Erasmus 3 – The Maverick Programme

Davide Minighin, Davide Susca, Gianvito Fanelli, Alessandra Bari, Elena Panciroli, Sara Gabbioni (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)

Using youth exchange programs to develop knowledge on policy systems

This program engages youngsters into the civic and governmental decision-making processes of countries/cities where they are hosted for a residency period. It is a   similar to Eramus, but focused on policy-making. The aim is to help young people develop knowledge about different countries government and policy systems and give their own contributions, thus bringing in their perspective as independent thinkers from abroad and strengthening the democratic processes in those places.



  • liamdargan

    The idea of an ‘Erasmus’ scheme designed to help young people get into politics / policy making is really interesting. It’s a great way to bring our countries together and educate about our similarities or differences, learn from the successes of other places in Europe, and have a greater understanding of how and why our cultures vary. It’s a great way to give people an ‘outside of the box’ perspective, and will hopefully encourage a generation of young people to believe that they’re capable of making a positive change – whether that’s in their own community or on a larger scale.

    This kind of thinking and sharing should be encouraged – and I hope the generation of young people let down by the Brexit vote in the UK are able to benefit in the future.

    • alessandrabari

      Thanks for your comment! You have definitely got the point. Our aims is to increase young citizens participation in politics and awareness, thanks to an on-field education. The result should be a better quality of local policy making across the European Union, the dissemination of the best practices and a strong support to the next young generation, by allowing them to change the future!

    • tomew

      Great idea – I love the approach of providing a structured, cross-country means to encourage young people into politics. Further down the road, it would be great if there was a way in which the service could aim to maximise inclusivity from a range of socio-cultural-economic backgrounds (if it doesn’t do this already). Politics (in the UK at least) is heavily dominated by the “elite” classes – this service could be a great means to level the social playing field.

      • alessandrabari

        The program is open to everyone and definitely inclusive. But the point to maximize that perspective could be a key value of the process. Usually the politics come from the elite class and are detached from the real needs of citizens. The Maverick program can reinforce the inclusion as well as the bottom up activities, in which the Young Independent Thinkers are involved.
        We’ll take this direction in strong consideration for developing a consistent scenario that will prototype some ways to make it happen.

  • mariangelaclerici

    I am a big fan of this concept! Worst enemy of good politics (besides corruption) is to stay trapped in old habits and processes. Trapped by the “it’s always been done this way”-pitfall. Confrontation and diversity are the keys to grow. Plus young people usually come with fresh minds, hope for a better future.
    It could be a brilliant way to see how best cases can be applied and customized to local communities. It’s an opportunity for local politics to be seen with new eyes.
    One other aspect of politics as it is now is that it moves too much slower than its citizens to embrace social changes and stay up to date with real needs. This concept could give a very much needed acceleration for reality driven politics.
    Good luck with this project, guys!

    • alessandrabari

      Hi Mariangela! Thank you for your feedback 🙂 We envision to build an ecosystem where the stakeholders involved are different: European Union, independent thinkers, citizen, local governments and local hosts. The diversity is one of the a key of our concept. We want to enable, thanks to diversity, the values’ exchange not only in the policy making field, but during all over the experience for each stakeholders. Finger crossed!

  • ricwhat

    In today’s world the trustworthiness of European Union should pass through a new way to think of politics and policy making: to permit youngsters from all over Europe, to share their perspectives and points of view in the complexity of the policy making processes, it’s the golden opportunity to reinforce the idea of “Union”.
    The injection of good practices from different countries (and especially from young citizens) will help to raise the awareness of the high value of cultural diversity as a source of enrichment of societies.

    • chiara

      I completely agree!
      The European Union has enormous political, economic and cultural potential that we cannot give up. To date, however, it has failed to fully express it. As a result, anti-European thoughts and projects are being strengthened, but they are not a solution.
      Projects like this offer instead a real hope for change and strengthening of democratic processes.

      • alessandrabari

        Thank you guys for your feedbacks! Nowadays it is really important to reinforce the idea of “Union”.
        And for us the essential ingredient is the combination of young people with their fresh minds and a new way to think the policy making. Everyone will benefit from it and the process is scalable from global to local environment, and the opposite.

  • valentinalog

    That’s a great and inspiring project – looking forward to seeing the implementation process !

    • alessandrabari

      Thanks for your support! We hope that this scenario will be taken in consideration for the next step. We look forward to implementing the process 🙂 Have you any suggestions about? What would you like to see implemented first?

  • franbabb

    Interesting project! An opportunity for confrontation and improvement by knowing better policy-making strategy. It is also a way for developing new perspective and thinking about the future of the European Union itself.

    • alessandrabari

      Thanks for your comment! We want to develop a new perspective working at first to create a monitoring system for existing policies, especially working on the migrants integration, green energy and last but not least on a new educational system thanks to the help of YIT – young independent thinkers. By 2040 we envision to create YIT teams at EU level as a tangible outcome of the Maverick Program. An excellent result will be to expand the Program including cities outside Europe.
      The process is open to any feedbacks about other steps that you think we have to take in consideration!

  • giovannirabuffetti

    I love this project!! Ideas like these are long-due in Europe 🙂

    • alessandrabari

      Thanks for your support! And what do you like more? Do you have in mind any benchmarks suggestions, or a personal experience to share with us? It is important to collect any kind of feedback to enrich our concept for the next, potential, implementation step.

    • alessandrabari

      Thank you! If you have any curiosity about, let know us!

  • iosmanio

    I love this project! I really would like to take part of it!

    • alessandrabari

      Thank you! We’ll keep you updated! We need to involve young people, deep understanding their needs to design a meaningful service for both: final users and EU policy making for the local government.

  • roberta94

    Nice point of view and interesting way of developing the Erasmus programme! Hope to see it realized in the future!
    It would be great to implement the nowadays policy, giving young people the space to express their own idea and feel part of the European community and its changes, while learning from it.

    Keep us updated! Great job!

    • alessandrabari

      Thank you for the support! We feel that by engaging the young generation and implementing a new paradigm of the erasmus experience, it should be a great opportunity to experiment a new way of policy making. With the aim to build up a new feeling about European Union and its future.

  • dora

    I really think this initiative will help youth to become more engaged in the politcal and policy issues. Nowadays we are facing increasing trouble at the political level and lack of a constructive vision that consider the whole Europe and not the single state as autonomous. There is a lot of potential in the sharing of knowledge and in brainstoming different issues all togheter. I truly believe that this initiative will get some interesting results. I also appreciate that is comprehnsive of a support to the host communities and can make the experience for the young thinker even more interesting, getting them the chance to be in touch with the real everyday life of each country and thus expanding their point of view. I woudl like to know more about the project and stay updated on the implementation of the activities.

  • ceciliar

    This project is really interesting, first of all because it gives a central role to direct experience. Young people who will come into contact with local policies will be able to learn a lot, and then they will be able also to share what they have learned in their country. In this regard I have two curiosities: 1. according to which criteria are the participants selected? 2. how the Countries normally known for their “bad habits” could be involved?
    Good luck!!!!

    • alessandrabari

      The program is open for young Europeans from 18 to 30 years old, aimed at training their policy making capabilities in a multidisciplinary context.
      The process will follow these general steps:
      – the Maverick chooses the destination where she/he would like to go, between those whose requirements match his skills.
      – the EU goes through the process of selection and team composition
      – the selected candidates start the online training (at least 2 weeks) on policy making
      – the Mavericks move to the city and receives a on site training to understand local dynamics (governance, problems, culture)
      – brief and tutors presentation, assigned to each team. Weekly meetings between teams and citizens
      – public presentation of the final proposal to local government and citizens
      – upload the proposal on The Maverick website, in order to everyone can benefit from it

      We still have to define the criteria selection, but we’ll try to do envisioning different scenario and groups of interest.
      Every European country will be involved despite its cultural habits and political issues. ‘Nice to have’ a monitoring period to highlight pain points in the processes and collect feedback about the overall experience from every stakeholders involved.

  • jmswitters

    This is a great idea! Travelling abroad is the single most important factor to avoid populism. Combining travelling with participation just makes sense.

  • dorakar

    Interesting project!

    • alessandrabari

      Thank you for your support!

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