services for young people throughout the Atlantic Area in the creative sector, seeking to foster entrepreneurship and youth employment.
Environmental and social sustainability is also one of the priorities of the Municipality of Santo Tirso, in a perspective of the evolution of the city as a creative and inclusive territory. The AYCH project also contributes to these social challenges by stimulating the participants’ creativity and critical thinking.
As part of this international partnership, the AYCH Creative Jam will be held on 10 and 11 January. Under the theme “Holy Tirso Inclusive, Sustainable and Fashionable – Reinvents the City!”, The event is a competitive, creative and enterprising challenge, in which participants will be invited to develop new ideas and projects, aiming at creating spaces and dynamics for tourism, leisure and work, to experience and interact with Santo Tirso, as a city that is intended to be inclusive, sustainable and fashionable.
The program includes visits to iconic points of the city, workshops aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and the development of specific skills and techniques, project development sessions and the final presentation of ideas in the elevator pitch format.
The AYCH project, approved by INTERREG Espaço Atlântico, has 13 partners from Portugal, Spain, France and the United Kingdom. Focused on promoting entrepreneurship and youth employment, the program offers participants multiple initiatives to develop their skills, from international placements and incubation programs to participation in workshops and competitive challenges and entrepreneurs.
Every day we work interactively and collaboratively as an AYCH partnership, its vital to our mission. Our partners and their hubs are in four countries and stretch from Belfast in the north to Santo Tirso, near Porto in the south. We use interactive technologies regularly to reduce distance and keep us all working together. But sometimes nothing is better than meeting face-to-face to discuss things in depth, to experience the local environment and culture, and to build strong enduring relationships. We are careful to use this precious time wisely. This week I have visited our AYCH Partners in France.
Sunday 16 December – Exeter, UK to Brest, France
A day of travelling, thinking about the week ahead, chance encounters and practicing my school girl French.
- Paris was fog-bound, every passenger had to switch-off their electronic devices, the pilots relaxed and the plane landed itself. Where would we have landed without this technology?
- On the flight to next flight to Brest made a new friend from Germany, who like me has a role working for young people and loves German Christmas biscuits. Like a magician she produced a packet of Gewũrz-Spekulatious from her bag and gave them to me. Perhaps we will work together in the future?
- Jumped in to a taxi, practiced my French and the driver practiced his English whilst we somehow managed to talk about the France v Russia handball match. Wondered if the taxi driver enjoyed the conversation as much as I did.
- Later that evening ate on my own, ‘watched people’ at the Christmas Market and thought ahead to the business of the next day.
Monday 17 December – Brest to Rennes, France
A day of meetings, exploration and travel.
- Met with the project partner from Brest Metropole and discussed in depth deliverables, commissioning, reporting, budgeting, working, problem solving, translation, meeting protocols and more. Agreed the steps we need to take.
- We were joined by another Brest team member for lunch. We shared and reflected on the mornings discussion and talked about our different cultural approaches to lunch! Reminded myself that I need to think about what the working day looks like across AYCH.
- Explored Brest and visited some of the facilities available to AYCH. Peered down on the ‘traditional’ industries around the shipyard and looked in to the future from the state-of-the-art cable car.
- Settled on to the TGV to Rennes and typed my notes from earlier in the day.
- Arrived in the hotel in Rennes but discovered my laptop did not like the insecure WiFi on offer. Read my paper notes and prepared for the next day.
Tuesday 18 December – Rennes to Nantes, France
Another day of meetings, exploration and travel.
- Met the new project partner from Atlantic Cities for the first time and travelled by metro from the city centre to the University area of the town.
- Enjoyed presentations from the talented team members, discussed AYCH values and plans for future delivery and was surprised that Papa Noel had included me in his deliveries to Atlantic Cities.
- Ate in a busy local restaurant whilst we discussed AYCH, the locality, tomorrow’s meeting in Nantes and our different Christmas customs.
- Explored Rennes, talked about the juxta-positioning of old and new architectural styles, employment and skills, cemented our relationship and got very wet.
- Took the train to Nantes, returning to this city after only three months, arrived in torrential rain and took the tram for a few stops before using Google maps to find the hotel. How the city seems to have been changed by dark short days and Christmas activities.
- Noticed the moon which looks as if it were suspended from a crane in the night sky.
- Logged my phones and laptop to the hotel’s WiFi and caught up on the messages I had not been able to receive that day or the evening before. Checked AYCH progress on reporting. Thanked colleagues in Brest and Rennes for their warm welcome and their work.
- Read John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels with Charley’ in a quiet corner of a nearby restaurant whilst eating something simple and tried to ‘switch off’.
Wednesday 19 December – Nantes, France
Another day of meetings but no travel and an enjoyable stroll across the Loire for work.
- Set off early to meet our partner at L’École de Design Nantes Atlantique and arrived at the door with students and felt immediately welcomed in to a creative space.
- Enjoyed presentations from students of two tools developed for AYCH – QUEST puzzle for facilitating discussion and planning participant journeys through AYCH options and Bright Mirror an ice-breaker ‘plus’ activity. So stimulating to work with creative, agile and enthusiastic young people.
- Discussed L’École de Design Nantes Atlantique’s AYCH experiences and their discoveries about how AYCH has become embedded in the approach.
- We were joined by the Chef de póle from the Pays de la Loire, and the Directors from L’École de Design Nantes Atlantique’s Care and Nouvelles Practiques Alimentaires Design labs, and colleagues from Atlantic Cities in time for diverse, informative and stimulating discussions over lunch.
- Resumed the afternoon with discussions about Work Package 3 which focuses on the Capitalization of AYCH. Discussed how we could maximise the particular expertise and connections of the three key partners and the best way to utilise opportunities for all partners.
- Travel arrangements for the following day were reworked in response to an unavoidable change of plans.
- Said farewell to guests and partners before working with our host to complete our follow-up our Work Package 3 activities and briefly discuss workshop options for the second transnational Creative jam in Gijon next April.
- Enjoyed the walk across the Loire back to the hotel reflecting on the day and thinking ahead to Thursday’s visit to Angouleme.
- Worked through emails/messages and thanked colleagues and students in Nantes for their warm welcome and their work.
Friday 21 December – Paris to Exeter, UK
Flight to UK
- Arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport with thousands of other passengers, some travelling for Christmas holidays and others diverting because of the closure of Gatwick, UK airport. Eventually arrived at the departure gate two and half hours later and ten minutes before boarding.
- Continued reading John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels with Charley’ with occasional views through the clouds to the English Channel/Le Manche below and eventually the rural landscape around Exeter.
- Sent emails to thank colleagues in Angouleme for the meeting and to send promised follow-up information and took a quick look at AYCH Basecamp to check if anything needed urgent attention.
- Completed the post-trip administration.
- Unpacked the Gewũrz-Spekulatious and began to feel a bit more Christmassy!
Today we are talking with Richard Hayman (Second one from Right to Left in the picture) Lead Partner of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs Project, representing the Devon City Council. Who answers clearly to our three questions of today:
Do you represent an British county in this project, how did you decide to create a project like Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs?
My role within Devon County Council is to optimise the drawdown of all funds including European to deliver the Counties Strategic objectives, amongst which is the provision of opportunities and employment for the youth of Devon. This together with both my and Oli Rauds experience in European funding through various Interreg programmes led us to the idea to create the AYCH model (probably over a beer) to give creative youngsters the opportunities AYCH is delivering.
Do you think Transnational events or trainings are an important aspect in the formation of young Europeans?
Absolutely it is vitally important that as wide a range of experience both culturally and technologically is available to young people across the EU including the UK!!
We are in a process between the EU and the UK complicated with the arrival of Brexit; How could this situation affect this Aych project and Interreg projects in general?
Firstly our Government have guaranteed funding over the life of any existing Interreg or UK Structural funds currently approved by the EU, so in that sense nothing changes for AYCH and all the other prprojects/programmes which DCC is involved with. However the political situation is extremely fluid at the moment to say the least!!) and if we leave there are obviously various scenarios
Today a person with a long career in the configuration of European projects answers our questions. Enrique Rodríguez is the Head of the Department of International Initiatives and European Affairs of the City of Gijón, one of the two partners of Aych in Spain.
The City Council of Gijón already has extensive experience in European projects, what makes Aych different from the rest of the projects?
The AYCH Project has an aspect that makes it different and attractive and is that it works directly with people, with young people in our environment. This element makes AYCH a project that is close, direct and much easier to transmit. Sometimes European projects are abstract or excessively technical, but with AYCH we find a project close to the citizen. The beneficiaries of the project will participate in transnational meetings, training projects, and they will have the opportunity to meet other young people, as well as trainers from other European countries. At a time when the European project is being questioned, this closeness is, without a doubt, the most outstanding element.
Tell us briefly how you think Aych may be important for young Asturians.
One of the data that appears in the project is the high rate of unemployment among young people in the European Atlantic region, especially in Spain. Well, from Gijón we believe that AYCH can be a piece that contributes to the development of activities among young people that encourage the start-up of projects of a business nature. The interaction between the activities that are launched in the project with other local initiatives are very important for the consolidation of ideas that may arise in the Creative Transnational Jams. In addition, these projects could also have the European added value that any of the proposals resulting from all the exchanges and training that may occur during the life of the project may have.
The Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project is aimed at young people from 14 to 30 years old. Is there a concrete profile of participation in the project and could you advance what is the closest thing you are going to do from the City Council of Gijón for these young people?
In our case we have decided to bet on the development of the project in the field of industries and services 4.0 in order to seek synergies and meetings both with other projects that are being developed in Gijon, and with local partners with whom we have been collaborating in multiple initiatives . Specifically, the collaboration with the University through two Chairs, Gijón Smart and Gijón Media Lab, is fundamental. The young people who participate in the AYCH project, in their Creative Jams, come essentially from this collaboration with the University. Throughout the project there will be more activities that will allow us to collaborate with other social entities and other profiles of young people. This is one of the strong points of the project. The diversity of young people who can participate in it.
- How emerging business models challenge established ways of working
- The need for sustainable business practices that respect and conserve limited resources
- The challenges of new technology and its effect on the way we work and live
Proximity – contacts you often see
Similarity – contacts who are like yourself
Relational Inertia – its easy to stay the same and not to change
Diversity – Including people beyond your area of immediate interest and expertise. This is important for inter-disciplinary working and for more mobile working opportunities.
Depth – Including people who are more experienced/senior and less experienced/senior as well as equivalent, in short up, down and sideways
I want to apply this to AYCH:
Diversity – Include other young people from thier own and other nations they meet at the Creative Jams, as Interns etc. Connect with young people with the similar and different skills and interests.
Depth– Include people who are more experienced/senior and less experienced/senior as well as equivalent to themselves. Connect with experts, and AYCH team members.ap