European young people show their creativity

100 young people between 15 and 18 years took part a 24-hour contest in Brussels.The purpose of the special European Innovation & Creativity Camp is to help young people develop the traits and skills they’ll need to be competitive employees or entrepreneurs in the future

Some 100 young people between 15 and 18 years of age took part in the 24-hour contest in Brussels. Most were from the EU but some came from as far afield as Israel, Russia and Mali. Contest challenges young people from Europe and beyond to find creative solutions to real-life problems. EU-sponsored contest challenges young people to think creatively.

Fighting climate change – encouraging social responsibility in business – sustainably solving hunger and poverty – the problem to be tackled remained a secret until the start of the European innovation and creativity camp: the young people were divided into mixed-nationality teams, and had just 24 hours to suggest solutions to a problem that has been challenging European governments for decades – how best to engage students and make education more relevant for the future.

The camp was organised by Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Europe in cooperation with the European commission. Part of the European year of creativity and innovation, it gave young people the chance to use their diverse backgrounds to find creative solutions to some of today’s long-term challenges.

The students were divided into multinational teams, six of which advanced to the two-hour final round in the commission press room on 25 November. Volunteers from the commission were on hand to assist and advise the teams. The winning team was selected by a panel of representatives from multinational companies and leading commission officials.

The winning team developed the concept of ‘FaceSchool’ and ‘YouSchool’ to engage students in education via social networking sites. The group, made up of students from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, UK and Norway presented their solution in front of an audience of business people, media and Commission staff and were congratulated on the creativity and feasibility of their idea which the judges thought would really motivate students and keep them engaged in education.