Best of My Generation at Work

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My Generation at Work final event

THE BEST OF MY GENERATION at WORK rotterdam 4 MARCH 2015 Why My Generation at Work? Watch this 3 minute video

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FROM BRIDGING THE GAP TO FLYING IDEAS DEAR GUESTS, Thank you for your participation in the My Generation at Work final event in Station Hofplein Rotterdam. Did you have fun as we all were drawn into the drama ‘Play it forward’ played by Powerboat… and did you take part in meaningful exchanges in the learning cafe afterwards? As a temporary renewal network of professionals, policymakers and youngsters from 12 European cities we hope so! Let us know via twitter (@MyGenW) or facebook (MyGeneration@ Work) if our understanding on how to bridge the growing gap between school and jobs helped you. As professionals we will continue to challenge ourselves to step out of our project management and policy making mode to get into a more creative mode to try out new ideas and make them fly! Please find in this Digital Memory Aid pictures, quotes, stories and references to our meeting and please… GO FOR IT! Liz Andy Niina Mika Tjaša Martina Rieke Cleo Rudy Dionne Bob Taru Pepik Andrea Peter Ene Fabrizio Mauro Victoria Sylwia Mateusz Joanna Monika Dorota Elionor Maria Jonathan Oreto Maria Victoria Parthenopi Anotidis Peri Kamaris Zoi Belidis MarieLouise Laura Christine Hassan Filip Ruta Dina Dmitrijs Lasma Ruta João Tiago Eva Carlos Blair Leona Anthony Damian Magdalena Magdalena Wojciech Tessa Eddy Simina Marieli Simone Matteo Carmen Murat Daan Peter Arjan Laura Sofie Magali Danique Rob Adri Lilian Tamara Jared Chandro Ola Sylvia Ali Ricardo Bart Peter Gene Leo Jarle Kris Sabine Marika Martin Arne Jay Therese Özde Kudret Krishen Rowena Kiki Noy Marieke Ellian Pieter Tjalling Denis Tomasz Ari Sami Pranita Wouter Denise

“Coming up with an idea and holding on to it, that’s the most exciting part of being an entrepeneur.”


My Generation at Work in a nutshell “LOOK AT THE FUTURE WITH OPTIMISM AS YOU WILL SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE THERE.” The main objective of the My Generaton at Work project has been to promote the employability of young people in a changing labour market, with special focus on enterprising skills and attitudes. Today’s news is filled with messages of crisis and change in the global markets and the world of work. It is a confusing, precarious and scary world for the young generation thinking about careers, skills and jobs. Europe is aging; postwar generations are being pensioned, but the emerging opportunities and the new world of work is not the same as it was for them. Finding and sustaining a job is profoundly different today and tomorrow, and young people are exposed to sudden changes, precarious employment and careers, and a need for continual re-adaption. At the same time the changes open up new possibilities, challenge old ways of building skills, finding employment and creating jobs. Finding employment is no longer just a linear process of basic education –vocational education –looking for a ready job –being employed (and staying that way). Finding jobs and carving out a career today and tomorrow calls for enterprising attitudes and skills. The situation calls for new solutions and better multistakeholder cooperation –especially with the young people themselves. In October 2012 the My Generation at Work network met for the first time to explore new possibilities to bridge the gap between schools and jobs in Antwerp Belgium, Riga Latvia, Glasgow United Kingdom, Gdańsk Poland, Warsaw Poland, Tampere Finland, Valencia Spain, Braga Portugal, Maribor Slovenia, Turin Italy, Thessaloniki Greece. Two and a half years, five international partner meetings and three in-depth workshops later we are concluding our journey with a clear strategy to act and try out new ideas.

video resources Do you have a co-creation space in your city where young people, businesses and coaches get together and share their knowledge? Watch the 3 minute video My Generation at Work | Spaces including the toolbox as an example in Turin. Can young people follow programs in your city to develop new enterprising skills? Watch the 2 minute video My Generation at Work | Enterprising skills The film includes Proacademia and Bad idea. Who are the new brokers in your city? Watch the 3 minute video My Generation at Work | Brokers.


INTERMEZZO: THE FACTORY OF GREAT IDEAS Thank you all for being good sports and participating in the interactive play led by Powerboat. Most of us sympathized with the happy but vulnerable WORKER. Some of us laughed at, (maybe identified) with the rigorous and eagerly controlling MANAGER? And we all dozed off slightly listening to the endless inspirational words and words of the FOUNDER… We all happily created new ideas for the factory in our own FOUNDER, WORKER and MANAGER way… until things went out of hand! Who created the chaos? Who went out of control? Who should be hung? The WORKER? The FOUNDER? The MANAGER? … Or one of US? Well participants you were not going to let this happen! That is where the story ended! Watch the video here!

POWER BOAT Hi, I’m Bas and my theatre group is called Power boat. The reason we started making theatre plays is that we thought the relationship between theatre makers and audiences was really strange. My girlfriend was standing on the stage showing all kinds of emotions, but she could not see the audience and their response to her. It was non efficient to work in this way. The fourth wall should be broken down, let’s try to get everybody involved in the factory of great ideas.



“Connecting stakeholders, involving people, does this sound familiar? In our project building bridges and connecting is our main focus. It helps us to think how things needs to be done.” – Bob

My name is Jouke, I’m an architect. The final conference of My Generation at Work is held in an area in development. This venue is located in an old train station which has been out of service for the last 3 years. Until 5 years ago this was an abandoned place. Now there are plans for developing 200 meter high skyscrapers, however there is no money and there are a lot of vacancies of m2 office space in this area. As architects we thought it would be a pity to demolish a perfect building and therefore we proposed place making. Place making is a different way of thinking, more smallscale, bottom up development with citizens and building on top of what is already there. Placemaking still requires a vision for the area, how to use the public space and how to connect places. Here the Luchtsingel came in, a temporary bridge, that directly connects the Central railway station to the Hofbogen. As we didn’t have money, we used crowdfunding to make the bridge. Everybody could buy a plank for only 25 euros. We made the bridge in different phases, so people could see from the beginning that something is happening. The bridge generates awareness,

commitment and coherence. A lot of people come to the office to see their own plank and come to tell stories about their grandfather who lived in this area. Next time you visit Rotterdam, have a look at the Luchtsingel and try to find the My Generation at Work plank.


INTERMEZZO: EDDY FROM URBACT URBACT My Generation at Work is one of the 52 networks running the last years in the URBACT II program. The most influential project was My Generation at Work because you had a focus not just on what people do, but why they do it. There was involvement of stakeholders and youngsters were at the centre. The project showed URBACT new ways of doing things by improvising, making mistakes, taking risks and learn.


PART i BEST OF MY GENERATON AT WORK We invited you to look ‘under the bonnet’ of My Generation at Work. In a learning cafe setting we shared what we consider to be the best of My Generation at Work. When looking back we asked ourselves: what triggered us the most? Which tools, concepts, frameworks etc. helped us the most to act and explore new ways to bridge the gap between schools and jobs? On the following pages, you will find a short description of the 11 best practices that we selected, along with some testimonials and contact information of your table host in case you want to know more.


best practice: INNOVATION SPIRAL The spiral is a visualization of the steps you can take from an idea to a systemic change. “We talked about the usefulness of Unusual suspects, the importance of learning by doing via GFI's and how to use ambassadors to make pilots sustainable. For some of us who tended to jump from idea to action, the step to gather new ideas and evidence was very useful. Others especially liked the GFI's, since they worked in environment that normally didn't dare to take risks. Finally we all plotted on the spiral the project we were working on and explained what would be our next step.” For more information contact or read this pdf.

“The innovation spiral teaches you to take steps in between. No big steps, you have Go For Its and then you can scale it up. This is how it works!”


best practice: BAD IDEA (there is no such thing) Ideas create opportunities. We help people develop their ideas to realise their ambitions. We harness creativity through our training, competitions and digital community. “The main points of discussion included the history of Bad Idea through to the success of the project over the last 3 years. We talked about the challenges young people face in society today, especially those who are disadvantaged, and how many stakeholders responsible for supporting youths don't understand these challenges. We explored ideas for collaborative working between Bad Idea and local projects in cities like Rotterdam, Gdansk, and Valencia.� For more information watch this video, read the story behind Bad Idea, or contact Anthony Gerrard of Bad Idea at


best practice: Go Hybrid Dude “This concept changed my life! “ “To me hybrid means: Risk taking, flexibility, versatile, adopting your life to a new situation with creativity, changing mindsets during all your life! Schools and Universities need to change to offer new hybrid skills to youngsters to get them to real working life! Schools need to teach soft competences, discovering everyone’s talent.” Victoria Gomez, City of Valencia Example of Hybridising from working life Imaging a transporter, who works as a driver for a furniture store. Traditionally (s)he would be trained as a driver, and would transport the furniture and (s)he would be a salaried worker. But then things start happening. Furniture is no longer sold as whole, but to be assembled. The company gets a business idea: why not sell also the service of assembling (perhaps of customers ending up with a pile of unassembled ‘ikea stuff’, and complaining...). Now this service can be provided by the driver, ‘hybridising’ to be an assembler too, with new skills. And this can happen by also hybridising the work contract form: (s)he can become a subcontractor of his/her original company, or set up, perhaps after some experience, his/her own company. This could further hybridise into providing services in, say, assembling home appliances, electronics, etc., and further into a network of other providers, where different skills and services are combined. This example is part of the report “promoting enterprising relations to work – the discovery journey from My Generation to the present stage of My Generation at Work – and beyond.” Written by Robert Arnkil and Timor Spangar, February 2014.

“HybridiSation means ‘new combinations’ of our working life relationships, which can take place or appear in different forms or instances, take a hybrid car, using both petrol and electricity as a technical example.”


best practice: GO FOR IT! THE ‘GO FOR IT’ APPROACH ENABLES US TO INVOLVE NEW PEOPLE. “The Go For It approach is a tool which gives the opportunity to experiment and find new solutions to issues/blockages and find out what works or equally what does not. It is focused on real action not talking and writing about something and doing nothing. Go For Its give you the freedom to try something new – so just Go For it!” Liz Macquire, city of Glasgow,

“For me the main challenge is planning. GFI’s make it practical, make you think faster. 3 years to do something instead of 3 years of planning!” go for its GFI’s are dynamic experiments realising the priorities of the city (like for instance engaging with forerunners in education and business to create a better enterprising curriculum). Cities can launch several experiments, but the purpose is to have a manageable number, so good learning is possible. During the My Generation at Work program we have been experimenting with over 40 Go for Its! You can find descriptions of our GFI’s on the URBACT website in the library (search by name of the city and GFI).

“I really adopted it. It is a good way to explore innovation.” “experiments are too formal. GFI’s make you really go!”


best practice: the radar The Radar is a tool which is based on a study for employment services in Finland. The Radar is meant to increase awareness on personal situation information and generate statistical information in job counselor and client interaction. Dionne Abdoelhafiezkhan dionne@izi-solutions. com is using the radar in her practice.

“I use it with teachers to see if they agree with me that schools should deliver this.”

“I talk a lot with unemployed people, I took the radar in conversation with these persons. It helps me a lot to give direction to the conversation.”


best practice: good future workshop a future workshop is a good way to start a project. The idea is that you start by thinking up your dream future. What does the good future look like? The next step is to define the steps or actions needed to get to this good future. This is a good way to start a project because not problems but ambitions are key to the set up of the project. It is also a great way to generate a lot of positive energy at the beginning of your project! Robert Arnkil Please find two digital memory aids of the good future workshop in Antwerpen and in Rotterdam: Digital Memory Aid Rotterdam Digital Memory Aid Antwerp


best practice: pro academy we all want the proacademy! Studies at Proacademy begin by forming a team company, a cooperation, which consists of 15-20 students. ‘The greatest part is that we can make mistakes...’ Studies include team meetings, group workshops and projects, which usually concentrate on marketing, communication, sales, event organizing, graphical design, project management, innovation and utilization of computing skills – only imagination is the limit. Learn more about Proacademy: Video: Tampere University of Applied Sciences: Proacademy: Interested in implementing this learning model in your city/country? We are willing to help you in starting the process. More information:

“Why wasn’t this available when I went to college?!” “It’s a daring way that is so inspiring! Let’s have this in the netherlands in the next two years.”


best practice: Gdansk Local Action Plan Not only students need to be inspired, teachers do, too. That this is so was proven in the Creative Pedagogy initiative of Gdansk, where teachers started –on voluntary basis - learning innovative pedagogical methods in order to work on how to be more stimulating and make young people work and learn otherwise than just through discipline and obligation. What started as a small experiment surprisingly snowballed to include 500 teachers – who were themselves inspired. Read more about Gdansk Local Action Plan in the brochure, or read the story of Piotr Wolkowinski about his experience in Gdansk.

example: the lego method When was the last time you learned something? Was it by a lecture or by doing? The Lego method can be used to allow youngsters to think in an abstract way. It is a creative method to learn. Watch this movie to learn more...

“What started as a small experiment surprisingly snowballed to include 500 teachers...”


best practice: Pancake Method the pancake method: to come together knowing that part of the ingredients needed for succes are missing - and TO USE THIS AS PART OF THE SOLUTION! “The core of the pancake method is to come and meet people with something that is half done, and things are missing - so that they can come and help and join the action on their own terms. Pancake method is surprisingly easy. It’s fun to use and you can use it with anyone anywhere. It is not as much a ´method´ as it is a way of thinking and involving people. Most important thing isn’t what your pancake is - but the fact that you are using it! It’s so much better to talk to people whilst doing something - rather then being formal. We encouraged people to really challenge their own cities in new ways of engaging.” Taru Arnkil Youth street work in Finland Problem: How to reach the hard-ˇto-ˇreach young people? Example: Rotterdam “home in the streets”, where youth workers go into the neighborhoods.

Method: Going to places where people live and meet preparing food in a park/ streetcorner, but missing parts and food ingredients. So people - children, youngsters, families -start supplying the missing ingredients. Building trust step-bystep.

Result: In a subtle way, young people are “pulled in” and contacts are established.

“I can invent my own pancake? That is so cool!”


best practice: Social Impact Bonds a new way of investing in social projects “In the spirit of the My Generation project, knowledge was spread during the final event in Rotterdam. Invited by collegues from Braga, I was asked to discuss the topic of Social Impact Bonds (SIB). Rotterdam being the first continental city to launch a SIB, we started with explaining the principle. The participants at the table asked a lot of questions and came up with some really interesting suggestions. Despite international differences in law and regulations between various countries and cities, new ideas came to light and new connections were made. An interesting afternoon!” Tjalling de Vries, city of Rotterdam, For more information, read our newsletter about private investment in young people

why social impact bonds? 1. “young entrepreneurs play a key role in developing social innovation, due to their market orientation’ 2. “financing social innovation can no longer be exclusively governmentally based” 3. “In every innovative step we should consider alternative ways of financing, like a Social Impact Bond”

Social impact bonds: a new way of investing in social projects. The Buzinezzclub trains youngsters who are willing to step out of unemployment and support them. Buzinezzclub youngsters leave unemployment 6-7 months quicker than comparable youngsters. The Buziness club is financed by social impact bonds. Social impact bonds are a new way of investing: the enterprise doesn’t get money at the start or half way through the project. Money is only paid when results have been reached. The results are determined by an objective assessor.


best practice: Torino Capital of Social Innovation an eco-system approach to social innovation

“it is important to make a connection between public and private stakeholders.”

“Social innovation business is a big challenge, not easy. To face this challenge it is important to change the way we think about it in our policies. It is not enough to give money to youngsters and then ask them to solve problems. We need an ecosystem approach. We share the risk with you, we ask you to solve the social problem, we help you. We have made the first step of the long way. What is the ambition, it is important to make a connection between public and private stakeholders.” Fabrizio Barbiero, Fabrizio.barbiero@comune. More information: watch the city movie of Turin, or read the Local Action Plan summary.

“we need to change the way we think about social innovation; we need an eco-system approach.” why torino social innovation? “Torino Social Innovation is a set of strategies and instruments to support new young enterprises that are able to address social needs in different fields (such as education, employment, mobility, health, inclusion). TSI works as an open platform, a multistakeholders system, with different competences in research, entrepreneurship, policies for young people. It involves the Municipality and other 34 organizations, with the aim of creating an open an ecosystem of actors and stimulating synergies among them.”


PART iI LOCAL ACTION PLANS Based on our journey every city team developed its own local action plan to challenge the current way of thinking, organizing and acting. In this section you will find the pitch the cities started off with in 2012, the ambitions for the future and a link to their local action plan summary and brochure.




We want to discover how to increase employability for youngsters. They will stay if there is a better match between demand and supply. We believe in young talents, networks of frontrunners (‌) We want to be the kitchen. We do not want to cook meals for projects. We want to discover what people want to cook and provide the right infrastructure.

My Generation at Work Riga is about spaces and connections: we want a joined strategy based on better understanding of young people. How do we provide spaces for enterprising young people? We start with internships within the municipal companies.

Ambition: We have a new role as government, we don’t make the city, we should facilitate projects. We collected our best GFI practices and want to pass them through to the future. resources: summary brochure video

ANTWERP Youth employment is a big problem. Antwerp Port has a lot of vacancies but has a negative image amongst youngsters. By appointing ambassadors, we aim to raise the interest of youngsters for work in the harbour.

Ambition: Every engine, needs a start engine. My Generation was an engine for different actions and plans. The ambition is to keep listening to young people. resources: summary brochure video

Ambition: We want to change youth policy on state level to have impact on city level. resources: summary brochure video




We have 95.000 young people, 15 % of our population, 23 % of our working population. We have 3 universities. Youth employment is high priority for the city council. Despite all good infrastructure, we are not good in involving the young people in the design. We hope MG@W will bring this.

We call it the “Work on work” program. Our priorities: - establish the network, improve information system on education possibilities, use partners in the business sector to find new partners in the business sector, job advising services in primary and secondary schooling.

Ambition: We want to get the Bad Idea national in Schotland in 2016. Resources: Summary Brochure


Ambition: We like the experience to share ideas and we FLAME theory: We may have a kitchen but what want to gather more people in our local support group. we really need for cooking is fire: energy! We have nice initiatives, but they only touch a small Resources: part of the young population. Multiplication Summary is important! Vocational counselors- how Brochure do we make them into “energizers” of Video entrepreneurship? We need to have a culture of failure as a basis for innovative development! Ambition: Making policies and plans, yes, but how to really involve youngsters in making changes? We think about a youth initiative fund so that youngsters can initiate and vote for different projects. Resources: Summary Brochure Video




I will not talk about what we have done so far but what we are going to do. Our spaceship is called Tenterprise. We are building connections between entrepreneurs and young people just like everywhere. We would like our efforts to become a permanent service of our city.

We have two main priorities: youth integration and supporting enterprises to generate employment. We start with: VYP- Valencian Young Project = Very important persons. In MGatWork we want to give young people a say in the local policies; connect with other organizations especially businesses and adapt our programs to the needs of the companies and young people.

Ambition: We are going to have new space and new experiments for young unemployed. We are really open for new experiments. Resources: Summary Brochure Video

Ambition: The most important thing is to involve the private companies. Connecting everyone, supporting entrepreneurs. Resources: Summary Brochure Video

BRAGA We are the current European Youth Capital. We started with a call for ideas: young people could pitch to show their talent. We made trainings for youngsters and entrepreneurship, selected people from previous activities and asked them to work together. Facing unemployment, we gave young people gloves to fight for a job. We are trying to connect the dots. To think across the world and discuss unemployment with young people everywhere. To make empowerment, solutions, entrepreneurship‌ Our results: 27 new ideas, 57 new jobs‌ Ambition: My Generation at Work was a learning process. Now the entrepreneurs are raising money. The ambition is to open a new phase. Resources: summary Brochure Video





We will be European Youth Capital (EYC) in 2013. The main aim of Maribor is to connect all the stakeholders. WE have a bad system. It is very difficult for students to find a place to do traineeships- there are very few places. If any city has advice on how to do that let us know!

Our aim is to promote the positive potential of our younger generation. We want to develop a project in the field to promote the youngster entrepreneurship in the field of social innovation, a field in which we still lack competence. Our hope is to transform this experiment into a permanent service.

Our main problem is employment- we want to have a network in the city because now initiatives are isolated. We have over 100.000 students. Our city was called the city of frappe coffee - a sleeping city. Three years ago a new mayor with new ideas opened a new department of youth and volunteers. We applied to become 2014 EYC and succeeded. Since then a new spirit has come to the city - young people are taking over. We want to take over good experiences from other cities for the EYC year.

Ambition: One of the ways we want to keep the Local Action Plan active is by putting it in the young policy plan of the city. Resources: Summary Brochure Video

Ambition: Social innovation business is a big challenge and it is important to make a partnership between public and private stakeholders. Resources: Summary Brochure Video

Ambition: We have a local support group with many youngsters and they decided on the priorities in the LAP. Our first step is to establish a consultancy unit. Resources: Summary Brochure Video


list of PARTicipants Antwerp

Experts Bob Arnkil Taru Arnkil Pepik Henneman Peter Wolkowinski Dionne Abdoelhafiezkhan Andrea Moreira Santos

URBACT Simina Lazar Eddy Adams Ola Kasneci

Riga Ruta Klimkane Ruta Masalska Dina Viksna Lasma Vilcina Dmitrijs Zverevs


Rotterdam Cleo Pouw Marie Louise de Bot Marike Dijksterhuis Laura van Dongen Carmen Hogenelst Rieke Koskamp Rudy Mackay Tessa Steenks

El Hassan Aouraghe Filip Balthau (Marie) Christine Dorny

Andy Cameron Marieli Cole Liz Maguire Anthony Gerrard Leona Seaton Blair Stevenson


Gdansk Damian Kuzminski Magdalena Skiba Wojciech Sowiński Magdalena Tyszer


Warsaw Joanna Kazanecka Dorota Popowska Sylwia Romanowska Monika Sokołowska Mateusz Zaleski

Braga João Correia Carlos Santos Eva Sousa


Tampere Ene Härkönen Niina Immonen Mika Itänen

Oreto Argente Tormo Jonathan Bellés García Elionor Ferrer Rubio Maria Victoria García Hernández Victoria Gómez Galdón Maria Martínez Valls

Tjaša Pahor Martina Rauter

Turin Fabrizio Barbiero Matteo Basei Mauro Capella Simone Landi


Thessaloniki Zoi Chatziantoniou Peri Kourakli Parthenopi (Popi) Sourmaidou Anotidis Gavrill Athanasios Kamaris Athanasios Belidis

Guests Daan van Baar Denise Barrett Wouter Buck Arjan Cok Sofie Coppers Magali Decloedt Danique Dellevoet Rob Gringhuis Adri Hartkoorn Ari Hautaniemi Lilian van Heckers Sylvia Kester Ali Khan Ricardo Kind Bart Kuijpers Peter Lems Gene Lim Jarle Lourens

Kris Luijsterburg Sabine Maertens Sami Makkula Martin Miles Jay Moti Pranita Murli Therese Nleng Kudret Ozturk Rowena Rovers Kiki Rozeman Ellian van Strien Tjalling de Vries Denis Wiering Bowie Barbiers Jolien van Delft Iris Veentjer Nathalie Cijntje


digital memory aid enclosure WARNING The Digital Memory Aid is a storage place for newborn ideas and concepts. During a good brainstorm or envisioning session, participants see new connections and come up with new ideas. They can see these ideas in front of them. New ideas are very volatile, it’s hard to capture them or transfer to people who were not present during the brainstorm session. A week later, the ideas often have faded out of our memory. We recall a vague notion of a good feeling and positive energy but we cannot easily reproduce what we had in mind. The Digital Memory Aid contains everything that can help remember and capture the energy of what happened in the brainstorm: sketches, impressions, opinions, quotes and ideals. The Digital Memory Aid is a place where concepts and images are structured further and made communicable. In the Digital Memory Aid all ideas are good. The ideas that generate most energy should be explored further. houdt van transformatie