The countdown has started. It’s a month only until we’ll pack our guitars and suitcases and travel to Strasbourg for participating as artists at this year’s European Youth Event in Strasbourg. More than 8000 young people from all over Europe will get together to discuss the future of the European Union. They’ll take part in activities, debates, workshops and discussion rounds circling around five themes.
YOUNG AND OLD – KEEPING UP WITH THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
We’re living in the digital age and grow up as digital natives. What are the challenges waiting for us? Personally – digitalisation definitely has had a positive impact on my life, offering many, many opportunities I am very grateful for. Talking to friends and family for free, regardless of where I am, is something I wouldn’t want to give up. Having traveled quite a lot recently, and also living abroad, I have always been able to keep in touch. I have also been able to build up a network, write articles, and participate and engage regardless of my geographical location. Nevertheless, I am still a big fan of switching off any digital device and looking at the world with one’s own eyes. I love books and have a hard time getting used to e-books. I often disable the wifi on my phone and enjoy being fully present. Am I a digital native? Definitely. I’d probably label myself an “old-school” digital native. Finally, one thought I still find most fascinating about this issue is the question: What makes humans human?
RICH AND POOR – CALLING FOR A FAIR SHARE
The activities circling around this theme sound incredibly interesting, and also, very diverse – reaching from sharing economy to the future of the labour market and the future definition of work, up to issues such as equality, refugees, and education. Being German-Argentinian always seeing the world from two perspectives, I think debate is much needed, rethinking concepts we might have grown up with inside our home country, and start to question once we step our of our comfort zone.
APART AND TOGETHER – WORKING OUT FOR A STRONGER EUROPE
Isn’t it totally awesome that young people get the chance to participate? To vote? To state their opinions and point of views? We can count ourselves so lucky to be able to grow up being able to travel, to have our universities encouraging us to add an exchange semester to our curriculum, and to have trains and buses making traveling, exploring, growing and learning so easy. Nothing is more enriching but inter-generational debates. I am much looking forward to meeting many young people from all over Europe during these two days in Strasbourg.
SAFE AND DANGEROUS – STAYING ALIVE IN TURBULENT TIMES
We live in turbulent times – terrorism, cyber-attacks, crimes, climate change… it seems like a challenge is waiting around each corner. My answer to this theme will be my song “Tolerance”, speaking for itself and expressing much better the message I’d like to add to the debate than any words I could search for.
LOCAL AND GLOBAL – PROTECTING OUR PLANET
Those who know me know, that I am an absolute nature-lover and often called “sustainability-freak”. I do buy fairly traded bananas and no other bananas ever, I try to live as sustainably as possible, and try to share ideas how to make small changes in our everyday lives that will reduce our carbon footprint and protect our planet – and ultimately, us, as part of this one big ecosystem. I am much looking forward to perform “Dear Pachamama”, a song I wrote with my sister and an apology letter to mother nature.