Coffee with policy makers

GamifyEU month (May - June 2020)

The GamifyEU month was organised within the scope of the GamifyEU project, upon the implementation of Europe wide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative gathered the organisations gathered in the project – YEU International, DYPALL Network, Active Bulgarian Societies (ABS), LA Fenice and Sauga ANK – in order to organise an online activity inviting young people across Europe to acquire knowledge on the European Union, through gamified educational processes. “Kicking it off” was the first activity of the GamifyEU month.

During this activity there was a Kahoot, whose aim was to break the ice and set the tone of the goals and objectives of the GamifyEU month. Furthermore, various activities were done, such as “Quarantine Bingo”, KickOff Quiz” and “The Artist in (Y)EU”.

The second activity was called the “Online Living Library”. For this activity a meeting was organized with young people working or volunteering in EU institutions, platforms and organisations, in order to adapt the Human Library methodology into an online activity.

The “Online Living Library” consisted in inviting different guests who, like books, have particular and unique stories to share. In this case, among the guests there was

1) a police officer from Lifelong Learning Platform (Andrew Todd),

2) a board member of the European Youth Forum (Tina Hocevar),

3) a worker of the European Parliament (Marko Boko),

4) the secretary general of JEF(Milos Ristovski) and,

5) an online communications officer at the European Commission (Antonis Stylianov).

Among the diverse group of guests, the participants were allowed to choose the speaker they wished to have a more in depth conversation with about their job, their views on the EU and the issues and solutions faced by young people.

This activity was very successful, paving the way for a second edition, which was the last one of the GamifyEU month and had different guests.

The objectives of both editions were to

1) familiarize young people with other youngsters working in EU institutions;

2) learn from other people’s experiences what young people can do for the EU at local and european levels, the obstacles, how to get involved at EU level, the importance of being involved;

3) inspire and encourage young people to contribute to the future of EU; and

4) discover the living library (a powerful tool that can be used in other settings and/or for other topics).

The main purpose of these activities was to enable young people around Europe to learn more about the opportunities and benefits available in the EU. Therefore, another activity was based on having a conversation with young people who participated in European Programmes and the benefits of being part of the EU while being young, considering the programmes available and the process to follow in order to access them.

Another activity organized within the GamifyEU month was the “EU: Back to the Future”. This didactic activity focused mostly on EU history. During this activity, the participants were split into groups where they had to chronologically order dates and facts about the EU.

This allowed them to visually represent the EU timeline and understand the context and founding principles upon which it was built. Thus learning about the past to understand the present.

The biggest and most successful activity within the GamifyEU month was the Coffee with MEPs that was held at the beginning of the lockdown last April 2020.

During these events, young people had the opportunity to speak with three young MEPs – Brando Benifei from the S&D group, Evin Incir from the S&D group and Niklas Nienass from the Greens -, that presented their job and answered questions from the participants in the activity. The success of this activity is intimately related to the fact that all the MEPs that were present were young themselves, thus relating more to the participants.

Moreover, the guests how to address the young participants in a more youth-friendly manner, making them more at ease and motivating them to actively participate in the conversation.

“In most of the “Coffee With” activities that were organised, there was an average of 70 engaged participants, topping up at 90 participants in some of our events. The participation is just one aspect of the interaction of young people, another crucial aspect was their direct engagement with the guests at the event itself. That specific kind of interaction was the one that was aimed, the honest conversation, dialogue and exchange between young people from all across Europe and their representatives at the European level.”

Coffee with...