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Young Cities: Youth Innovation Lab in Liège

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Commencing the second phase of its programmatic delivery in Belgium, Young Cities conducted a Youth Innovation Lab in Liège, training  21 young activists to develop youth-led, community initiatives to counter extremism, hate and related challenges.

In April, the Strong Cities Network’s youth pillar, Young Cities, launched a programme in Antwerp, supported by the US Embassy in Belgium. In September, Young Cities commenced the second phase of its programme delivery, tailoring the model for young francophone activists in Liège, a Strong Cities Network member. The aim of the programme is to support young activists and municipal stakeholders in developing locally led initiatives that promote social cohesion and peace.

Twenty-one young activists from four different neighbourhoods in Liège participated in a Young Cities Youth Innovation Lab in Limont-Donceel to foster their project development, community-leadership and issue advocacy skills, and connecting with like-minded youth leaders from their city.

The four teams were guided through the stages of planning their own social change projects, which each focus on fostering youth inclusion and access to opportunities. The teams plan to use a combination of online and offline methods, including social media campaigns, sports-based mentorship and creating new recreational spaces, to promote social cohesion in their communities. For the next months, the teams will go through several further stages of project development, before receiving funding and support to implement their projects and campaigns in the first half of 2023.

The Youth Innovation Lab was delivered in partnership with Talented Youth Network (TYN), a local non-profit organisation that works for and with youth in Brussels and the Wallonia region through mentorship and training programmes.