Youth Counter-Speech Lab, Finland, 2-4 December 2019
Young delegates from Libya, Finland, Morocco, Denmark, Algeria, Estonia and Tunisia crossed Europe and the Baltic Sea to participate in a Communications Lab in Kokkola (Finland), in the framework of the Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) programme and the Finish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The activity, carried out on 2-3 December and facilitated by Domestic Data Streamers, was aimed at unleashing creative talent to develop communication initiatives to challenge extremist narratives. Participants analysed examples of compelling campaigns in Finland, Algeria, Morocco or Spain, that have successfully led to creating counter-narratives for preventing and countering violent extremism.
According to participants, the Lab was an opportunity to enhance digital and media literacy skills and to learn how to address hate speech and extremist narratives in their own communities:
“A useful take-away I got was the way effective campaigns can frame things; rather than focusing on the issues that people are protesting against, it is more effective to focus on creating a counter-narrative”, YMV delegate U.S.A-Denmark
"It was perfect experience for me, during which I gained more information about digital communication as well as design and manage creative campaigns. I think that the excellent and meaningful relations achieved with other participants will be very beneficial to me, especially regarding the launch of youth-led campaigns which interest to the Euro-Med region", YMV delegate Libya.
The Young Med Voices Labs bring young people together to connect and engage effectively through cross-cultural international workshops. Participants are trained through a learning-by-doing methodology in skills which can then be translated to both online and offline engagement. Young Med Voices Labs therefore act as a first step towards building an internet-savvy civil society with the knowledge and capacity to effectively challenge extremism.
Young Mediterranean Voices is the flagship debate programme connecting civil society, education and policy-makers across the Southern Mediterranean and Europe. The programme provides a pioneering platform to open doors for young influencers to shape policy and media narratives. The programme is grounded on the positive experience of Young Arab Voices launched in 2011 by the Anna Lindh Foundation and British Council and it benefits from the support of the European Union.