Learning Company O3 experiment: Pop-Up chill space for youth

A pop-up chill space for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 is an experiment that Learning Company O3 (Education, Entrepreneurs & Government) is trying to set up together with the LOF (Leeuwarder Ondernemers Fonds) and Knowledge2018 in the coming months. LOF wants, triggered by an idea from journalist Patrick van’t Haar, to include youth in the vision for Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2028, as the legacy of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 (LF2018), the successful European Capital of Culture event.

Stimulating entrepreneurial climate

The idea here is that the current youth are the future entrepreneurs and LOF wants to stimulate the entrepreneurial climate for this. A platform has already been set up with young entrepreneurs, which showed that there is a need for a breeding ground and 'free space' for experimentation and cross-fertilisation. But how do young people aged between 12 and 17 see this? What ideas do they have about this?

Making Leeuwarden an even nicer city for youth

In 2016, during their Mienskippybal tour along with the Leeuwarder MBO and HBO educations, Knowledge2018 already asked, next to make students more familiar with LF2018, what their ideas were to make Leeuwarden an even nicer city to them. Next to shops from/with well-known brands, places to meet each other and parties for under 18 were often mentioned. Communication student Julia van der Meer from NHL Stenden, the project leader of O3 at the end of 2018, formulated as a follow-up question:

What would youngsters between 12 and 17 do with their piece of Leeuwarden?

According to 125 youngsters, in addition to the well-known shops, they need more places to go out, that could be transformed into a youth café or a game café. After consultation with LOF, in the second round in February 2019 with new project leader Daniël Ferwerda of Friese Poort, we dug deeper by asking youth:

  • What such places should look like:  many benches and cushions, friendly atmosphere, with different game options
  • When they would like to be there: during the weekends and after school
  • What they would like to do there:  chilling, socialising, and gaming

Experimenting with new places

In addition, we asked our own Leeuwarden “incubator expert” Koen Haringa, also the director of band stage Asteriks and the City Oase in summer, to think along with us.. Koen came up with the brilliant idea to ​​experiment with these places on a small scale and for short periods of time, to see how they can work. This advice was exactly what we needed, something we could do with few resources together with LOF. Before the summer break, we want to try this out and involve youth in this.

The final project with Knowledge2018

This is also the last project together with Knowledge2018, the networking platform set up in 2014 by two alumni students, Bram Kruijt and Jeffrey Meijer. Their successful mission, youth in the lead for a more vital region and education as an engine of innovation, connected at least two thousand students, young people and other parties to each other and to LF2018. They are now busy with their new missions.

See Leeuwarder Courant article for more information