Innovation, Current Trends and Developments in Youth Work

Second edition, 2 – 5 November 2021, Portorož, Slovenia

The 2nd 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 here.

The 2nd edition builds on the experiences of the first EAYW event, but also intends to go a step further by putting a stronger emphasis on learning about the mechanisms that can spark, sustain and support innovation in youth work as a response to the challenges and changing realities faced by societies and young people in Europe. It also takes into account the outcomes of current research on innovation in youth work carried out by the EAYW.

The 2nd EAYW event will offer a space for knowledge-building through peer learning and exchange, and networking, in particular:

  • 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;
  • To showcase and mainstream innovative practices, approaches, concepts and strategies developed in response to these challenges and trends;
  • 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
  • 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.

Concretely, participants will be able to attend workshops 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. The learning from these workshops will be taken further in other discussion spaces and should contribute to learning as the youth work field about how innovation can be understood and what actions might be needed to further support it.

In order to allow for ample joint time for exchange, sharing, networking and learning from and with each other, the EAYW is envisaged as an international residential event.

Should it not be possible to hold the event in November 2021 as planned due to the state of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EAYW will be postponed to spring 2022.