31 May – 3 June 2022, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Apply to participate online HERE until 20th May!

The 2nd residential EAYW event follows the successful 1st pilot edition, which was organised in May 2019 in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, and brought together around 170 professionals from youth work practice, research and policy, including institutions supporting youth work at different levels. Following a call for proposals, 36 innovative practices in and related to youth work were presented and discussed in relation to current trends and developments identified by the participants. More information and the final report of the 1st EAYW event are available at www.eayw.net.

The 2nd edition builds on the experiences of the first EAYW event, but goes a step further by putting emphasis on learning about the mechanisms that can spark, sustain and support innovation in youth work as a response to the challenges and fast-changing realities faced by societies and young people in Europe today. It takes into account the outcomes of the recent Study on Innovation in Youth Work undertaken by the EAYW and the series of webinars on the topic of “Learning in times of disruption and change” carried out between November 2021 and April 2022.


The 2nd EAYW event will bring together around 150 professionals from the European youth work community of practice for knowledge-building through peer learning and exchange, and networking, in particular:

TRENDS: To jointly explore what are the main challenges and trends in and of relevance for youth work that are calling for and leading to new, innovative and creative approaches and developments;

RESPONSES: To showcase and mainstream innovative practices, approaches and strategies developed in response to these challenges and trends;

INNOVATION: To find out more about how innovation evolves in youth work, and which conditions are needed by young people, youth workers, organisations working with young people and other relevant stakeholders to spark and sustain innovative and impactful approaches, practices or strategies and

FUTURE SUPPORT: To produce outcomes of the reflections and discussions during the event, which will help to build knowledge as a field and support further developments related to innovation in youth work.

The EAYW aims to be inclusive and participatory in its approach and to give a voice to contributions representing the diverse levels, environments and stakeholders in youth work. Furthermore, it promotes cross-sectorial and multi-perspective approaches involving youth work practice, research, and policy, which have proven vital to successfully address identified developments or challenges. Reflection based on different perspectives should help to identify responses to trends that could be taken up by different roles.


During the 3-day programme, participants will be able to attend Practice & Reflection Forums of their choice where they will have the opportunity to explore the development (looking at the process behind the product) of innovative examples of practice from different fields and contexts of youth work, research and policy and addressing a variety of themes and target groups. Key notes, debates and inspirational inputs will offer further sparks for reflection.

At the end of each day, participants can reflect in smaller groups (“Learning tribes”) on what they experienced during the day and what they are learning about how innovation in youth work can be understood and what actions might be needed to further support it.

Finally, participants will get a glimpse of what innovation is all about, so there will be informal spaces for sharing, experimenting and seeing things from a different perspective…

Content-wise, we will be looking at innovation from different angles, highlighting those aspects that have been found to be essential to support innovative thinking and developments:  

  • the central role of young people as contributors and target groups of innovation,
  • how to support a “culture of innovation”, i.e. the ‘cultural factors’ and conditions within an organisation that foster innovative thinking and the development of innovative youth work practices,
  • the way youth work connects with larger trends and is supported by the wider environment, which plays an important role in fostering or hindering innovations,
  • last but not least, digitalization and the potential consequences of this development on the core of youth work, its principles and values.

Draft programme overview

Profile of participants

The EAYW targets experienced youth workers, paid and/or volunteers, and representatives of NGOs, as well as professionals in areas with relevance for the youth sector, such as: representatives of youth work policies and public services, National Agencies and other youth work structures, trainers and educators in the field of youth work (education) and other professionals from related fields of science and research.

Pilot initiative: Be part of the European Academy on Youth Work 2022!

The 2nd edition of the European Academy on Youth Work offers groups students in youth work or related fields to join the Academy.

While the on-site conference is primarily aimed at professionals in youth work, groups of students from identified universities in different European countries (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland) will be able to attend selected sessions digitally and thus gain insight into topics and developments in European youth work and get to know actors in the field. The programme includes participation in the plenary session on the topic of “digital youth work – is the core in danger?” and a subsequent reflection&practice seminar for students on 2nd June 2022.

Insights gained from reflections and discussions during the 2nd edition of the EAYW will be coordinated and channeled into outcomes in a way to further support innovative approaches in youth work.

Originally planned for November 2021, the event has been postponed to 31.5. – 3.6.2022 due to the ongoing risks and uncertainties linked to the pandemic.