19 Dec 2023

Empowering Youth and Development through European Dialogue: a dedicated event in Mugello

On Friday, December 15, the enchanting town of Borgo San Lorenzo in Mugello hosted a transformative event titled “Stay. Change. Empower Youth Leadership in Non-Urban Areas through European Dialogue.” The engaging discourse revolved around the theme of constructing promising futures for the youth opting to reside in non-urban locales.

The esteemed panel of speakers comprised Giulia Valeria Sonzogno, a Ph.D. candidate at the Gran Sasso Science Institute; Alessandra Zagli from LAMA Social Enterprise; Stefano Malevolti, the astute Coordinator of the PlaceOut! Project; Chiara Manfriani and Andrea Barzagli from the Foglia Tonda association; and Serena Landi, the President of the Beecom Association.

Sonzogno shared compelling data, drawing insights from the “Officina Giovani Aree Interne” project. This groundbreaking initiative involved collaboration among young activists, researchers, and individuals from Italy’s inner areas. The project resulted in 15 proposals, all of which underscored the imperative of youth involvement in shaping the future. The overarching objective is to champion participation, acknowledge professional roles, and provide comprehensive training on participatory processes.

Adding depth to the discussion, Zagli shared examples, while Malevolti provided valuable insights into the “PlaceOut” Project. An exciting revelation unfolded as two upcoming training courses in Mugello is set to begin soon. The first course targets institutions, while the second is tailored for youth organisations. Notably, these courses will concurrently run in Greece, Spain, and Bulgaria, forming an integral part of the overarching project.

The event served as a dynamic platform with actionable strategies. It not only shed light on the challenges faced by young individuals in non-urban areas but also presented concrete steps to empower them, fostering a sense of purpose and engagement. As the insights and initiatives continue to ripple across borders, the “Stay. Change. Empower” event stands as a testament to the collective commitment towards nurturing vibrant and sustainable futures for youth in non-urban landscapes.

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