Online Thinkathon

Do you want to shape our inclusive digital future by building on technical advancements? We’ll make sure your voice is heard! - This project is funded by the European Union -

Your mission

Connect online with young driven people from Europe and Canada and develop ideas for our future! Through your suggestions, show how technological advancements can change our understanding of society and how we can use digitality to build an inclusive community!

Choose 1 of 7 categories for your project!

You can take part multiple times in different categories.



A 3-Step Process

Meet your Mentors

Antoine Rayroux, PhD, Consultant - Canada-Europe relations | International affairs  

"Our Digital Future - C'est ICI", c'est l'occasion pour moi de mettre mon énergie et mon sens de l'écoute au service d'une jeunesse qui a tant à nous dire sur notre avenir. J'ai hâte de les aider à faire entendre leur voix et faire valoir leur opinion.

Let's listen to what futurist Alvin Toffler once said, as he was writing on technological changes and their impacts on society: "The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they - at some distant point in the future - will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely... because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties."

This was written... 45 years ago. Time to take this commitment seriously!

Katie Hayes, Project Manager, Technology and Smart City, Digital Engagement

Katie Hayes is from Edmonton and loves getting involved in community and civic life! She has a Masters of Arts in Community Development through the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Katie has led the strategic design and program management for a number of community development initiatives within municipal government, including Edmonton's Digital Action Plan and Smart City program, Capital City Clean-Up and Strathcona County Victim Services volunteer program.

Katie dedicates much of her free time to volunteering with community organizations and events, traveling and going running with her rescue dog. She is also a community dance teacher working with children ages 3 and up as well as young adults. Through this program she is able to share her love of movement and performance in a recreational setting aimed at building self-confidence, creativity and teamwork in program participants. She is passionate about building community and creating opportunities for people to learn, grow and create together. Katie is thrilled to be joining Our Digital Future - C'est ICI as a mentor this spring!   

Luca Selva, Co-Founder ThinkYoung

Originally from Italy, Luca is the co-founder of ThinkYoung, a Brussels-based think tank that aims to make the world a better place for young people. Luca is also a professor at the UFM Madrid, and as an active youth supporter, he's always up for new challenges! 

Paula Kirman, Freelance Communications Professional & Digital Content Specialist

Paula Kirman is an award-winning writer, photographer, filmmaker, musician, and community organizer from Edmonton. She edits two community newspapers and works with numerous non-profit groups as a communications and media consultant. Some of her awards include the Award of Merit for Advocacy of Social Justice from the Edmonton Social Planning Council, The Salvos Prelorentzos Peace Award from Project Ploughshares Edmonton, and the Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights for being a pioneering media artist and community organizer. A poet and singer/songwriter, she was awarded First Prize in the 2016 Edmonton Inner City Poetry Contest and was a finalist in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition. 

Foto credit Manoucheka Lacherie
Souleymane Guissé, President of the Intercultural Council for the City of Montreal

"President of the Intercultural Council for the city of Montreal since January 2020, Souleymane Guissé is a professional in employability and socio-professional integration. His fields of action are immigration, intercultural relations and youth. His rich career path led him to work at the Carrefour-Jeunesse emploi Bourassa-Sauvé where he was responsible for the visa program for employment of young newcomers to Canada for nearly five years. Currently, he is the coordinator of the socio-professional integration niche (an initiative aimed at integration into social economy enterprises) at the Ministère de l'Économie et l'innovation du Québec. Mr. Guissé holds a master's degree in foreign languages and cultures from the University of Grenoble in France and a master's degree in intercultural mediation from the University of Sherbrooke".

Julia Crumiere, Communication Officer at ThinkYoung

Julia is the Communications Officer of ThinkYoung. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, a Master Degree in Crisis Communications and an Executive Master in European Public Affairs. Julia is interested in social affairs, particularly in women's rights, the role of media in politics and European integration.

Robin Arens, Associate at Bernstein Group and head of Junge Transatlantiker

Robin is Co-Founder of the Young Transatlantic Leadership Initiative. YTL is a transatlantic immersive leadership exchange format between Canada and Germany. It aims to build a sustainable network of young leaders. The program’s core element consists of immersive study trips to Germany and Canada on an annually rotating basis. Since 2015, he is working on improving transatlantic relations between Germany, Canada, and the United States in various roles.

Robin works for Bernstein Group, a Berlin-based consultancy that advises its clients on regulatory questions and political issues. His specializations are FMCG producents, providers of mobility solutions, and healthcare clients.

Simone Rudolf, Consultant EU Office Goethe-Institut Brussels

Simone Rudolf works at the Goethe-Institut Brussels in the field of European Funding Programmes since 2009. Her task is to advise colleagues and partners worldwide on drafting successful project proposals for EC applications. Further, she gives trainings in project writing and budgeting, taking into consideration the rules and regulations of the EC. Simone Rudolf has a background in economic science and holds a MBA in Marketing. Next to her mother tongue German, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Charles Howard, Research Manager at ThinkYoung

Charles is the Research Manager at ThinkYoung, where he manages social and political research projects on children’s rights and youth engagement. This includes a focus on employment, skills, and education, online civil liberties, international development and the SDGs, social inclusion, and political and civic engagement. He also has experience in multiple European based NGOs on EU policy and rights based issues including at the Open Rights Group and the Project for Democratic Union.

Charles holds a degree in Law and Politics from QMUL, and an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Evaluation Criteria


Does the project use creativity and ingenuity to solve a problem? Does the project offer an original, innovative approach to addressing the selected problem?


Does the project address a clear need, problem, or opportunity? Does the project fit the problem it addresses? How big is the impact of the proposed solution?


Does the project address digital inclusion in society? Do the presented recommendations fit the selected category?


How is diversity reflected by your project? Are underrepresented communities addressed?