Starting at the base of every societal startup. What problem are you trying to solve?
The Problem at the base of our project is the gap between European citizens, especially the Youth and the EU institutions. This gap however, is a consequence of the little knowledge Europeans have about European politics, the complex and often unavailable channels of citizen participation in the EU and the political consequences of the demographic change. Active citizen participation at the EU level is mainly conditioned by high education, geographic closeness to Brussels and other European capitals and a financial background allowing for travels, time and inspiration to take part.
How are you going to solve this? What is your idea?
cube. Your take on Europe aims to inform, engage and empower young Europeans in order to foster active participation in EU politics. cube. creates a digital educational workshop toolkit, which is freely accessible. With the toolkit teacher networks on different educational levels, organisations and individuals are able to facilitate a workshop session taking place in their local community. European politics is brought closer to the people but most importantly discussions are triggered. The opinions and ideas developed during the workshop are sent to cube. and its network of European youth organisations. Together with the network cube. aims to advocate for the ideas and opinions of young people all across Europe.
In a nutshell: cube gathers opinions of young Europeans, who due to their geographic or socioeconomic situation are hindered to engage in citizen participation. Cube. creates an open channel to voice opinions on European politics to the European institutions. Cube. is young, local, participatory.
What impact do you hope to have?
cube. wants to engage young Europeans with politics and empower them to take part in their society. We hope to foster civil society through our inclusive, bottom-up approach. In a broader context it is our aim to equip citizens with the tools to co-create Europe as a political entity by asking “What kind of Europe do you want?”
Focusing more on your team. Who are you? What is your background?
We are four graduates of Maastricht University specialised in political science, European studies and International relations. We have worked in and with several European youth organisations concerned with citizen participation. However, they all missed out on reaching to non-elitist groups, which was our starting point to founding cube.
Why did you become societal entrepreneurs? Or really, why do you do what you do?
We want to take on the responsibility we have by the privilege to study and the ability to enjoy the advantages of living in Europe. We want to contribute to making the society we live in more equal by bringing political knowledge to all citizens, equipping them to take part in political processes. From another angle, we want to bring politics closer to the people by building a channel between the institutions and its citizens.
If you had one advice to give to other social entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Dare to think about a world and society you would like to live in, dare to try to change static establishments, dare to do what you feel must be done. What else are you here for?
If I as a reader want to engage or help you reach your goals of impact. How can I do so? Is there any way to help at this stage?
Cube. is completely participatory. This means that whoever feels compelled to contribute to a) the content of the toolkit (knowledge on politics, education, pedagogy ..) b) the digital solution of the toolkit (website, video, interactive graphs c) the contact to teacher networks/ educational institutions all over Europe d) the interpretation of social data e) the formation of the youth organisation´s platform (digitally and analogue) f) the contact to the institutions/ advocacy groups etc… is more than welcome to contact and support us! We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Photo by Amanda Westin.