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Open Digital Europe

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Out of the Box International develops a tailor made open data model and policies based on open digital environment which is transparent, accountable and secured.

Social Businesses

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Out of the Box International works with already existing hubs, various local and national stakeholders and social entrepreneurs in order to further develop and promote successful social entrepreneurship policies and practices.

Solidarity Europe

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Out of the Box International delivers expertise in the field of cohesive policies by using cross-sectorial approach and non-formal  education, in a global perspective.

European Project

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Out of the Box International  works further to enhance current cooperation in South East Europe region and actively supports the integration of all European countries in common European project.

Erasmus + sparks meaningful intercultural interactions

Ela Jakoubek is a member of the Out of the Box Expert Pool who has been involved in the Erasmus + programme from the beginning. As the programme is now in full swing, Ela is the perfect person to provide insight of how it has been developing so far and what have appeared to be advantages and drawbacks.

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How do you see the impact of the Erasmus programme so far?

Frankly, to talk about its impact at such an early stage seems a bit difficult to me! What I can see from my experience in those two years is on the level of impact on individuals – I did see young people being engaged with international youth work, and involved with intercultural interactions because of their participation in some Erasmus projects. I would call that a success. An example very close to my heart is my younger sister, who through her EVS in Romania got totally crazy about Non-Formal Education and international projects, and just presented her own idea for a youth exchange on last deadline. So yep, it works!

What have been the greatest challenges in the implementation of the programme?

I guess, for the organisations I have been working with, to re-adjust to new rules. It also seems a bit messy with many National Agencies, still – the rules and interpretations are not clear, and on many occasions they are not being of much help, to be honest. So I guess, there is still a lot of work for all stakeholders in understanding the programme.

What needs to be improved?

There is a lot of work to be done in terms of accessibility of the programme – it is still quite a complicated procedure, where a lot of digital and technical expertise is needed. So, instead of providing more opportunities for small, youth-led organisations or non-formal groups, it puts them off, I think.

The programme is in its second year. Is it too soon to talk about results or do you perhaps have some insight as to where most changes and progress have been made?

Again, it is bit too soon for a bigger scale reflection… I guess, one of the best things that the new programme brought, are the Strategic Partnerships in the frame of KA2. It really allows to think bigger and to build better projects, which are based on cooperation. We’ll see where they take us.

The so-called generation Z is emerging, will programmes such as Erasmus be suitable for those who’ve been growing up in an almost entirely digital world? Is digitalization making things easier in youth mobility or not?

Oh, big time! The programme is made in a way that allows and encourages use of digital communication – look at the transnational youth initiatives for example. It is tricky, though – I still want it to first and foremost let people meet for real! There is nothing that can replace an actual interaction face to face and hand in hand!

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Why Out of the Box International

The seemingly ever-lasting depression of European economies has shaken the very foundations of many European societies. The shear rate of unemployment in Europe and the omnipresent environmental crisis coupled with the often frustratingly slow process of decision making in the EU, are calling for civil society actors to step in and fill the void.

In the aftermath of the 2008. economic crisis, the apprehension of falling under the spell of apathy of economic depression across the continent has not been easy to shake off. However, pinpointing the culprits for the current state of affairs on any particular EU decision maker is not the answer. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the current approach to the economic and environmental crisis hasn’t yet shown the affected citizens the light at the end of the tunnel.

As representatives of the civil society we feel the need to make our voice heard in the midst of the current debate on economic crisis. Being a social enterprise we offer new and feasible ideas in education and community work, creative cross-sectorial cooperation among different actors and strong networking coalitions to turn these dire economic challenges into possibilities through social entrepreneurship initiatives which aim at benefiting wide range of citizens, particularly vulnerable groups and those affected by the economic crisis.

Social entrepreneurship is a simple concept that has been put into practice by civil society actors for the benefit of a specific social group or people, and this is precisely what we want: to create projects and initiatives with fresh ideas in different policies, educational programs or tools, support businesses, empower cultural initiatives and offer different solutions to individuals, corporate bodies, everybody who believe that we can have more Creative, Innovative and Cohesive Europe.

 

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