From Alghero to California the youths who change Europe

A public multi-functional area where scholars may study and perform extracurricular activities. This idea won a group of young Algherans a training course on social innovation and technology in Silicon Valley.

On the 13th of July 2019, the conclusive event of MediterranEU was held at Lo Quarter in Alghero. The training course was attended by thirty Sardinian youths who for a year designed and built businesses with a high sustainability rate: four final projects competed in front of an audience of youths and representatives of the institutions. In the end the participants decided the winners themselves: the three inventors won the chance to continue training in San Francisco.

MediterranEU was produced by the Rumundu Academy with the fundamental contribution of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, chaired by Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, in cooperation with the Town of Alghero, Rondine Cittadella della Pace, Fondazione Alghero, Parco di Porto Conte under the aegis of the Department of Culture of the Regione Sardegna.

In the course of the year thirty students aged between 16 and 19 learnt the techniques of Project Cycle Management, which analyses the problems and creates projects to solve them. The students focused on several urgencies in Alghero area: the lack of public multi-functional areas and a youth hostel, Posidonia washed ashore that hinders tourism and the shortage of moorings in Porto Conte Marina. The students focused on problems and an idea for a project capable of overcoming them, evaluating the impact, the target and action to obtain results.

MediterranEU revolves around Rumundu Academy in Porto Conte established by Stafano Cucca who explained: “The Mediterranean Sea is currently considered a frontier where walls should be built. We would like to revive it as a meeting place and a cultural exchange venue, and use it to train and new generation of youths capable of developing the region by pooling innovation, art and culture, the environment, urban and social planning in sync with the local communities.”

The support of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale was essential to achieve the project. The Chairman of the Foundation, Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, explained: “Today we completed a one year course, which undoubtedly represented a flagship the sector of advanced training courses both in Italy and in the whole of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. I have always actively undertaken to promote, through Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, the core and inalienable values of knowledge, education and training amongst the young generations – who represent the future of our society – and in view of the results we are attaining today the MediterranEU project is further proof that my conviction is heading in the right direction.”

The event was addressed by the mayor of Alghero, Mario Conoci, who thanked the students for their commitment; the president of the Regional Council, Michele Pais, who said the assembly was willing to support youth innovation projects; the Director of the Parco regionale di Porto Conte, Mariano Mariani, who claimed the local government’s role as innovation facilitator; the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Sassari, Gavino Sini, who underlined the importance of targeting social innovation to rebuild the sense of community and, lastly, Dario Carrera from the Impact Hub Roma and Valentina Pierucci from Rondine Cittadella della Pace, an experience that intersects with MediterranEU and allows twelve youths from war zones to define projects to be developed in their motherland, including: Mali, Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.