Digital Partnership

A team of young people from Duisburg and Perm developed a joint project at the Germany-Russia Youth Forum of Partner Cities based on TikTok challenges.

The fourth Germany-Russia Youth Forum for Partner Cities took place at the end of June in Moscow and Kaluga. 50 people between 18 and 30 from both countries took part.

This year the forum was called “Digitization: a chance to collaborate”. The event was organised  in parallel with the 16th Germany-Russia Partner Cities Conference, which takes place in a German or Russian city every two years, and marked the relaunch of face-to-face youth exchanges.

All forum participants had to get through a competitive selection process with only nine joint projects being approved out of a huge number of applications from across the country. Nine teams were put together with some participants face to face and others online. The young people represented the partner cities: Duisburg – Perm, Bonn – Kaliningrad, Hamburg – St. Petersburg, Halle – Ufa – Erlangen, |Karlsruhe – Krasnodar, Osnabrück – Tver, Essen – Nizhny Novgorod, Ettlingen – Gatchina.

“The forum involved discussions, press conferences, lectures and seminars, but the main focus was the work in the partner groups. We learned new and interesting things about how to work with the public using digital media, as well as investigating opportunities for project financing. The teams collaborated using the platform and a mobile chat application. They discussed the project details online using video conferencing software with the help of an interpreter. We are keeping in contact with the young people from Duisburg and are hoping to continue working with them after the forum,” said Anastasia Romanova.

The team of young people developed and presented the joint project “Good challenge”  ♯dobroduper ♯dobrochallengePD featuring a number of activities on TikTok: eco-volunteering tasks such as making videos of children working to improve areas in parks and small river valleys, caring for birds and animals and helping those in need. The project is set to launch in autumn and will continue until spring 2022. The team already have ideas for taking it forward and for encouraging young people to get involved. Discussions are continuing and several online meetings have been set up to work on the projects in the near future.

“Duisburg and Perm are united by common problems, and we can learn a lot from each other, so we decided to use emerging formats in developing the joint project. TikTok is currently very popular with 14- to 18-year-olds, and the theme of the forum was digitization. Projects like this help encourage young people to volunteer. The new generation is key to what our cities will look like in the future,” said Anastasia Romanova.