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06 July 2021

SMART-Y: Youth Together for Green and Sustainable European Rural Territories

Smart Villages is a new policy concept in Europe. It has the potential to mobilise a wide range of international (SDGs) and EU policies (European Youth Strategy, Cohesion Policy, European Green Deal), from the regional policy to digitalisation, transport, energy and research, and bringing those together to take the hundreds of millions of people who live in rural areas into the modern age.

Taking this into account, as well as youth’s interests and needs, SMART-Y will enable youth from rural areas to reread their challenges in a green and sustainable perspective and will engage, connect and empower them to develop concrete initiatives to take part in the local civic life, also through sectoral policy co-programming around specific themes: decentralised green services, sustainable energy solutions, zero-emission digital societies, innovation for sustainable rural development

Project duration: May 2021 - May 2023

Consortium: Active Women Association (AWA), CIAPE, STEP, Asociación Amigos de Europa Leonardo da Vinci, United Societies of Balkans (U.S.B.), Volda University College (VUC), Innovative Education Centre, Cyprus Youth Council, Youthfullyyours, GEYC.

In the course of the project all the partners will organize:
  • Local Living Labs -  will place youth at the centre of their communities' transition towards the concept of the Smart village, identifying a number of specific thematic policy priorities that are relevant to them and respond to the "Green and Sustainable Europe" Youth Goal
  • EU Virtual Hackathonswill bring multi-nationality teams of young people from across Europe together as protagonists, participating in a virtual environment, collaborating for a single purpose: ut to work in creative ways to solve different challenges that the rural population face in terms of clean energy and sustainability, by presenting their improved ideas to policymakers that can take further action to gradually turn rural communities into “Smart Villages”.
  • Idea development & prototyping workshops - will take place physically in Poland, Greece and Austria. The workshops will make the winning ideas from the Hackathones more concrete, it will help sketch, in low-risk and low-resource ways, how a new policy might work, from the users’ perspective and according to the resources available within a specific context.
  • Sustainable policy labs - will present the results of Idea development & prototyping workshops, EU Virtual Hackathons, Local Living Labs and will create an opportunity for young people, youth workers and policy-makers to discuss and create recommendations. 

Project Meetings:
  • Kick-off Meeting online
  • 2nd Meeting in Slovenia
  • 3rd Meeting in Norway
  • 4th Meeting in Slovakia
  • 5th Meeting in Greece
  • Final conference in Brussels