AYCH Coordinator French Visit Odyssey

0

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!

QUESTIONS: RICHARD HAYMAN

0

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

QUESTIONS: ENRIQUE RODRIGUEZ

0

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.

Exeter MBA Alumni Conference

0
University of Exeter: Business School, MBA Alumni Conference, 23 November 2018
A fabulous and immersive day at University of Exeter Business School, thinking about the New Economy:
  • 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
For me this day resonated with some of the raison d’etre of Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs. I have made short notes to share on topics and I have made some interesting and promising connections which I will help develop and share over the next few days.
Agenda:
Welcome: Professor David Bruce Allen
Keynote: Ed Mayo, Secretary general of Co-operatives UK
Talk : Professor of Leadership and Head of Management, Alex Gerbasi PhD
Talk: Sandra Norval, MD, Catalicity Ltd
Talk : Dr Stuart Robinson, Director of Exeter MBA
Panel debate
First Topic:
Make developing relationships part of your job
Alex Gerbasi PhD who is Professor of Leadership and Head of Management at the University of Exeter Business School talked about her research and experience of relationships and networking. She urged everyone to invest in their own development by consciously making developing relationships part of your job, and to think “who do you know, who knows you and how do they know one another?”
Many of us have networks which are frequently characterised by:
 Immediacy – where you are right now
Proximity – contacts you often see
Similarity – contacts who are like yourself
Relational Inertia – its easy to stay the same and not to change
But we can all thrive, grow and deliver by improving our networks by:

 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:

How can our Young People use AYCH for developing relationships which help them thrive, grow and deliver in the New Economy:
 
Always think about your security and safety. Over 18 years old? Perhaps use professional networking sites to develop relationships which will help with career mobility. When they are participating in AYCH events use the opportunity to have conversations with new people. Aim to think about:

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

QUESTIONS: RICHARD DOAK

0

Today Richard Doak visits us to talk about his work at Aych and with young people from Devon County. Space works in several centres directly with the young people and Richard makes a personalized accompaniment that motivates them in their futures.

Can you tell us what is your work in Space and how do you work with young people?

My role is AYCH Project lead worker. I am a qualified Senior youth support worker with a specialism in music technology,  I am also a sports coach, archery teacher and climbing instructor. I have been working with young people for over 8 years,  running various successful Youth projects mainly around music delivery in the wider community. The way I work with young people is to allow them the opportunity to make their own decisions and mistakes on the way the projects they are part of go. My role is to facilitate, Inspire and support their ideas and decisions, helping them to reflect and evaluate their learning.

How do you think that Aych can change the life of the young people you work with?

Here in Devon, we are part of a large rural community. We took the decision at space to take this project away from the cities and out into the wider community giving young people in smaller towns, A chance to have their voices heard. We have created 3 hubs in which the AYCH  project will work from trying to spread them out across the county of Devon. One in the North, One in the south and one in the middle of the County. All of these areas face rural deprivation, poor transport networks, high youth unemployment and a disconnect from the wider UK. With this international Project, we hope to encourage young people to see a bigger picture and connect them with a wider community using are skills as youth workers and utilising modern communications technologies.

What do yo think that can ben the advantages for young people when forming part of a transnational project?

For young people in our county, the opportunity to gain real skills relevant to today’s job market is key.  The opportunity to work across countries is a concept unfamiliar to the young people I am working with. For example, as we prepare to take our group of young entrepreneurs to the next creative jam in Spain 3 out of the 5 young people do not have a passport or access to the internet in their home.  Through the AYCH Project, I can support them through the first ever trip abroad opening new horizons to their outlook. The chance for them to meet other young entrepreneurs from across Europe is an exciting one and for them to gain experiences with professionals from all walks of life is an opportunity not to be missed.

QUESTIONS: OLIVER RAUD

0

Oliver Raud answers us with this interesting article to our three questions. Oli is Strategic Funding Manager at Plymouth College of Art

Can you explain what a Creative Jam is?

A Creative Jam is an event, as well as a process that provides participants the opportunity to bring ideas to life, prototyping products and services that respond to an identifiable challenge/issue/problem, based on a selected theme. In the AYCH project, we have chosen a number of themes that include challenges linked to sustainable development, social innovation, environment and climate change, circular economies, waste, mobility, mental health and (un)employment, among other societal issues of our time. As all partners of the AYCH project share borders, we also share a responsibility to develop new solutions centred on human and natural capital that will benefit us and future generations. The Creative Jam is the place to explore this, take risks and create agency among our young people to be the change that is needed in the world. The ultimate ambition for partners is that the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs Creative Jams will launch the ambitions and careers of a new generation of socially and environmentally responsible young people seeking to tackle societal issues of the future, placing creativity and design at the heart of place-based development and regeneration, empowering them to pursue careers or educational pathways in the Creative Economy and beyond.

What are the benefits that activities like this can bring for the youth of your city?

The benefits are manifold. Through the Creative Jams, as well as the wider project, we teach Key Enabling Technology (Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are a group of technologies that have a wide range of product applications such as developing low carbon energy technologies, improving energy and resource efficiency, and creating new medical products. They have huge potential to fuel economic growth and provide jobs) and Social Enterprise skills that expose young people to emerging economic opportunities, jobs and growth. This not only helps young people to learn digital, design and creative skills that are increasingly the driver for innovation it also brings them together, collaborating in teams with colleagues from across the Atlantic area. They can learn from one another and build connections, in a fun, dynamic and energising environment, whilst having fun and making new European friends. With a strong link to employers and industry, both delivering workshops and forming part of the judging panel during the Creative Jams, participants are able to speak to, interact with and learn first-hand from experts and entrepreneurs to build aspirations and break down the hierarchies that often impede young people’s progress – it gives a face to employers and young people can better understand the routes into (self)employment and education. Employers also act as mentors and support the personal and professional development of project participants, nurturing the workforce of the future that will need to be adaptable, collaborative and tech-savvy. For the city, it can build a bottom-up movement of young people that are looking to support the development of their local area and a pipeline of talented people that can actively support the growth of local economies and communities. “This project is not just about Smart Cities, it’s about Smart Citizens”.

In what way can an event like this influence the education of a young European?

The learning of these skills enables young Europeans to develop and gain a closer insight into Higher Education and Skills, enterprise and what is needed to gain those valuable attributes that can support their careers and lives. However, as technology is increasingly democratised and easy-to-access – 3D printing, IoT, VR etc. all of which are being taught as part of AYCH), so must education be. A major driving force of AYCH is the development of an education programme, that takes the ethos, values and elements of what is delivered among Higher Education but it is brought out of the institutions and delivered in non-formal settings, thus making it no longer the reserve of just fee-paying students. We believe this is the way that the most change can be affected, for the most amount of people and really gives credence to the notion that education is for all and in an knowledge economy, a skilled and creative workforce and citizens is arguably our most important asset. We want to give agency to our young people and empower them to make positive contributions to society, using an educational programme that is inclusive, entrepreneurial and rich in design-thinking theory, creativity, technology and media. We are looking for people to join us, on this journey, so please feel free to get in touch if you feel can contribute to any of these aspects of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project.

QUESTIONS: Florent Orsoni

0

Florent Orsoni, Directeur Ville Durable Design Lab de L’École du Design Nantes Atlantique ( Aych partner ) is a person concerned about education in all areas that it reaches young people in an effective way.

What can AYCH contribute to the current European Education System?

AYCH is a project which is “open”. Open source, open to everyone… Online. We need to build new paths to encourage people for entrepreneurhip or  daring to innovate in companies or in life. We are facing new challenges (climate change, AI…) which will need new answers, new ways of organisation. 

AYCH allows to take key ressources as design thinking, business model, but also key technologies to develop YOUR ideas and projects which tackle the everyday challenges we are facing. Ressources, cases studies (failures and success) will be examinated and we will try to set up an open model of educational collaboration between partners.   

Is It necessary that there are parallel models of Education for young people?

It is necessary because everyone is different. There is still a necessity to have roots in traditional education, but we have numerous opporunities with now computers & web give you direct access to knowledge. It allows to have numerous way to develop a project. 

How to manage the ressources, how to use it for my project ?  AYCH is a huge opportunity to enhance digital litteracy, to take the good ressources at the good moment. It’s a good opportunity to give power to young people to follow their own ways to develop project that make real sense. 

Transnational Education should be enhanced more and how can we get it?

We need to have shared & usable tools, but also different specialities. It’s an “hub” organisation : for my project in MEDIA, I will train in Plymouth, if I have textiles elements, I will discuss with Santo Tirso… etc. The idea is to have the most widest range of competences around a network of places following the same goals & almost the same process.  

QUESTIONS: Oenone Thomas

0

Today we start a new section on our website to bring you closer to our project. Different AYCH protagonists will pass through Questions and we will make them 3 interesting questions about the project. We start with Oenone Thomas. (Oenone in the center of the picture: between Oliver and Richard).

What motivates a person like Oenone to coordinate a project like Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs ?.

Most of my professional life has involved a combination of working with Young People, Employers and Education Providers. I’ve worked in the private sector in international Information Technology companies, the public sector as a qualified secondary teacher and worked freelance managing and evaluating projects for a range of Public Sector and private clients. But underpinning all of my work has been that I am a ‘people person’ who enjoys working collaboratively to help to make a positive difference. I know that partnership working is challenging but ultimately it is the most rewarding way to work. The European dimension of this project is important to me.  

What is your job in Aych ?. Is it easy to coordinate so many partners with such difficult characteristics?

My job as the Coordinator for Devon County Council AYCH’s the Lead Partner is to work with and coordinate all the 12 delivery Partners from Belfast in Northern Ireland to Santo Tirso in Portugal and some Associate Partners. To help partners to be able to achieve the many targets we have to offer Young People new opportunities in Technologies and Entrepreneurship outside of education, so that they can solve some of the challenges we face and lead worthwhile and fulfilling lives. We need to develop networked resources, build a sustainable legacy and spread the word – we have a lot to do!  

It’s not easy to do. Our AYCH partners are very different types of organisations, we speak different languages, we have different cultures, ideas and attitudes. Online conversations can be very challenging, travelling isn’t always possible or easy and we have a very tight deadline to meet. But we all believe that Young People are our future and that we need to think ahead and to behave responsibly and sustainably for the planet. These common values and concerns are what keep us together.

Why do you think that Aych is the best project that Interreg has in operation?

I am sure that there are many interesting and essential AA Interreg projects, some of which we can work with. But I think AA Interreg have noticed that AYCH aims to break new ground and has the potential to change the fortunes of Young People in the Atlantic Areas of France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, and to bring new products and services to market which solve our shared challenges. If a significant portion of Young People are not able to live independent and fulfilling lives than future generations will suffer too. Investing in Young People, tackling common global problems and working to share expertise and ideas are great reasons to believe that AYCH can be the best!

Thank you Oenone!

More than 200 young people attended AYCH Open Day at Fabrica de Santo Thyrso

0

Fabrica de Santo Thyrso hosted more than 200 students for the AYCH Open Day. Creativity and entrepreneurism were the keywords in this event, organized by the Municipality of Santo Tirso and framed within the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (AYCH) project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Program.

The Municipality of Santo Tirso is the Portuguese member of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project. This international partnership aims to develop the creative and entrepreneur potential of young people in the Atlantic area. The project is composed by 13 members, coming from Portugal, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

AYCH Open Day was the first official public event of the project taking place in Portugal, and the outcome could not be more positive. Young people showed great interest and commitment during the activities. Santo Tirso is known as the birthplace of the textile industry in Portugal, so one could guess that a program focused in the creative sector would arouse interest in the young people of the county. More than 150 people signed up for the activities and over 200 were present at the opening ceremony.

During this day, participants had the chance to participate in several workshops, in a wide range of areas, such as photography, fashion design, design thinking methodology or digital marketing. The most important universities in the region were also represented, and experts from each of them had the chance to discuss the future of the creative sector in a Round Table. Throughout the whole day, both participants and visitors had the chance to visit the Creative and Cultural Space, an interactive showcasing area, were one could check some of the best projects of the partnership stakeholders.

JOAO SOUSA in Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs

0

“João Sousa, student finalist from the Fashion Design course of the Porto School of Fashion and Design, one of the 4 young people, from the Municipality of Santo Tirso, that participated in the “Atlantic Brainstorming Creativity & Jobs”, in Lugo, 11st to 13th April 2018, is developing a Fashion Collection , entitled “Filhos do Lago”, for the next Summer Season 2019, with the support of the HUB “Fábrica de Santo Tirso”, which will be presented on the 18th October 2018, in the Bloom|Portugal Fashion. This participation in the national event results from the 1st place that obtained in February 2018 through the contest of New Creators PFN (Portuguese Fashion News). The theme of this collection run way to Thailand.”

As Joao you can have an opportunity, come to our event in Santo Tirso and enjoy a complete program in the AYCH OPEN DAY SANTO TIRSO.

Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs helps young people like their ideas come true in search of a future life project. It also connects young people from all over Europe through its transnational network to create synergies in a new educational model.