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Self-organised youth groups and digital tools

With an emphasis on non-hierarchical leadership and participatory decision-making methods, (activist) youth groups connect locally, internationally and digitally to work collaboratively on finding innovative and sustainable solutions to common challenges. This chapter explores how self-organised activist movements and youth groups can participate more actively in decision-making, especially through the use of digital collaborative tools, and how they can have a stronger impact on the political agenda and/ or on decisions taken in their local communities or schools.

While teachers and parents often complain that youth is using digital tools mainly for fun, some youth movements use them in truly constructive ways, organising impactful collective actions, demanding responsible political decisions and raising public awareness. These forms of youth involvement are fundamentally different from slacktivist practices (online activities requiring very little effort of commitment such as “liking,” “sharing,” or “tweeting”).

Participatory activities within institutions such as schools, where processes are usually initiated by adults, or outside them, where self-organised youth act on their own, can thus complement each other and lay the groundwork for more democratic and citizen-centred political systems in the future.

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