Your power, your voice

Thank you Beyza Akay for your valuable contribution and your strong willing to make the voices of young people heard!

Hello World! It’s Beyza here. I’m a high schoolstudent. I study IT. So I know about coding,which is cool. I’m 17 and I’m an intern at Doga Schools, in the EU Projects department. I’m learning and working at the same time. My goal is to become a software engineer at Google.

No, it’s not impossible. It’s possible because i want it and I will study hard for it.

I love listening to stories about historical events, a person’s history, mysterious stories etc. I don’t know why but it’s exhilarating. I love learning and thinking about the things people tell me about. I love the internet because it allows you to search anything, you can learn everything. Even though I know there is a whole different world behind it. At school I understand that we haven’t seen even half of the real internet.

The internet and social media give you power that you will probably never have in real life. You’re who you want to be.

People only know your profile, not your real life. It gives you power but at the same time it weakens you because of what goes on in the social media. Users can address you in whichever way they wish, just as you can. You have to be careful because you can break someone’s heart and they can break your heart. Anyway, that’s not the point.

My point is your power, your VOICE.

If you have enough followers you can make all the people around the world hear your words. For example: you re-tweet someone’s tweet to show it to your followers, and they re-tweet it too. It’s snowballing. Every second it reaches out to more people. Even if you don’t want to. And some people use this. They create platforms to reach their goals, to reach your goals.

In my country, change.org is a very famous website which allows your voice to be heard. It works in a quite simple manner: you can start a petition and people will sign your petition if they find it to be reasonable. Your goal here is to reach a certain number of people. Your supporters and you share it with other people. It reaches out to a new crowd of people. You never meet them but they support your goal. They spread it to the world. And then it reaches out to the policymakers. They give their decision. It’s up to them: if they want to realise it, they will realise it. Sometimes you reach for your goal but sometimes people don’t sign your petition.

As I said before, internet gives you power. You can use your power in a bad way or in a good way. As an intern at Doga Schools, I learned about the WYRED Project. There are other projects in which Doga Schools are involved, but I think this is the most important one. Because young people really need someone to help them make their voices heard. There are young people who can speak to crowds, but the majority young people can’t even talk about their feelings or thoughts. This it the greatest part I think. I wish that the project reaches out to more young people so they can make their voices heard.

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Your power, your voice

Thank you Beyza Akay for your valuable contribution and your strong willing to make the voices of young people heard!

Hello World! It’s Beyza here. I’m a high schoolstudent. I study IT. So I know about coding,which is cool. I’m 17 and I’m an intern at Doga Schools, in the EU Projects department. I’m learning and working at the same time. My goal is to become a software engineer at Google.

No, it’s not impossible. It’s possible because i want it and I will study hard for it.

I love listening to stories about historical events, a person’s history, mysterious stories etc. I don’t know why but it’s exhilarating. I love learning and thinking about the things people tell me about. I love the internet because it allows you to search anything, you can learn everything. Even though I know there is a whole different world behind it. At school I understand that we haven’t seen even half of the real internet.

The internet and social media give you power that you will probably never have in real life. You’re who you want to be.

People only know your profile, not your real life. It gives you power but at the same time it weakens you because of what goes on in the social media. Users can address you in whichever way they wish, just as you can. You have to be careful because you can break someone’s heart and they can break your heart. Anyway, that’s not the point.

My point is your power, your VOICE.

If you have enough followers you can make all the people around the world hear your words. For example: you re-tweet someone’s tweet to show it to your followers, and they re-tweet it too. It’s snowballing. Every second it reaches out to more people. Even if you don’t want to. And some people use this. They create platforms to reach their goals, to reach your goals.

In my country, change.org is a very famous website which allows your voice to be heard. It works in a quite simple manner: you can start a petition and people will sign your petition if they find it to be reasonable. Your goal here is to reach a certain number of people. Your supporters and you share it with other people. It reaches out to a new crowd of people. You never meet them but they support your goal. They spread it to the world. And then it reaches out to the policymakers. They give their decision. It’s up to them: if they want to realise it, they will realise it. Sometimes you reach for your goal but sometimes people don’t sign your petition.

As I said before, internet gives you power. You can use your power in a bad way or in a good way. As an intern at Doga Schools, I learned about the WYRED Project. There are other projects in which Doga Schools are involved, but I think this is the most important one. Because young people really need someone to help them make their voices heard. There are young people who can speak to crowds, but the majority young people can’t even talk about their feelings or thoughts. This it the greatest part I think. I wish that the project reaches out to more young people so they can make their voices heard.

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Different generations, similar purposes

Now let’s go through a reflection on new and old “addictions” to technology! Thanks MOVES for such an interesting point of view.

The young men chose an interesting way of discussing their gaming experiences: they let their favorite YouTubers speak for them in sharing phrases of the Rapper Dames’s songs in an online discussion.

One of these songs is “12 Millionen” (15 Mio hits): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKnkc-4ZzEU

So what is it, that makes young men play WoW (World of Warcraft)? Their discussion tells us, that they love being in a community where they are respected as they are. In the community they are well kown and valued for their contributions, no longer have to prove they are good performers. The problems of the real word vanish, when logging in to another world and with others collaboratively solving  the challenges given there. Its addictive being in a flow. They  are a team, they are strong together.

:“Die guten alten Zeiten” (26 Mio hits): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3rLrFC8igY

But wasn’t it similar in the “good old times”? Times, when they were not even born and the previous generation was glued to television? TV series like Popey, Spiderman, Superman, Wiki, Asterix and Obelix provided the strong and clever idols in that times. Wasn´t this – at that times when television was the leading entertainment technology – as addictive and distracting from the real world as gaming is now?

Though being distinguishable by the 24 hours availability of online gaming and by the level of active/passive participation, it seems that every generation uses its specific technologies for similar purposes.

 

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Young People and The Wyred Project: Sarah

What do young people think about college radios? Is their opinion taken into consideration when institutions distribute fundings? Sarah, a student from Roma Tre University, explored this topic through the Wyred project.

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You People and The Wyred Project: Lorenzo

Lorenzo, a student from Roma Tre University explains the results of his survey conducted through the Wyred project. The topic of the research is the relationship between young people and the employment world. Is it time for institutions to hear the young people’s voice?

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How a digital platform can save animals

October the 4th is World Animal Day in Turkey and Gizem Agyuz decided to share with us his story about how a digital platform and a campaign can have a deeply positive impact on animals’ life.

My name is Gizem Agyuz. I work as a Project Development Assistant in Doga’s office for EU Projects Coordination. I am 26 years old and I have a great love for all animals. I gained a bachelor degree in Biology from Marmara University in 2015. Naturally, my studies concentrated on plants and animals. Many lectures involved a number of animals being cut open to examine their anatomy; however, I did not attend those lessons. In order to examine their anatomy in detail, animals were first knocked unconscious and cut open; once they started waking up, were killed by having their aortic vessels cut.

I only attended the very first lecture. Myself and some of my friends in the same course could not remain indifferent. First, we talked to our friends to explain that these animals were not newly discovered species, and therefore there was no need to cut them open to examine their anatomy, as all the relevant information and images could be accessed on the internet. During one lecture, we spoke about the impact on the slaughtered animals.Unfortunately, the number of animals slaughtered for a single course was as high as 70!

This was not science, this was just slaughter!

Then we talked to the instructors in our department, and asked for this to be the last course using this appalling method of study. Unfortunately, we never achieved anything. We talked with animal protection associations and animal rights lawyers. We understood that we were able to reach more people by using digital platforms and we created a campaign via change.org. We shared our campaign with people from all over Turkey, and we managed to reach to many people. For the following year, our department decided not to cut animals oper for anatomy lessons.

After this success, I decided to become an animal activist. I worked as a volunteer in various non- governmental organisations, such as GREENPEACE, WWF, SOHAYKO, HAYTAP, etc.

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Renewable energies

The new story from our partner MOVES comes from Hertha-Firnberg-Schools in Vienna and Lehrlingsstiftung Eggenburg, and it is a message on renewable energies…

Lack and waste of resources is limiting the society in order to evolve and expand the knowledge and use of renewable energy. Rare earth metals are a fundamental part of advancing in terms of science and technology. Resources like petroleum, coal or copper, which are fundamental for the continuity of a functioning infrastructure and therefore crucial for the survival of human kind, are extinguishing. Consequently, there is the need of funding and further developing environmentally sustainable ways of energy generation. When taking a look at the Fukushima incident in 2011 or the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 it is further easy to recognize, that the wrong treatment of these resources is one of the causes. Most of these catastrophes are directly linked to natural disasters caused by global warming – another energy related cataclysm made by the ignorant use of energy of humanity.

Not only is the introduction of renewable energy stopping energy related disasters from happening, it has also many other positive aspects, which are worth mentioning. Firstly, and probably the most important issue that occurs when generating energy out of fossil fuels is global warming. Since it is a problem that is current and becoming more and more dangerous for Planet Earth, it is the duty of nowadays generations to build the foundation for fighting global warming in the future. Therefore, instead of using coal, which produces 0.6 to 1.6 kilograms of CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, or natural gas, which amounts from 0.3 up to 0.9 kilograms CO2 per kilo Watt-hour, as energy sources, they should be replaced by wind, solar or hydroelectric power. They emission roughly 0.01 kilogram of Carbon Dioxide per generated kilo Watt-hour.

Therefore: We urgently need to continue with the processes of the introduction of renewable energy!

“Jesseal” produces a collage showing the dangers of nuclear power plants, being a steady real danger in the northern border region of Austria – the region where his school is located nearby.

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Hunger of democracy

And now we leave the floor to Kuzey Sagkal, a young boy with very clear ideas on what democracy should be based on.

I am a 17 years old student from Doga Schools in Turkey. Me and my friend Deniz have been working on the topic of democracy since 2016. We have delivered a lot of workshops in Greece, Turkey and Finland.

People often talk about countries “becoming” democracies, once they start to have relatively free and open elections. But democracy includes far more than just elections, and it really makes more sense to think about the idea of ‘will of the people’, rather thanjust voting. Most of the Turkish people look at social democracy in a different way; for instance, choosing a class captain is considered to be something big in democracy, whilst in some of the more advanced countries such as Finland this is perceived as being just normal. The main reason behind our hunger for democracy is that we do not have a social democracy. We can only use democracy in its true essence only once in every five years, i.e. for the elections. We can restructure the way we think about democracy by educating our new generations on how to use democracy in their daily life. We can familiarize their opinions on democracy. Today, if we were to ask a Turkish citizen what democracy is, they would only make references to the elections, because that is all we have in the name of democracy in Turkey and underdeveloped countries. Me and my friend Deniz had conversations with people from other countries, who think their
countries are not democratic enough. We all have the same problems of lack of social democracy. In Turkey, our biggest obstacle is created by our minimum wages, which are too low, unlike EU and other advanced countries. Because of that, our people just focus on their work for subsistence and cannot really afford to care about democracy in their daily lives, even in their offices, which sets a bad example for their children who ignore anything about democracy, thus creating an endless loop.

EU projects showed me what is lacking in our democracy system and this led me into thinking about how to solve these problems.

1 Lack of social democracy

1.a Teaching democracy in our schools to the younger generation

as a subject like maths. However, the biggest obstacle is our government. Low educated people do not want to change this system and the current government is happy about this situation.

1.b Push them to use democracy in every scenario in their lives. For instance, choosing their meals at the family dinner by expressing their opinions, or choosing their student council through a democratic voting system, perhaps even including e-voting.

2 Rigging democratic elections

2.a Even though it does not look like a huge problem, it is one of the biggest problems inTurkey’s electoral system. By changing our systemto an e-voting model, we could minimise this risk and make voting easier.

In conclusion, if we were to apply these proposed actions step by step, we could advance our democracy and make use of democratic thoughts in our daily lives. Sure, it will take a long time to put these proposals into action, but our younger generations will be better for it.

 

Kuzey Sagkal from Doga Schools

 

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Digital society, young people and decision makers: Wyred consultations

One of the partners of WYRED consortium, Youth for Exchange and Understanding, is consulting 180 young people taking part in University on Youth and Development on issues related to digital society.

What are their biggest concerns? What values should we have online? Do they feel that their voices are heard by decision makers and what are they demanding as young people from stakeholders for a better digital society?

Consultations are part of the revision process of WYRED Manifesto.

 

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Young womens’ scientific text and reflections on impacts of new technologies

Bianca Neumann, Lisa Birett and Alina Bindu from Hertha Firnberg-Schools in Vienna tell us how New Technologies can impact our lives.

Our world is currently filled with modern technology due to the noteworthy progress scientists have made in recent years. Artificial intelligence and robotics have become significantly advanced and are commonly found in the modern working fields. The adoption of service automation is able to facilitate production, transportation, medicine, education, tourism, and many other areas. The question is whether or not the world of employment will benefit from this embrace of machinery and what challenges human employees might face if robots were to actively participate in various business departments.

This also accounts for  Virtual Reality which is one of the modern technologies that are nowadays used to alter our perception of the world that is surrounding us. Wikipedia defines VR as “a computer-generated scenario that stimulates a realistic experience”.

But what exactly does this mean? Headsets are usually used to either create a completely new environment or just change the outlay of the real world. Even props or physical environments can be used to generate realistic images and sounds that will completely pull the user into an alternative universe. To make the experience as authentic as possible the user is able to look and move around and even interact with virtual features or items.

Virtual reality can come in handy in many different fields and is believed to facilitate many tasks we have to face. In social sciences for example, VR is being used to study and replicate interactions of human beings in a controlled environment. Also, surgery training can nowadays be done through VR technologies. The benefits of an altered or artificial environment can be taken advantage of for educational or training purposes where individuals can develop skills without the pressure of failure and the fear of consequences which are constantly present in the real world.

But virtual reality is also used for entertainment purposes, in public or privately. This includes gaming, 3D cinema or roller coasters that are offering an extraordinary experience by using modern technologies.

Even though VR has many advantages there are various concerns especially regarding the health and safety of the users as well as the protection of their privacy. Some side effects of VR have already been noticed but most long-term effects on vision and neurological development are still unknown.

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