GenB B Icon (Preloader)

Empowering Youth for a Sustainable Bioeconomy Future: Highlights from You(th) for BIOregions.SK

may 06th 2024

On May 13, PEDAL, the Slovak partner of GenB, organized the You(th) for BIOregions.SK event, held as a satellite event of the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival in Slovakia. The event was a one-day gathering aimed to foster awareness, inspire sustainable habits, promote bioeconomy careers, and empower youth to catalyze transformative change across European regions.

The event catered to various age groups, offering specialized sessions for younger participants, youth aged 15 and above, as well as young professionals.

Exploring Career Pathways in the Bioeconomy

During the TEDx talk, young professionals shared insights into diverse career opportunities within the bioeconomy.

One of our Slovak ambassadors shared her journey, transitioning from volunteering, exploring the world as a traveler, to educating others with a strong focus on sustainability. A young professional in regional development shared her story, leading her from a scientific career to development of a circular economy in a Slovak region. Representatives of Veles Farming talked about the beginnings and development of the hydroponic agriculture business and the gradual transformation of their company into a technological one. Social entrepreneurship also plays an important role in communities, which was presented by the next, talking about the activities, benefits and also challenges faced by non-profits. Lastly, a young scientist specializing in brewing shared some innovations and outcomes of his research and highlighted the fulfillment derived from a scientific career.


Engaging Dialogue with Policy Makers

In the following discussion with policymakers, Mr. Šucha, former Director-General of JRC, Mr. Hegyi, assistant to a Member of the European Parliament, and Ms. Dana Peškovičová, representing the BIOEAST initiative, discussed about the EU-level policy-making process, with a particular focus on environmental issues, opportunities for Member States to influence these policies, and ways to engage (young) individuals.
The speakers shared examples of successful initiatives, when even small member states, such as Slovakia, can push through significant changes in the field of environmental policies within the EU. As highlighted during the debate, regional and European policies are closely linked.
Speakers emphasized the importance of open communication among regional and national representatives, urging them to actively share their needs and challenges. They highlighted the critical role of grassroots insights in informing higher-level policy decisions, emphasizing that bottom-up input fosters the development of more inclusive and effective policies.
Additionally, speakers outlined actionable steps for the public, including young individuals, to engage in the policymaking process. By encouraging civic participation and advocacy, they underscored the power of collective voices in shaping policy outcomes. In conclusion, the debate underscored the significance of citizen oversight in holding elected officials accountable for their actions, reinforcing the principle of democratic governance.

Workshop "Bioeconomy is an opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship"

The Bioeconomy cluster and The National Agricultural and Food Center organized a workshop dedicated to business opportunities in the bioeconomy. The workshop with (young) scientists, professionals, entrepreneurs and policy makers aimed to demonstrate and discuss the opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy in the CEE countries (run in parallel). In the first part, speakers outlined the various forms of support available to (start-up) entrepreneurs at both EU and Slovak levels. In the second part, established entrepreneurs discussed opportunities and challenges facing young people, while R&D representatives showcased ongoing research activities.

Immersive Experiences and Interactive Learning

Accompanying activities took place throughout the day. The aim was to familiarize visitors with the bioeconomy, its sectors, various biomass sources and their use, examples of bioproducts that are part of everyday life in a playful and experiential way. Thanks to the awareness-raising activities all visitors had the opportunity to explore how the bioeconomy can be a solution to complex challenges. Bioeconomy Village a BioArt gallery allowed them to get up close and personal with materials and bioproducts, and discovering how they impact our daily lives.
The youngest participants could participate in simple experiments and get a hands-on experience with bioeconomy.
In addition to that, our Slovak ambassadors facilitated workshops inspiring youth to take action, helping them discover how anyone, regardless of age, can take immediate action in the bioeconomy. Youth aged 10+ will find inspiration and guidance to become bioeconomy changemakers.


Youth Opportunities: Youth aged 15+, delve into the diverse opportunities available in the bioeconomy (professions, youth initiatives, etc.) also in the regions.

The festival attracted about 150 participants and was organized by a partnership of key actors in bioeconomy in Slovakia, within the frames of the GenB and projects in collaboration with the national representatives of the BIOEAST initiative, BOOST4BIOEAST, CEE2ACT, Green Youth Changemakers project, Reduce Your CO2_Help Planet, 4F - Fast Fashion? Fast Forward! projects and other EU funded projects.

Partners: PEDAL Consulting, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (national BIOEAST contact point), Bioeconomy cluster, Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Institute and Europe Direct Nitra, Slovak Eco-Quality.