The contemporary world stands on the precipice of two major crises: the impending climate catastrophe and the soaring youth unemployment rates in Europe. A significant portion of the EU’s population resides in its sprawling cities, causing rampant urbanization. This urbanization not only contributes to ecological problems but also exacerbates youth unemployment.

Environmental Concerns: Climate change, fueled by greenhouse gas emissions, jeopardizes our sustainable future. With threats to biodiversity and the urgent need to make farming eco-friendly, it’s pivotal to modify behaviors and educate citizens about responsible choices.

Youth Unemployment: The Eurozone sees a troubling 37.5% youth unemployment rate, and our partner countries collectively report a 27% rate for those aged 18-30. This situation paves the way for prolonged socio-economic issues for the youth, such as social exclusion and deteriorating well-being.

But what if there’s a way to address both these issues simultaneously?

ECOWORK+ Initiative: a sustainable farming method that grows food vertically in controlled environments. This innovative approach does not rely on traditional farming methods, but on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology. Here, everything from light, temperature, humidity, to gasses is under human control.

Vertical Farming is not just an agricultural revolution, but it’s also a beacon of hope for the employment sector. By integrating VF education into youth curriculums, we can bridge the knowledge gap, addressing both the climate crisis and employability.

Project Objectives:

Formulate an educational package on VF tailored for the youth (18-30).

Instill entrepreneurial mindset and skills relevant to VF business ventures.

Launch digital resources like virtual seminars/webinars for extensive outreach.

Support digital transformation and readiness of organizations.

Elevate employment rates by imparting VF-related soft skills and competencies.

Advocate for VF’s potential in employability and entrepreneurship.

Foster an entrepreneurial environment within associations.

Arm the youth and communities with green and digital skills to counteract climate change.

Enhance partners’ capabilities in managing VF entrepreneurship projects.

Amplify European collaboration for knowledge sharing in the “Green Economy”.

Anticipated Results:

Production of audio-visual materials.

Digital handbook tailored for the youth.

A comprehensive digital training toolkit for trainers.

Series of virtual seminars and webinars.

An EU-wide social media campaign: “Time on ECOWORK+”.

Innovation & Uniqueness: ECOWORK+ is unique in its interdisciplinary approach, melding environment, entrepreneurship, and technology. Our extensive research on EU platforms revealed that while there are projects that touch upon individual components, none encompass our tri-fold approach.

Methodology: The project thrives on a blend of e-learning, self-learning, and both formal and non-formal education, promoting collaboration on a European scale. This combination of technology (like VF) with traditional methods presents a harmonious solution to the aforementioned challenges.

ECOWORK+: Tackling Climate Change and Youth Unemployment through Vertical Farming

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