Online Panel Discussion: “#GoingViral: How young Europeans can foster democratic values in the digital space”

Discussing online youth activism, its challenges and opportunities, the panellists will question the assumption of the internet as a great equalizer, which enables digital (youth) participation in democracies around Europe: What does online youth activism mean? How accessible is digital youth activism? How can digital youth activism be more visible and influential for political decision-making?

Kansu, Farah, Elena and Davit are fellows in the Digital Europe Programme (2021) by the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe and Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft implemented within the Educational Network Understanding Europe. Focusing on topics related to the digital space and digital youth participation, the fellows identified during the last six months several challenges and developed workshops addressing those – supported by experts like Ajša Hadžibegović. They now present their workshops which can be used for peer-to-peer trainings in the Understanding Europe network and beyond in schools around Europe. Together with Damian Boeselager, they will be discussing how young Europeans can use the digital space to shape social change through online activism.

We look forward to your participation. Please register online (see below) or via e-mail by November 22, 2021. You will receive the access data on the day of the event. The online talk will take place via Zoom. The prerequisite is internet access, preferably via PC, tablet, or smartphone. Participation via telephone is possible with limited use. Questions can be asked during the talk.


Daniela Toutpati (Belgium) is heading the team of Understanding Europe Belgium as a Coordinator.

Ajša Hadžibegović (Montenegro) is specialist of youth policy and intercultural non-formal political education, working at the intersection of policy, educational practice and research. She headed several civil society organizations in Montenegro where she was conceptualizing, implementing and supervising Human Rights, Civic Participation, Media and Youth Work programs.

Damian Boeselager, MEP (Germany) is a member of the European Parliament of the party Volt, which he also co-founded. In his work he focuses on Migration and asylum policies, AI and data strategy as well as Eu reforms and the Future of Europe. He was part of the Euroskop project (supported by Schwarzkopf Foundation) taking a trip around 20 different cities in Europe to talk about (young) people´s visions on Europe.

Kansu Ekin Tanca (Turkey) is interested in digital citizenship and youth participation in the digital world. She voluntarily contributes to the Journal of Media Literacy Education as an editorial assistant; and currently works as the education associate of the leading fact-checking organisation, Teyit, based in Turkey where she leads educational projects and conducts workshops on critical digital literacy; mis/disinformation and fact-checking. The workshop she designed for the Understanding Europe network is titled “A path to Digital Citizenship”.

Farah Abdi (Somalia/Germany) is a 26-year-old Somali transgender refugee, blogger, author, feminist, human rights activist, motivational speaker, and youth education advocate. She has been living in Berlin for the last 4 years. Farah created a workshop titled “Democracy, inclusion and participation in the age of social media”

Elena Popescu (Romania) is the co-founder of Station Europe, a member organisation of Understanding Europe and works to help children make more effective use of social media for social change. She is a teacher with more than five years of experience and her goals are to design activities that treat students fairly and equally and to incorporate them into future projects. Elena´s workshop program aims at designing an online campaign and is called “First European Moment”.

Davit Manukyan (Armenia) is a youth worker and communications specialist from Yerevan, Armenia. He has been actively involved in the European Youth Parliament (EYP) for six years, and serves as a board member in the national committee of EYP in Armenia. Davit has been involved in many youth projects including the Understanding Europe network in the capacities of Coordinator and Peer Educator. He is a co-founder of the youth NGO BIL:Armenia and a member of the advisory council on youth affairs to the Mayor of Yerevan. His workshop deals with “Digital active citizenship in local communities”.