A three days bootcamp brought together 46 young people from Dibra to design innovative solutions to development challenges in Diber. The bootcamp addressed three main challenges: lack of creativity and imagination in development new products and services; lack of start-up culture and demand, and lack of role models that inspire young people.
The “Made in Dibra” bootcamp focused on inspiring the participants to find a solution to the challenge on how Dibra might turn into a tourist and cultural hub in the Balkans. The bootcamp utilized technology and design thinking- a human centered approach to problem solving and innovation, to help stir the debate and help the youth come up with creative solutions to the challenges.
The 46-young people were divided in eight groups. The first task of the teams was to explore needs and gaps in their communities, both residents and visitors, whose presence is on the increase in the region. They looked for inspiration to what the region has to offer in terms of natural resources to create a desire to make use of those resources and turn them into opportunities for their own benefit and the benefit of the community.
Participants were also given examples of the use of technology and design thinking in solving real problems and had an opportunity to exchange with successful young entrepreneurs in the areas of software solutions, sports and media.
Erinda one of the participants to the bootcamp said “This bootcamp gave me the opportunity to think outside the box and come up with solutions-which we had never thought of before, for the benefit of citizens living in my town. I realized that my town has a tremendous potential to attract tourists which may provide an incentive for people to stay in Dibra. It is very disheartening to see that now everybody wants to leave the country”.
On the last day, the teams worked on their Business Model Canvas as a system for formulating their thoughts on the next steps, the partnerships, the resources and business models. The participants were given structures how to communicate their ideas for impact and tell the story of their innovation.
At the end of the bootcamp, the teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges. The best ideas were selected based on some predefined criteria, as: the clarity of the problem formulation; innovation; impact to the life of young people; insightfulness of the video prototype, and clarity of the roadmap.
Two project ideas were identified as winners: “Hand Made in Dibra”, an idea aiming to create a market for the hand made products by Dibra artisans through showrooms and experience workshops. The second idea “Uskania”- a project which aims to raise awareness of and teach young women and men the value of recycling. It features a competition among the 44 schools of the region about the best recycling product. The campaign will be run on Instagram.
Back to our Bootcamp
The teams are now back to Dibra, working on turning the selected ideas into tangible work on the ground. UNDP will continue to support and mentor the team in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to see the results!
Why did we do this?
Albania faces challenges in terms of ensuring secure and productive employment opportunities for its population, especially for the poor, women and youth. While the unemployment rate among young has decreased (22.6%, Q1 2018) only 37.9% of youth are employed. Jobless young persons who are either unemployed or inactive, and not in school make up 30% of the 15–29 age group, more than twice of the EU average of 14.8 percent.
Northern municipalities of Albania are the poorest of the Country. The GDP pro-capita is almost half of the national average and the youth unemployment rate reaches 45%. Moreover, among the employed, two out of three are employed in the agricultural sectors, often with seasonal jobs. On the other hand, there is a limited public and private offer of vocational education and training.
To cope with the situation, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, is implementing the project: “Support to employment and social services for vulnerable youth and women in Northern Albania”. Funded by the British Government it aims to create tangible opportunities for the youth living in the municipalities of Shkoder, Kukes and Diber, by introducing tailor-made entrepreneurship training programs, offering opportunities for self-employment and start-ups and offering free legal aid to the most vulnerable.