26. January 2018

FutureLab Europe officially welcomed 16 young and talented Europeans as members of its seventh generation on the occasion of the Annual Forum 2018, a four-days seminar which was held in Brussels on January 23 -26. The Annual Forum marked participants’ official entry into the programme as members of the FutureLab Europe network.

During this intensive seminar, FutureLab Europe participants took part in a number of activities and workshops and had the chance to meet top-level EU experts and decision‑makers. Young people’s political engagement, the reasons behind the growth of populist movements – as well as how to counter them – and the role of young Europeans in shaping the future of the continent are just some of the themes FutureLabbers have been busy debating this year.

At the Annual Forum the participants met  Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and President of the EPC, and discuss with him the role of young people in shaping the future of Europe. They were also involved in a debate on the reasons of the rise of populism in Europe with, among the others, Monica Frassoni, Co-chair of the European Green party. A further session was dedicated to the democratic participation of young Europeans. In this occasion, Luc Van den Brande, Special Adviser to the Juncker’s Commission, commented his latest report on engaging citizens in European politics. Finally, a special session was organised to provide members with a concrete example of activism by interacting with Mina Jaf, Founder and Director of the Women Refugee Route and recipient of the Women of Europe Award 2017 and the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe.

After further intensive discussions, FutureLab Europe participants sat together to co‑create active citizenship projects to be implemented across Europe during 2018. Working in five different groups according to their objectives, they developed projects with a lasting civic impact, which are the result of the combination of their different talents, skills and perspectives. All FutureLab Europe projects are local in implementation but European in outlook (for some examples check out our last years projects here!).
The workshop discussions were facilitated by five members of the Advisory Group, a group of 10 FutureLab Europe Alumni that brings together committed participants of different generations of FutureLab Europe with the aim to strengthen the network and foster its inter-generational spirit.

After the Annual Forum, FutureLab Europe members are now going to work across countries to implement together their active citizenship projects. In September 2018, FutureLabbers will reconvene again to Brussels. Here they will take part to the FutureLab Europe Autumn Conference, where they will have the chance to present the results of their projects and discuss them with high-level EU decision makers.

Check out what they did and who they met taking a look to the FLE_Annual Forum_ final programme!