Conference: Speak UP, Step UP!

Deadline: 27 August 2017
Open to: 100 participants from all over Europe
Venue: 16-18 October 2017  Berlin, Germany


Over the last decade Europe has experienced unprecedented political challenges: an economic and financial crisis that has disproportionately negatively impacted on Europe’s young people, the threat of violent extremism, terrorist attacks, growing intolerance, racism and xenophobia, the proliferation of on- and offline hate speech, and backtracking on democratic values. Whether as victims, perpetrators, bystanders or activists, young people all over Europe are concerned about, but also directly affected by, these phenomena. Politicians, researchers and educators all over Europe are asking questions about why and how young Europeans are becoming radicalized and engaging in violent extremism, why the majority of millenials claim to be interested in politics and socially engaged, but do not go to vote and why in some parts of Europe populists are more convincing to youth than mainstream parties.

Objectives of the conference:

  • To explore, document and celebrate the diversity of practices of political education and critical pedagogy that can be found in the Erasmus+ Youth in Action programme, and which provide young people with the opportunity to work on values (e.g. freedom, tolerance and anti-discrimination) and on social/political change-making;
  • To gather evidence for how youth work practice in the programme is responding to the political and social challenges of European societies that young people themselves consider important;
  • To problematize and debate the challenges and dilemmas that arise in implementing the value-oriented objectives of the programme and in the practice of value-based European and international youth work;
  • To consider the relevance of the history of the European youth programmes and of the educational traditions out of which they developed for the future practice of international youth work, critical pedagogy and intercultural political education in Erasmus+ Youth in Action;
  • To identify gaps that could be filled, measures to meet needs, opportunities for cooperation and recommendations for future action, that could support and further effective engagement of Erasmus+ Youth in Action with the political and social challenges of European societies;
  • To link the different policy and practice processes where these issues are being addressed, debated, developed and decided upon so as to ensure effective integration of initiatives concerned with similar aims.


The conference will welcome up to 100 participants from all over Europe. This conference is for you, if you correspond to one or more of the following profiles:

  • You are currently implementing or have previously implemented Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects (any action) that seek to address contemporary political and social challenges with young people;
  • You work directly with young people in projects or manage projects through which you have extensive contact with young people;
  • You (have) actively use(d) different non-formal education approaches (for example, critical pedagogy, education for democratic citizenship, European citizenship education, human rights education, political or intercultural education) or youth work approaches (open youth work, participatory / youth led youth work, etc.) in your Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects;
  • You are using (or have used) Erasmus+ Youth in Action projects to develop young people’s active citizenship, political literacy and social action;
  • You are managing an organization, association, institution or network that is actively promoting values underpinning young people’s active citizenship using political or value based education in the European youth field;
  • You are responsible for the development and implementation of policy frameworks that support civic and political education (for example: youth policy, research, recognition of non- and informal education and youth work, quality standards in the training of professionals delivering educational programmes, National Agencies etc.).

All participants should be in a position to share their specific experiences of working with and on the development of international youth work, using Erasmus+/Youth in Action and / or other European youth programmes. Participants should be working in positions of responsibility in their organizations. However, they may be professionals, volunteers, employees or representatives of their organizations.


This project is financed by the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme. Being selected for this course, all costs (accommodation, travel, visa, etc.) relevant to participation in the course will be covered by the NAs or SALTO involved in this project – except a participation fee which varies from call to call and country to country. Please contact your Erasmus+: Youth in Action NA to learn more about the financial details, and how to arrange the booking of your travel tickets and the reimbursement of your travel expenses. If you come from the Western Balkans please contact SALTO SEE under to learn about further information about the financial details.

How to Apply?

In order to apply please fill in the application form.

For more information please visit the official website.

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