Sustainability and Waste: Innovation, Training and Community Hub
For decades, despite an increasingly active strategy to deal with it, unlimited growth has shown its flaws and Europe has faced increasingly crucial challenges:
– natural resources are constantly dwindling;
– the environmental indicators are heading for a point of no return (day of exceeding, loss of species, destruction of ecosystems, etc.);
Even if the general public are becoming more aware of these issues and is looking for solutions, there is a lack of simple, concrete and efficient information for everyone to make their choices wisely. Changing models depend directly on the young people who will be the actors and creators of these changes.
Consequently, new educational paths must be found to help young people promote a change in consumer attitudes, our society that still holding out a false idea of “abundance”. Social and professional insecurity also requires offering activities and projects related to themes that create values for young people, to support the creative entrepreneurial dynamics of these young people in the context of social economy.
SWITCH stands for Sustainability & Waste: Innovation, Training and Community Hub.
It is a two-year European project that brings together ATELIER D’éco SOLIDAIRE (France), IFRASS (France), TRINIJOVE (Spain) and Youth and Environment Europe (Czechia). This strategic partnership is supported by Erasmus+.
The creative use of waste can enhance the potential of young inactive people or in social difficulty by creating new skills. This project goes beyond a merely sectoral approach to the environment to integrate social, educational, autonomy and emancipation considerations. The consortium will aim to improve the creative, organisational and social skills of the targeted young people through eco-entrepreneurial approaches allowing them to act directly by creating eco-projects.
OBJECTIVES OF SWITCH
– to understand the structural issues of our consumer society, in particular the modes of production at the origin of overconsumption and the notion of externalities (positive and negative);
– to foster a transnational dynamic of young people, taking “waste” as a medium that is present in all societies;
– to allow participants to rediscover a positive image of themselves through creativity,
involvement in an open and collaborative project with other young people from different backgrounds;
– to develop skills in terms of innovation, environment & social entrepreneurship;
– to discover new management techniques and collaborative work;
– to raise awareness about new green employment sectors and the range of trades relating to crafts, decoration, design, up-cycling, etc;
– to bring together multidisciplinary organisations and provide shared solutions to common issues, beyond cultural contexts, using creativity as a way of raising awareness and building confidence;
The main beneficiaries the project will engage are NEETs and young social entrepreneurs or projects-holders (mainly relating to creative reuse of waste).
INTELLECTUAL OUTPUTS OF SWITCH
1. A MOOC type digital resource: “UNDERSTANDING EXTERNALITIES” (positive and negative externalities of a material or an object (impact of a product from its design to its consumption, and even to its end of life from an environment and social point of view).
2. A Model of action-training for eco-project leaders: entrepreneurship in the field of waste prevention or creative reuse and up-cycling.
3. A Marathon of projects to enrich the platform with concrete cases.
The benefits are multiple: restore the confidence of the target beneficiaries with new social and professional perspectives, help make them engaged and enlightened citizens with regard to environmental issues.
MOOC-type digital resource "UNDERSTANDING EXTERNALITIES"
OUTPUT 1 is an online MOOC-type platform intended to understand and study the positive and negative externalities of a material or an object (impact of a product of its creation consumption, or even at the end of its life). It will be created by young people from the research they have done on the life cycle of waste and materials. These materials can be fabrics, wine cases, wooden furniture, cans of detergents… etc.
This MOOC platform that we wish to develop is a place where information is accessible also to the general public. Its ambition is to become a resource space where dynamic and digital data will be offered so that each visitor has access to information that may be useful to him.
OUTPUT 1 is part of the perspective of an educational approach to waste prevention. The overconsumption is explained in particular by the ignorance of the conditions of manufacture and destruction of products (life cycle). Getting informed is a necessary step in making a lasting change in the way we consume. This online platform will highlight the negative externalities of overconsumption and the positive externalities of creative reuse or upcycling.
YOUNG ECO-ENTREPRENEURS module
Committed and experienced actors, driven by the desire to transmit know-how and skills, the consortium wished to develop an intellectual output on the subject of training for social entrepreneurship and environment with waste as a working medium. From our various experiences for several years in the field of supporting young entrepreneurs, flow a base of knowledge, tools, methods, communication support to offer concrete, educational and dynamic support in the construction of these projects. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, and not an end in itself, which must be cultivated among young people by using new and creative methods. The creation of a business is not the exclusive form, it can also represent the development of a project within an already existing structure (intrapreneurship). Young people are waiting for sharing and concrete experiences to launch into the realisation of their projects.
The Project Marathon is the final part of the SWITCH project. During OUTPUT 2, the young people selected as project leaders will be the subject of personalised coaching by the professionals. Once their projects have been developed, the young entrepreneurs will be responsible for presenting them to a jury made up of elected officials, eco-entrepreneurs, financial partners and the public.