The Active office is going on the field this spring! We have been in contact with you guys during the autumn to find out how are you doing and how can we help and support your organizations to grow stronger. One of the organizations that needed support was 0% on Iceland. And here I am, sitting on a bus, waiting to get to Keflavik airport and to get back home, to (for the first time) warm Stockholm. Reflecting on these days, I can say that these guys here have a lot of energy, a lot of belief and ideas about making young people on Iceland happier, freer and more fun. It was really fun to be with them and to go on this short journey for strategic planning and structures on the organization.

Hello friends all across Europe.

Now is the „Do it yourself” week! Hope all of you are going crazy over this concept! This week is going to be crazy in Iceland! We are determined to go to Heartbeat in Bosnia and we are planning the „Orange day” on the 25th this week.

In March 2013 was held an international Active seminar in Estonia called „Change the Change“.  I was really lucky to become one of the participants with other members from fifteen different European counties. As it was my first seminar I did not know what to expect, but the irony is that it exceeded all my expectations. =)

 Half of the participants had an opportuninty for almost two day long sightseeing in Riga, Latvia due to travel schedules. It was also chance to get know each other better before seminar opens. During that admirable little time we have spent there we were taken care by Patrik Šulík, fascinating behind scene worker.

Emil – NSF Sweden

During the Easter week there was a seminar called Change the Change held by Active in Estonia. I was one of the lucky few participants who were able to attend the seminar and I’m really grateful that I was able to experience an Active seminar.

During the week there were a lot of presentations held about both alcohol and its harm and political issues in the participants’ countries and lives. We learned about linguistic skills, mediation and how to start a project of our own.

I listen now to ‘Winter Skies’ by one of my favourite metal music bands while I write this, and now I do remember how when I was a child, I was going always around my home with my beloved book by the time, an Illustrated World Atlas. I was most of the time looking at the pages of the European countries, and looking with a very special attention to the page of the Scandinavian Countries and the representative illustrations for them in the maps. It was the first half of the 90s, and Ace of Base, a Swedish pop – band was one of the hits of the moment. Also, was one of the times in which Sweden went to the World Cup of USA ’94.

Social inclusion is one of those “sexy words”. It is great to talk about social inclusion and it has a ring of trendy, open-mindedness to it. But what lies beneath this funky new work that we are discussing so deeply, and what is the EU’s Structured Dialogue Process?

#DoItYourself

This one goes to all of you friends out there. This one goes to all young people in Europe and beyond. This one goes for the cliché and the hypocrisy we see around us.

To the cliché: There is one question. Who needs alcohol and why does one use it?

What connects politics and poverty in a financial crisis?

The last few years have seen the emergence of several “sexy” economics terms, including fiscal management and austerity measures. To the average European citizen sometimes the connection between these terms and the sheer scale of the large-scale protests that have emerged in Greece, the UK and Spain. Images of young people throwing bricks at police officers are dramatic images which have captured much media attention. But what lies beneath this?

The S.E.P. of today

When thinking about society and problems to address, many young people often directly think of political rights. Of the ownership of the legitimacy to talk about important issues and to be heard and accepted. And this is totally understandable, taking into account that this is the time of our lives when we become aware that we are not alone. That we live in systems that are shaped by people and that what we think matters.

“It is not the size of a dog in a fight that counts; it is the size of the fight in the dog” - Mark Twain.

Last weekend marked the twin exchange between Sweden and Latvia for the Democracy is Dialogue project in Riga, and the Swedish team and I were in for a surprise. The twin exchange was really about exchanging ideas on advocacy, running an event and seeing what the Latvian groups (LUAVIV and JAF) have been working on lately.