ProMo does Helsinki: #Eryica30 & #Digiera16

by Sam Easterbrook | 29th Apr 2016

Keen observers of ProMo-Cymru’s Twitter and Instagram will have noticed an awful lot of posts in the past week with the hashtag #Eryica30 and #digiera30.

This was because Marco, Arielle, and Sam were in Helsinki, Finland for a conference called Challenges and Opportunities of Youth Information and Counselling in a Digital Era. It was also Eryica’s 30th Birthday Party.

There was lots of great workshops, some top networking, and some delicious food, so here’s a quick visual round-up of what we did…

Tuesday 19th April 2016

An early start is no [yawn] biggie.


A photo posted by ProMo-Cymru (@promocymru) on

After a 3 hour coach ride and a 3 hour flight we made it to the hotel in Helsinki. Did we unpack? Did we run a bath? ProMo is hardcore, so we dumped our bags and went straight to the opening session.

Yes Mika from Koordinaatti really is that big. As part of the “Development of youth information and counselling from the 80s to our days” there was a quiz about 1986 using this cool tool called Kahoot, which we’ll definitely be using in future. Sam came first in the quiz and Helen from CWVYS came third, gold and bronze for Wales…

Editor Sam sure loves a #pubquiz #DigiEra16 #Eryica30

A photo posted by FeedTheSprout (@feedthesprout) on

We then ate some salmon.

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Wednesday marked the real start of the conference and most importantly was when Sam picked up his prize…

#Repost @feedthesprout with @repostapp ・・・ Sam the editor’s prize swag from yesterday’s #DigiEra16 quiz

A photo posted by ProMo-Cymru (@promocymru) on

It’s a hat and one of those portable phone chargers if you’re wondering, super handy as Sam was Instagramming hard for both ProMo and theSprout. FYI Nuortenelämä is Finland’s information, advice and guidance for young people service.

The rest of the morning and a lot of the afternoon was taken up with interesting talks and discussions around online youth information, which can be summarised pretty neatly in this graphic done live during the day…

Sam, along with a few other delegates from around Europe, were tasked with answering the question “How could a youth information service become ‘a cat video’ of digital media?” So Sam drew a picture of a cat…

We went with #dynamic #shareable #friendly and questioned #capacity. #catselfie #DigiEra16

A photo posted by ProMo-Cymru (@promocymru) on

We then played some games, courtesy of Joost from De Aanstokerij in Belgium, who develops bespoke educational games for use by young people, and ate some salmon.

Thursday 21st April 2016

Thursday was all about good practice, inspirations, networking and planning for the future. We got 10 minutes to talk about a couple of our projects: Marco talked about Meic, the information, advice and advocacy helpline for young people in Wales, Sam chuntered on about theSprout, the online magazine and info site for young people in Cardiff…

And Arielle introduced KLU, a new venture that will share young people’s voices and views from across Europe…

Arielle explains #KLU at #digiera16

A photo posted by ProMo-Cymru (@promocymru) on

Talking of KLU, we had a breakout session where organisations from 8 countries expressed an interest in getting involved…

International meeting of minds on #KLU #digiera16

A photo posted by ProMo-Cymru (@promocymru) on

Marco also wangled his way on to a panel discussion where we reflected on what we learned.

Visits to local youth information and counselling services where next up and Marco and Sam visited the rather swish Ohjaamo Helsinki, a youth information centred focused on employment…

Ohjaamo auttaa sinua mietityttävissä asioissa! #digiera16 #ohjaamohelsinki

A photo posted by Heta Malinen (@aluekoordinaattoriheta) on

That’s Finnish for asking allowed (according to Google Translate anyway).

We then had some free time to network and get ready for the big ERYICA 30th birthday party on our own private island for the night. Yeah private island… about 20 metres from the shore of Helsinki, but still, it was a private island.

Our ride home from the #Eryica30 80s party #imonaboat #lonelyisland

A photo posted by FeedTheSprout (@feedthesprout) on

As it was a 30th birthday party it was 80s themed, with fancy dress and disco dancing, which some people may have taken a bit too far *cough*

We also ate some salmon.

Arielle and Sam, ProMo’s chief photographic documenters of the trip flew back on the Friday, but what a great few days it was, really inspirational and we all made some great contacts. Watch this space for future collaborations. We’d like to thank Koordinaatti for organising such a great event and look forward to the next one.

And happy birthday ERYICA!