Connected Worlds: young people code abroad


For a few years now, Jugend hackt has been working with young people in German-speaking countries, bringing them together in numerous hackathons. Now, little by little, other countries are coming on board. For example, the student exchange program Connected Worlds has been around since 2016, organized by Jugend hackt, together with the internationally active Goethe-Institut. This also brings Jugend hackt overseas, coding with young people and encouraging them to reflect on topics such as ethics.

The previous destinations were all in Asia: South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Sri Lanka, and India. A small group of young hackers with mentors traveled to each hackathon, equipped with laptops for programming and other technology such as electronic components for prototype development. For several days, they developed projects and built prototypes there with youth from many countries.

Thus, for example, the "CoolTourHat," a wearable electronic hat in form of a cylinder, was created in Seoul. Thanks to its big, circumferential LED display, it can transport messages via smartphone operation. Furthermore, several hats can even communicate with each other. This is a fine example of Connected Worlds. The instructions on how to make it were published and the hat can be easily reproduced. Since then, the hat has appeared again at German Jugend hackt-events too.

CoolTourHat

„CoolTourHat“: CC-BY 4.0 Jugend hackt, Photo: Nina Röckelein

During the last Connected Worlds-event in April, two girls and three boys went to New Delhi and Kolkata in India. "Food Revolution" was the event's theme. Problems related to food and nutrition were to be addressed using technology and code. Many digital prototypes emerged in this context; among other, there was a nutrition quiz as well as an online platform where farmers could sell their products directly, i.e. without middlemen.

Along with the programming, the culinary side was not forgotten, of course. Together, the German and Indian youth cooked dishes they know, but also creative new ones. Communication during this, as well as during the whole event, was in German, since the mission and purpose of Goethe-Institut is to promote the German language abroad.

Young developers in Asia

Young developers in Asia: CC-BY Goethe-Institut, Photo: Jia Yu Tsai

The next Connected Worlds-event, we were fascinated by all the creativity and commitment among the youth. Going abroad and developing culturally while there is a great opportunity for young hackers; young people are encouraged to do this in view of the continuing course of globalization and to get ready for the future. It is nice that there are projects to do this, and we always gladly support them.

As after each Jugend hackt-event, we were fascinated by all the creativity and commitment among the youth. Going abroad and developing culturally while there is a great opportunity for young hackers; young people are encouraged to do this in view of the continuing course of globalization and to get ready for the future. It is nice that there are projects to do this, and we always gladly support them.

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