DOIT Conference 2020: Being A Young Social Innovator

On the 19th and 20th of March, facilitators, entrepreneurs, innovators and makers from all over Europe will gather at the international conference „Making Social Innovators“ in Salzburg. It is the final conference of the European project DOIT (www.doit-europe.net, co-financed by EU-H2020-770063), under the patronage of the Austrian UNESCO Commission, where the community will share their thoughts, experiences and results about (social) innovation and entrepreneurship education and its impact.

For two days, participants will discuss how children and young people from 6 to 16 can develop social, ecological and entrepreneurial innovation skills to shape their future in makerspace settings. „It is becoming increasingly important for people to develop the right skills in order to shape a sustainable future worth living in. Moreover, it is our task to make this possible for children and young people, too, because there is incredible potential in them. This is exactly where DOIT wants to start: To support children and young people in becoming social innovators and actively shaping their environment.” – shares project coordinator, Sandra Schön (Salzburg Research).

At the conference, the participants will have the opportunity to share valuable insights and familiarize with the progresses in European Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education and Making in school and outside of school. The event will also place a focus on the question of which methods and materials can support teachers and facilitators in carrying out such innovation learning processes. It provides a great opportunity to exchange ideas with experts and like-minded people, for all those working in the field of education.

As Sandra Schön states, initiatives for young social innovators to learn and improve their digital social entrepreneurial skills arise all over Europe. Moreover, all of them can use the DOIT toolbox material that is published under an open licence to support innovation processes and develop ideas with social impact: A lot of inspiring success stories show the potential to shape the future world, for example a eco-friendly way to charge your smartphone or a device that motivates people to use their bicycles.

On the first day of the DOIT conference, our experts from the project consortium will moderate sessions dealing with different topics: For instance, Elisabeth Unterfrauner, working at the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna, will present scientific findings and evaluation data from the pilot phases. Experts will share their experiences, findings and recommendations on girls’ motivation in making, accessibility of technology or how the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be an entry point for prototyping activities with children. International initiatives, innovation and education institutions and other experts will contribute to these fruitful discussions. We welcome contributions from a wide range of institutions and organisations, such as the European Commission, NESTA, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, and various maker initiatives.

Additionally, a marketplace offers on-site practical experience by presenting various teaching and learning materials of the participating initiatives. On Friday, the participants have the opportunity to participate in a train-the-trainer workshop on social innovation and entrepreneurship for the young generation in English and German.

DOIT started in October 2017 and runs until September 2020: During this period, children from 6 to 16 years take part at the scientifically evaluated pilot activities, which use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a basis for social challenges to work on. After the conference „Making social innovators“, the project partners organize roll-out activities in different European cities during the DOIT week (23rd to 30th of March 2020) to increase the global network and visibility of the initiative. In addition, a massive open online course (MOOC), starting in 30th of April of 2020, will provide insights into the work with the DOIT programme and (social) innovation materials for facilitators.