Digital Innovation Camp: Youth and Social Entrepreneurship

International Digital Innovation Camp has been organized online from 15-17th of November 2021 for young people from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, and Norway to design and validate social entrepreneurship ideas designed by youth for solving specific challenges – loneliness and social isolation of people. The event has been scheduled for three days to introduce participants to the challenge and the context of their work, initiate brainstorming and idea conceptualization in national groups, engage mentors to provide feedback, develop their own presentation and present the solutions developed by young people. 

The results were more than AMAZING! <3

So what exactly has happened?

Day 1 (16.11.2021)

The event has started with the short intro from the Digital Innovation Camp organizer, Tharald Lundvall from Junior Achievement Norway. An energizer activity was organized by Even Fjellestad from UiA CoLAB.

Mini-lecture was held by Chief architect, town planner, and co-housing idea enthusiast  Michael Fuller Gee. He has introduced young people to the problems different society groups face today and the ways in which mindful city planning might solve them. He has spoken about the problem of loneliness and the inability to connect socially for those, who live alone. These problem has been clearly showcased by the Covid-19 pandemics and the rising numbers of depressions and suicides detected. There are different reasons for the single-person household trend and each case is individual. However in the future when there are twice more seniors as we have now, the consequences might not be beneficial, especially for those being unable to move on a long-distance or receive healthcare or other services due to living in distant places and having no support around.

Therefore Michael Fuller Gee has introduced his concept of co-housing and its’ principle’s implementation in the city design as a solution to the emergent problem. Co-housing allows to build communities around the living spaces and combat the feeling of isolation and loneliness among very distinct social groups and even within them. This introduction helped Innovation Camp participants to become more aware of the relation between city planning and the emotional state of its inhabitants.

After the presentation,  participants were provided with information on the context of their work. Due to the Covid restrictions and inability to meet in Kristiansand, Norway (initially planned Innovation Camp destination), the video was compiled to show around the Kristiansand and the specific venue – the Kings Center in Kristiansand. The center is an old building being restored to transform it into a co-housing for the elderly, youth, and people with physical disabilities under the same roof. Kings Center has been introduced as an object and the basis for the projects developed by Innovation Camp participants.

Later participants were divided into national groups to work on one of the assignments proposed. They were supposed to design activities and services (e.g. care services, social activities, business activities) that make the co-housing centre an attractive place to live in for:

  1. elderly people,
  2. people with physical disabilities, or
  3. students

Also, participants were supposed to explain how can their planned solutions be implemented/organized and carried out jointly by the inhabitants.

In national teams, young people started designing their ideas and discussing the possibilities.

Day 2 (16.11.2021)

During Day 2, national teams have continued to work on their project ideas. Each team had a chance to present their draft ideas to the mentors and receive feedback for improvements. Teams have discussed the variety of ideas with mentors from Norway, Denmark and Latvia, and chosen the ones with the highest potential. After consultancy with mentors and within the teams, participants were able to conceptualize the presentations of their developed solution.

Day 3 (17.11.2021)

On Day 3, all teams made their final touches to the presentations and presented their project ideas to the jury and Innovation Camp participants. The final presentations included one team from Latvia, one team from Lithuania, 2 teams from Poland, and 2 teams from Norway. Participants were assessed by the Jury based on the following evaluation criteria: Answering the assignment, Creativity, Feasibility, and Presentation quality.

On behalf of the INDIGISE project network, we applaud and congratulate all three winning teams of the Digital Innovation Camp – Team Poland (1st place), Team Lithuania and Team Latvia (shared 2nd place).

Team Poland

So, what solutions have been developed to ensure the King’s Center co-housing concept succeeds in delivering an inclusive social environment and emotional wellbeing to its inhabitants – youth, people with physical disabilities and youth?

Six teams of young people from Lithuania, Poland, Norway and Latvia have proposed the solutions, that has the potential to improve seniors’, youth’s and disabled peoples’ physical activity and emotional state indoors and outdoors, pointing out the opportunities to place training stations and areas around the King’s center in Kristiansand. The team from Latvia has even introduced the concept of E-sports Academy for seniors, focusing on seniors-customized and ergonomic video gaming and quality leisure time together with young gamers in a cohousing. Other ideas have introduced different concepts of spending time in a community environment by crafting and doing arts together, preparing food and sharing cafe areas, designing common communication platforms and motivation systems of volunteer and other stakeholder engagement in community life. Community gardening has also been chosen by several teams as a great idea to be introduced in a King’s community center to combat isolation, loneliness and improve life quality.


(pictures from the presentation of Innovation Camp participants – presented by the teams from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway)

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The event has been developed under the INDIGISE project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.

Youth from Lithuania Poland, Norway and Latvia is invited to the Digital Innovation Camp!

The 3-day event will be organized on 15-17th of November (afternoons 13:00-16:00 CET) and will focus on social entrepreneurship. Young people in national teams will work on a real case to find innovative solutions.

The event will include:

  • creative lectures and workshops
  • work in national teams
  • mentorship and support
  • creative icebreakers
  • International networking
  • presentations, evaluation and prizes for competition winners!

Registration by 8th of November here: https://airtable.com/shr8tHlsiSvYPVzp8

Although young people constitute a substantial part of citizens worldwide, they are not fully recognised in policies and strategies, as a separate group of interest. They play a crucial role in societal and economic development and are often referred to as „agents of change“. Simultaneously, the unemployment of youth is one of the greatest global challenges.

Social entrepreneurship is a way to address this problem, contributing to sustainable and inclusive job creation.

Existing forms of youth engagement in economic activities are not sufficient and often not adequate for the targeted audience. Entrepreneurship education has very formal frames and structures, and it is rarely fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and attitudes among youngsters. There is an agreement, however, on the strong impact of youth work in entrepreneurship and culture. It develops transversal skills, gives an opportunity to exercise skills in practice and increases cultural activities which influence young people’s creativity.

Youth work and non-formal, as well as informal learning, play an important role in developing young
people’s creative and innovative potential, including entrepreneurial skills underlined in recent youth
policy and programmes at the EU and national levels. This brings us to the question of ”How to engage young people in this process successfully?”. The youth workers play a crucial role in the educational processes by introducing different initiatives (like youth cooperative activities) to the youth and providing information and advice on how to make a decision and provide the risk assessment,
be creative and understand the market’s reality. But furthermost they help to develop social skills:
establishing relations, leadership skills, conflict management and others.

  1. The first chapter of the guide introduces social entrepreneurship and its importance for developing the skills and competencies of youth.
  2. The second one presents the forms of learning methods: formal, informal and non-formal, their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
  3. The next chapter reflects on the qualitative research carried out by the project partners and presents points of view of experts invited to participate, aiming at explaining the ways in which the social entrepreneurship of youth can be stimulated.
  4. The fourth, last chapter describes the situation in the partner countries, as for approaches towards social entrepreneurship and interesting initiatives that are undertaken.

The guide “How to stimulate social entrepreneurship via nonformal and informal learning methods“ is being developed to assist youth workers (teachers, youth leaders, etc.). It identifies methods, techniques, and strategies for working with youth and promotes a holistic approach to young people’s entrepreneurial attitudes.

Download the document here: Guidelines “How to stimulate social entrepreneurship via non-formal and informal learning methods.”_compressed_compressed-skompresowany

IO2 promo 2

About the Project

The project “Social entrepreneurship development in the in the Baltic Sea region” has been granted within Erasmus+ programme and started its realization in September 2014. Euroregion Baltic joined the Network in 2020 via its Erasmus+ project “InDigiSE – Promotion of social entrepreneurship in the youth sector by digital and informal education tools”.

InDigiSE aims at delivery of youth-oriented, innovative educational tools to develop the entrepreneurial competence in the field of social economy and engage youth within social entrepreneurship.

Its duration will be 24 months starting from April 1st 2020 and closing on 31st March 2022, and the total amount received from Erasmus+ fund is 143.307€.

The project is led by Klaipedos Universitetas from Lithuania with the joint efforts of Kristiansand katedralskole Gimle (Norway), Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs (Poland), Socialas Inovacijas Centrs (Latvia) and Stowarzyszenie Gmin RP Euroregion Baltyk (Poland).
In the project, we will present information on social entrepreneurship and social innovation from www.socialenterprisebsr.net addressed to young people.

EUROPE 2020 states that growth has to be delivered through a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction. Social entrepreneurship (SE) is exactly a w method to be used to overcome existing challenges as its main aim is to bring a positive impact to society.

In the “Social economy and social entrepreneurship Social Europe Guide Volume 4 (2013)” it is said that several key challenges of Social economy (build be SE) are found and those are:

  • lack of visibility;
  • lack of specialised training;
  • lack of support network and infrastructure;
  • access to finance;
  • lack of uniform regulation.

Seven SE support organisations across the Baltic Sea developed to have a better educational and overall support for SE in the ic Sea region.

Project objectives:

  • Facilitate SE sector development in the ic Sea region through proper adults education;
  • Educate public bodies, municipalities, NGO’s and other players about relevant tools of SE support at the national and regional level;
  • Research SE and share research findings, incorporate those in the legislative, education and other support methods and tools;
  • Start and promote open educational tool as a network and startup tool to start national and cross border SE activities;
  • Create stable SE support organizations network and the SE network.

Become a part of the network, and you will become visible. Social enterprises build viable futures – if you are one of them, let others also know about it!


Read our BLOG and keep up-to-date on the latest news and articles on social enterprises and social innovation in the Nordic-Baltic area, and beyond.

The lack of visibility, specialized training, support network and infrastructure, as well as limited access to finance are the main burdens that slow down the transition towards social economy and interfere social entrepreneurs for a larger scale social impact. And managing enterprise is even harder when one is only 20 years old or younger. Nevertheless, social entrepreneurship is getting more seen and valued thanks to the activity of youth leaders and support of educators, NGOs, specially designed legislative and CSR business support, social business networks, alternative financing and infrastructure, that allows modern youth to become successful in changing tomorrow. The access to the information on social business development practices and tools needs to be provided to the larger society groups, therefore special attention in new social-impact-oriented INDIGISE project will be put on youth social entrepreneurship empowerment.

The target audience of INDIGISE project are young people who seek a positive social or environmental changes in society, feel the need to create their own business, but lack support of competencies and finance. Combining the experience of universities’, NGOs’ and business networks’ professionals, and operating with latest trends in education, INDIGISE project partners from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Norway will provide such support and promote youth social entrepreneurship in Baltic Sea Region by digital and informal education tools. As agreed during the first partnership Zoom meeting on May 6-7th, INDIGISE partners will:

  • deliver youth-oriented, innovative educational tools to develop the entrepreneurial competence in the field of social economy and engage youth within social entrepreneurship;
  • spread the idea of social entrepreneurship in the Nothern European Region within the youth sector;
  • provide the necessary competencies and support tools to enable young people to develop social business ideas;
  • promote the concept of social entrepreneurship and support Baltic Sea Region social enterprise start-ups by maintaining an Open Education Resource platform www.socialenterprisebsr.net;
  • encourage young people in innovative and creative thinking, collaboration and risk uptake via InnoCamps, organized in Norway and Lithuania;
  • provide InnoCamp Methodology Handbook – step-by-step replicable and transferable tool for youth, schools, NGOs, educators etc.;
  • promote good practices among local and international partners to achieve sustainable and collaborative social business support within the youth sector.

During the meeting, which was initially planned to happen in Riga, Latvia, but was moved to an online setting, partners have discussed planned activities, implementation processes, project management and tools, which will be used to maximise the impact of the project.

The first Intellectual Output (IO1) will focus on the improvement of existing knowledge and networking platform www.socialenterprisebsr.net, which was first launched in 2014 as a part of Erasmus+ project “Social entrepreneurship development in Baltic Sea region”. Since then, all BSR countries has contributed to the promotion of social entrepreneurship.

INDIGISE aims to improve the platform by adjusting it to the younger entrepreneurs, aged 16-30, and offering relevant Open Educational Resource (OER) information on social business support mechanisms and tools, promoting young social entrepreneurs, equipping with relevant educational materials and networking services.

As an IO2, special guidelines for youth centers and youth organizations will be developed on “How to stimulate social entrepreneurship via informal learning methods incl. gamification methods”. A number of stakeholder organisations working with youth will be engaged, incl. project associated partners – Junior Achievement Norway, National Youth Council (Latvia), Baltic Sea NGO Network (Poland).

InnoCamp Methodology Handbook will be designed within the partnership as IO3 to support onsite and online education of young people, including 2 InnoCamp training events, which will take place in 2021 in Norway and Lithuania.

To deliver the knowledge generated by INDIGISE, 4 Forums will be organised in Poland, Lithuania, Norway and Latvia, gaining participants from the youth sector to promote the guidelines, InnoCamp Methodology handbook and OER platform.

Project partners:

Klaipeda University (Lithuania) – coordinator

Baltic Institute for Regional Affairs, BISER (Poland)

Social Innovation Centre (Latvia)

Kristiansand katedralskole Gimle (Norway)

Euroregion Baltic – Stowarzyszenie Gmin RP Euroregion Baltyk (Poland)

Associated partners:

  • Junior Achievement Norway,
  • National Youth Council (Latvia),
  • Baltic Sea NGO Network (Poland).

Project duration: April 2020 – March 2022

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The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.

The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.