YouthCAN connects a wide array of youth activists from around the world, including artists, tech entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, youth workers, filmmakers, cartoonists, students and innovators. The network enables an ongoing and international exchange of practices and know-how, to foster collaboration and co-creation between its members. In addition, through this network young people’s needs and views are represented to policy makers.
Youth Innovation Labs
YouthCAN conducts Youth Innovation Labs in various regions around the world. Labs are immersive, activist-led events that create a secure environment to facilitate capacity-building. Innovation Labs connect civil society actors with other sectors to give participants the contacts, tools and resources needed to develop strategic counter-narrative campaigns for preventing and countering violent extremism. Each Lab contains a series of highly interactive and practical exercises that increase civil society’s ability to challenge extremist content online.
Throughout the two-day workshop, participants learn best practices from international experts and social media companies on targeting audiences, crafting persuasive messages, and creating content. Participants work with like-minded activists from across the region to use their creativity and develop new and innovative counter-narrative campaigns that are launched with the help of YouthCAN's in-house experts and Facebook.
Social Media Campaigns
YouthCAN aims to advance and enhance its members’ social media presence. To achieve this, YouthCAN routinely holds social media competitions in which winners receive access to social media expertise and advertising support to target and amplify their pages and profiles. These campaigns typically increase brand awareness around youth initiatives and therefore boost followers and impact. The campaigns also feed back into the network, providing practical advice and toolkits on online social media campaigns for youth CVE efforts.
YouthCAN believes in the importance of 'learning by doing' and leads a data-driven approach that turns analysis into action. YouthCAN believes in the importance of having young voices heard and aims to regularly gather feedback from the network in order to ensure that young people have a seat at the policymaking table.
Youth Innovation Labs: A Model for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
In June 2016, YouthCAN published a report discussing the development, implementation and evaluation of Youth Innovation Labs. The purpose of this publication is to share the methodology and structure that YouthCAN has developed, as well as the best-practices and outcomes from YouthCAN’s work with young activists and creatives.
Guidance for International Youth Engagement in PVE and CVE
Between April and June 2016, YouthCAN reached out to young activists and garnered important feedback regarding UN Security Council Resolution 2250 and the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism in relation to specific national and regional contexts.
In June 2016, YouthCAN hosted a side event at the United Nation Headquarters in New York where the findings of the survey were synthesized into a report and shared with UN delegates and international policymakers. The policy report aimed to bridge the gap between international policymakers and the expressed needs and concerns of young PVE activists.
YouthCAN provides the network with updated toolkits, links to relevant research and best-practice guidelines so that participants continue to gain knowledge and are able to contribute their own innovations to the field. These toolkits include highlights of model projects, which have potential for scaling up and replication, and data analytics that track the impact of YouthCAN members’ campaigns and map best practices to feed back into production streams.