ACTE Techniques January 2012 : Page 15

PHOTO COURTESy OF GRICHKA MARTINETTI Pictured from left to right, students Mohammad Iranmanesh (Belgium), Natalie Mensah (United Kingdom), lía Martinez-Millán Ignato (Spain), Tomas Kostan (Slovakia), Sara Bjorgsdatter Foss (Norway) and Joonas Palsio (Finland) work together to solve problems at JA-yE’s Social Innovation Camp. with volunteers/mentors from the business world to help them make the right decision for their future jobs. The mentors, who are mainly business volunteers in the last phase of their careers, will help young people to choose their career paths through sharing their experience. The second phase of the project, the “present phase,” is dedicated to young, un-employed persons who are currently look-ing for a job. The team will create for them a dedicated Web site for job search. The Web site will work as a virtual community and will connect companies with young people who want to enter the labor market. All European countries will have access to the Web site and the services provided will help geographic mobility of young Euro-peans. The group, made up of students from Belgium, Czech Republic, Norway, Portugal and Spain, was able to convince the jury of EU officials and business rep -resentatives that its idea was inventive and feasible for real-world implementation. ACTE: And will that or any of the other ideas really be implemented? DF: The creativity of these students demonstrates the enormous potential of Europe’s youth. These students are just 16-18 years old. We certainly believe those ideas can be taken forward, but the purpose of the event is to transform atti-tudes and motivate kids to do more of the same. The innovation camps are just an add-on to our longer programs. Some of the students do manage to put in practice their ideas during the JA Company Pro-gramme experience. In the JA Company Programme students learn how to take a business idea from concept to real-ity. They form their own real enterprise and discover first-hand how a company functions. They elect a board of direc-tors from amongst their peers, raise share capital, and market and finance a product or service of their own choice. At the end of the program they present a report and accounts to their shareholders. One good example of a social idea that got implemented is “Young Care” from Sweden. Young Care Sweden is a social enterprise which brings cheer to the elderly through young people. They created a business model around a social problem and also made it possible to be replicated and scalable virtually any-where. More than 500 young people are employed on short contracts where they visit and provide good company to the elderly in nursing homes or other similar institutions. The business model is in-novative, scalable and sustainable, being able to take various problems that we face nowadays: short-term employment for the youngsters, medium-term career choices, and improvement of the life quality of the elderly. To listen to the podcast of the full interview with JA-YE Europe’s Diana Filip, visit www. . Januar y 2012 Techniques 15

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