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Between August 23-28, 2021, the PLAY Cafe summer academy took place in Baia Mare. The event aims to involve young people, youth workers, youth leaders, and other experts and actors at the local and national levels in the process of creating a proposal for a youth strategy, starting from the candidacies of Baia Mare for the title of Capital European Youth Center.

Each day of the event addressed one of the 6 topics that were set as priorities for the youth strategy proposal: PLAY WORK (work, entrepreneurship and skills acquisition), PLAY LIFE (culture and quality of life), PLAY SAFE (health, safety, and inclusion), PLAY GREEN (environmental protection and sustainability), PLAY THE CITY (youth participation and relationship with the city), PLAY THE FUTURE (future perspectives of young people).

The activities started each day with a panel with hybrid participation (both online and on-site), in which the guest speakers launched discussions on the topic and continued with thematic workshops in which non-formal methods were used to gather information on the needs and problems of young people and possible solutions.

The guests who acted as speakers in the panels were:

András Farkas – social innovator, strategic director at PONT Group and early startupper at ALLYOURTIME

Bogdan Zaharia – chairman of the Youth Commission within the Maramureș County Council

Ionuț Stanimir – marketing director at Romanian Commercial Bank

Magor Csibi – environmental expert, director of leadership and organizational culture at Trend Consult Group

Marcel Ionescu-Heroiu – urban development expert at the World Bank

Mircea Vădan – startup ecosystem developer in Central and Eastern Europe, leads Activize.Tech

Nicoleta Deliu-Pasol – communication Director, Romanian Commercial Bank

Rarița Zbranca – cultural manager, programme director at the Cluj Cultural Centre

Răzvan Cherecheș – public health expert, professor of the School of Public Health within Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca

Tudor Ogner – expert in the field of youth, Executive Director at the Romanian Youth Capital, and president of the Youth Federation of Cluj

Vlad Bardai – president of the Young Roma Maramureș Association and activist for Roma rights


The event was part of the Urban Youth Circle project, funded by the Erasmus+  programme, implemented by the PONT Group in partnership with FONT MM and Baia Mare Municipality.