Jugend hackt is a program for young people between 12 and 18 years of age who like to hack, code or build, or want to learn how. Since 2013, "Jugend hackt" has enjoyed a growing community of young people and mentors who regularly come together in labs and at events and want to improve the world with code.
Unfortunately, this was not as possible as the organizers would have liked over the past one and a half years: gathering around 100 people together in one place for a weekend was simply not permitted due to the pandemic. Thanks to the increasing vaccination rate and testing options, however, there is light on the horizon; that is why "Jugend hackt" courageously selected the question "What's next?" as this year's motto.
A new normal will follow the pandemic
It will never be like it was before, there will be a new normal. And while everyone probably has a few things in their minds that they want to do again when it's possible, some things will be different: less traffic on the streets and in the sky, digitalization will no longer be a side issue, more appreciation for people who work in social occupations, and so on... "Jugend hackt" is certain that crises can get the ball rolling in many areas and, above all, young people are a central force behind these movements.
Photo: CC-BY 4.0 Jugend hackt / Philip Steffan
This has already been demonstrated this year at three events. The participants in Cologne, Hamburg and Frankfurt came together online to work together on "what's next". There is already an extensive report available about the event in Cologne.
Projects provide insight into the lives of young people
The projects that the young people have worked on convey good insight into the lives of young people during the pandemic. There were three projects in Hamburg that dealt with everyday life at school under pandemic conditions: young people are bringing order into digital chaos with "Smartpakalist" and making communication easier between teachers and students with the "Alpaka-Chat", while another group dealt with how individuals can find study groups online.
In Frankfurt, the topic of home office and homeschooling was also represented: a group of young people developed a video quiz platform where lecture content is reviewed and study videos can be shown. Another group designed a tool that can be used to make it easier to select the right video conferencing software. So while schools in Germany are still lagging behind, the young people at "Jugend hackt" already have very concrete concepts and ideas regarding how home office and distance learning could look.
After these three online events in the spring, "Jugend hackt" is now full of anticipation for the fall: five more events are scheduled and they are all currently planned to occur on site.
Five more "Jugend hackt" events by the end of the year
The start of the fall event season will be the event in Berlin, which will be held from October 8th to 10th. There will be three more events in Mannheim, Munich and Linz in Austria at the end of October. The final event will be held in Dresden in December. There is much hope that all of the events will be able to actually be held in person as corresponding safety concepts have been created.
"Jugend hackt" learned something positive from the online events: the "Alpaka-World", meaning the digital event space for online events, is available in the event that a planned weekend can't be held as scheduled. However, one thing is clear independent of the events: there will be a digital preview in the "Alpaka-World" in December – a multimedia exhibit that will portray many different people from the "Jugend hackt" universe.
We are looking toward the future with positivity!