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Home / Events / Past events / YiE-OT Shrinking Spaces for Youth Work!? – Challenges for Post-Democratic Societies

YiE-OT Shrinking Spaces for Youth Work!? – Challenges for Post-Democratic Societies

For the third time on 11./12. November 2020 expert workshops in the series “YOUTH IN EUROPE: OFFENBURG TALKS” will take place. Then the discussions will focus on the future of civil society and youth work in the post-democratic era as key current political issues. Needless to say, the discussions and inputs will also include the latest developments around Covid-19 and its implications and consequences for youth work and young people.

The discussions will take place online on Wednesday, November 11th and Thursday, November 12th, 2020. As part of the event, eight technical contributions by European experts on various aspects of the topic will be offered.

We invite you to follow these expert contributions live on Facebook: The lecture language is English.

The livestream program (as PDF download ):

Wednesday November 11, 2020

09:20 am    
“The Space for Civil Society: Shrinking? Growing? Changing? “
What is the issue, what is civil society and its relationship to the state and to the market?
What are influential factors on civil society, what means demographic change and an increasing social inequality, what are the consequences for & expectations of civil society?
Siri Hummel, Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society

09:40 am
“Shrinking youth civic spaces”
Despite the centrality of youth organizations in promoting and safeguarding basic human rights & democracy for young people, the last few years have witnessed a narrowing of the civic space available to youth.
Tomaž Deželan, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

11:00 am
“What the Future Wants – a critical look at digital technologies designed for young people”
Looking at shrinking civil space from a digital perspective, in particular at the role of digital technologies which are often addictive, unhealthy or unsafe – & what we should be doing about it.
Daisy Kidd, Project Coordinator at Tactical Tech, Berlin, Germany

11:20 am
“Using narratives as data to investigate shrinking youth work practices and spaces”
“Shifting spaces” collects stories (narratives) on how shrinking space for civil society is affecting youth work and young people. Results and normative recommendations
Rareş Augustin Crăiuţ, European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC)

Thursday November 12, 2020  

09:10 am
“What does ‘politics’ mean for youth and youth work?”
Results and normative recommendations of the transnational Horizon 2020 research project “EURYKA: Reinventing democracy in Europe: Youth doing politics in times of increasing inequalities”.
Niccolò Milanese, European Alternatives

09:30 am
“Unlearning European Youth Work and disengaging the XXI century liberal democracy dystopia”
Possibilities for youth work to challenge and disengage the paradoxical and reproductive nature of liberal democracies.
Sérgio Xavier, Trainer · Facilitator · Policy Advisor · Researcher

11:00 am
“An empty bottle? Youth work in Italy, between old challenges and new spaces ”
The re-emergence of youth work at institutional level and of the“ crisis ”are (silently) converging, while producing a process that seems producing a (maybe nice, but) empty bottle .
Maurizio Merico, University of Salerno

11:20 am
“Which space for political commitment within youth work in France?”
In France, youth work (animation) has an ambiguous and difficult relationship to politics why today, youth work may not be skrinking, but some of its principles and values ​​might be at stake.
Laurent Besse / Jérôme Camus, University of Tours


The OFFENBURG TALKS touch upon the general social conditions that are relevant to the youth sector and have an impact on youth policy, youth work practice and the lives of young people in general. They are organized annually by a steering group representing five Erasmus + YOUTH IN ACTION national agencies. Around 30 researchers, policymakers and practitioners invited for their expertise on the topic at hand will discuss controversial issues, explore new areas and phenomena, and draw conclusions from the perspective of the youth field.

You can find more about the event series “YOUTH IN EUROPE: OFFENBURGER TALK” at and on the YouTube channel