It’s hard to believe, but we are actually nearing the end of the Cowork4YOUTH project. I hadn’t quite realised until I was asked to write this piece and started thinking back at the past couple of years – what a ride it has been!
My memories of this project go back to before it started – writing the proposal, setting up the consortium, anxiously awaiting the decision. And then studying the communication rules, following the seminars, setting up the communication plan.
I could get into details about communication strategies, the difficulties of disseminating scientific outputs, internal management etc. But what I’d rather mention are the invaluable experiences.
Part of the Fund for Youth Employment concept is transnational collaboration. Initially, it seems a hassle to embed it in all the various aspects of a project – it’s easier to have each partner handling their own task than to have partners from different countries constantly collaborating. But at the end of the day, the experience gained from this “difficult” way of work is invaluable.
Having to learn to collaborate with people from different countries, different corporate cultures, and occasionally different fields, amounts to great personal development. One must learn to coordinate, solve problems and misunderstandings and, most of all, to understand and empathise. And of course, when working with people in one’s own field, there is always great experience to be gained from the different ways of operating, various methods, and alternative points of view on matters of the trade.
The visits to the open events organised by the partners are instrumental from this point of view. Apart from the networking, they also offer a fantastic opportunity to see the way that one’s colleagues operate. How they organise the event, the infrastructure available, how they approach the media, how they reach out to the community.
These experiences are the ones that I consider my most valuable keepsakes from the Cowork4YOUTH project.
It’s almost two years since Cowork4YOUTH’s first article in the Magazine. Our project’s journey started with the article “Assessing the European Youth Guarantee” featured in Issue 16 – January 2022, that included news about the kick-off of the project, which took place in Athens in December 2021. And what an interesting “coincidence”: The forthcoming year 2022 had been announced as the European Year of Youth, with one of its aims being to “promote opportunities for young people to support their professional development” – a challenge for our project.
For the next issue, we decided to dive deep with a cover of the 25/2021 special report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA), where it was unveiled that measures for tackling unemployment needed further reinforcement, and that during the past 7 years (2014-2021) measures did have a relieving impact, but then the pandemic hit the world.
But the editors of the magazine asked us to write about our, the projects’ info-comm officers, story. About us.
So, my name is Zoopege (Zoe) Touvra and I have been a member of the Cowork4YOUTH communication team since its launch at the end of 2021.
Issue 18 was personally a special one, because I had the opportunity to write about my first-hand experience of Cowork4YOUTH’s Open Event that was held in Potenza, Italy. It was then that I had the chance to meet esteemed members from the Fund for Youth Employment and exchange thoughts and ideas for the forthcoming issues.
When I joined the Cowork4YOUTH communication team, I had no idea what was waiting for me in terms of work and collaborations. Being part of a project funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment was a new experience that very few of us in communication have the opportunity to live – and these are real words, not “PR stuff”.
What had kept me on the edge of my seat every time before each submissions’ deadline was the need, besides the themes given for every issue, to find a way to shed light to broader subjects that were of course relevant to our project’s core, but that would also provide a unique aspect on youth employment, tourism-dependent regions, regions that were going through decarbonisation and of course coworking spaces. Before each issue, the communication team of the Rhodes Project SCE would bring to the table thoughts and ideas that we would all discuss and decide on how to approach them. But, besides the RP team, the other Cowork4YOUTH partners would also contribute with their own submissions, which proves that the project was very well connected throughout the years of its implementation. How else could we decide and agree on common ideas, unless we all shared the same core beliefs and thoughts about the project, its implementation and its future?
So, to answer the question about what I gave and what I received from the Magazine…
I gave my thoughts and time to brainstorm and write the best possible articles that would represent a whole project, and I received precious experience through collaborations.
But what really gained is priceless and is described with one word: Friendships. As real as they can get.
Stay connected with us through our social media:
facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn: @Cowork4YOUTH, and visit our website https://www.cowork4youth.org/