One hundred school students from all over Europe came together in Brussels to make their voices heard at the Your Europe, Your Say simulated plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Part of the event featured an interactive brainstorming session facilitated by the Digital Futures Task Force. During this session, the students discussed their vision of the future of Europe focusing on the fifteen visionary priorities proposed by the EESC, i.e.:
The event aimed to contribute to the EESC's objective of collecting student's views regarding the new EESC political priorities, so as to help to frame the scope of EESC future activities during its next mandate. It ended with the students voting to select the top 3 most important priorities, which the students then presented to EESC President, Mr. Henri Malosse. The top 3 selected priorities were (in order of preference):
Below is an account of how the interactive brainstorming session went.
Imagine a bright, airy room located at the heart of the European Quarters in Brussels. Picture 15 neatly arranged desks, equipped with large sheets of paper and colourful marker pens. At the front of the room, mic’d up and ready to begin, stand Maria and Odysseas, a pair of facilitators. Finally, envisage the key component of this scene: students and teachers coming from each of the EU’s 27 Member States filling every seat in the room. Seated round the same tables are also EESC representatives. Is it a dream? Not at all! It is the wonderful group of people who came together for the Your Europe, Your Say Youth Plenary Session, to discuss the future of the EU. And who better to discuss the future with than with Europe’s young people, the future personified?
To start off the session, Maria and Odysseas welcomed the participants and explained the purpose of the workshop: envisioning the future of Europe, with a focus on the fifteen visionary priorities proposed by the EESC. Then, to energise the group, open minds and trigger the creativity, students were taken through an ice-breaking “constellation” session. Moving across the room, they formed groups according to the region they came from (North, South, Central, East and West), their favourite topic at school and their perception of the level of change in Europe.