During 12-13 March 2021 young developers, youth participation enthusiasts and social innovators had the opportunity to contribute to the European youth sector in the framework of the “SOLVE THE GAP” – 48H EU Youth Digital Hackathon – a side Event to the EU Youth Conference in Portugal (part of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union).
At the end of 48 hours, 5 projects were selected among the finalists.
The winner of the competition, awarded with 10.000 euro, was The European Youth Energy Network – an emerging bottom-up, independent, inclusive, youth-led network of energy-focused youth organisations from across the European Union and beyond. They proposed the digital tool: the “European Policy Hub”, a One-Stop Shop to:
- Facilitate the understanding of the policy-making processes
- Discover the role of the European and national institutions
- Find volunteering and job opportunities
- Engage with youth organisations that are already active
The other finalists were: Point of Youth, ME&EU, spinVoter, Super Polis.
- Point of Youth is a tool meant to facilitate dialogue between young people and decision-makers through a series of interactive features.
- ME&EU was designed as an all-in-one platform to learn and engage in policy-making with the support of mini-games, user-friendly information, and other engagement features.
- spinVoter is a mobile application meant to encourage young people to vote and engage in public decision making. It proposes a nationwide non-partisan digital competition before every national election, where participants will be able to access the platform’s interactive features.
- Super Polis is a chatbot designed to support young people to participate in policy-making. It aims to connect young people, policy-makers and decision-makers by guiding them through the process of identifying solutions to societal problems.
The Hackathon was a great space to develop ideas and learn about the EU and youth engagement in policymaking by particularly aiming to:
- boost young people’s engagement at the local, regional, national and European levels;
- find new suitable approaches and solutions to solve the problems young people face in democracy and participation;
- develop innovative digital tools;
- showcase potential use-cases for those tools in solving one of the identified problems;
- produce a prototype or simulate the use of the digital tool.
SALTO Participation and Information team was happy to support the initiative and create synergies with its thematic priorities.