The nomadic lifestyle inspired European youth workers Drejc Kokošar June 6, 2023

The nomadic lifestyle inspired European youth workers

After the recent release of Nomazine magazine, which introduced us to the world of rural digital nomads, we organised training for youth workers from May 15 to 19. On the Croatian island of Iž, 21 activists, youth workers, and other interested individuals from four European countries gathered to explore the connection between youth work and digital nomadism.

Trening je potekal v okviru projekta Nomadland: digitalni nomadi – nova priložnost za evropsko podeželje (Erasmus+ KA2), kjer raziskujemo, kako lahko digitalno nomadstvo pozitivno vpliva na razvoj mladih in kvalitetnega mladinskega dela v podeželskih in perifernih krajih (vključno z manjšimi mesti). V okviru partnerstva, ki ga vodimo v Zavodu ID20, sodelujemo še s 3 organizacijami iz Španije, Hrvaške in Nemčije. Trening je organiziral hrvaški partner, Udruga Prizma, ki tudi sicer organizira številne aktivnosti na hrvaškem otoku Iž.

Three-day thematic exploration

The training took place on the Croatian island of Iž near Zadar. We invited 20 selected youth workers and other interested individuals to the training, where, in the excellent ambience of the Croatian Dalmatian island, they explored who digital nomads are and why they represent a new opportunity for rural areas.

The training lasted for 3 days and was divided into three parts – Discovery, Exploration, and Development. Participants playfully discovered who digital nomads are and immersed themselves in the lives of people from the imaginary village of Little Loch. In doing so, they explored the challenges that the arrival of digital nomads in rural areas might pose. We also provided a more in-depth presentation of Nomazine magazine and, of course, the project itself, with numerous new possibilities for further networking.

The intertwining of digital nomadism and youth work

We also paid significant attention to the experience of a digital nomad in rural areas – participants explored what a digital nomad would need to live in the countryside. The results were interesting, as a fast internet connection was far from the only requirement for a digital nomad. Subsequently, we delved into the important topic of intertwining youth work in rural areas with infrastructure for digital nomads or how digital nomads can contribute to the revitalisation of rural areas. Participants developed ideas in groups and then presented them within the framework of the so-called Ruralvision.

Participants continued to develop their own ideas. We listened to solutions that included a dedicated community centre, a network of festivals and exchanges, and much more. In the spirit of gamification, participants developed solutions as stories, which they then presented to others through various formats (a trailer for a romantic movie, a fairy tale, a talk show, and a news program). The activity was further enriched by a presentation of financial opportunities prepared by Wolfgang Knijeski (INI-Novation, EIT). We concluded the training with an artistic reflection on what was learned and experienced, and each participant received a Youthpass certificate.

We are pleased that the participants returned to their hometowns satisfied with numerous new experiences and connections. As organisers, we are satisfied with the results, as we have gained valuable feedback and ideas that will shape the strategy for attracting digital nomads to rural areas (with an emphasis on the youth work aspect). In the fall, we also plan to release a guide covering all the aforementioned topics.