Youth spaces: Hub-a

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What is Hub- a?

One of the meanings of the name “Hub-a” is a central part of a wheel, rotating on or with the axis in which its spokes are connected. Simply put, a hub is called the center of a round object. What a short name, and with so much symbolism.

The initiative to create the only open space of its kind in the town of Samokov, called “Hub-a“, was taken by Georgi Nikolov and began as a concept for creating a space that accumulates ideas. This youth space should be the Center of intersections and interests of youth views and creativity. A space in which all young people, with an alternative to the general status quo thinking, can form their realities and create their own artifacts.

How does this space contribute to the development of the local community?

The presence of such a place is of great importance for both small and large communities. This is a prerequisite for building communities and modern society, allowing young people to participate in events and initiatives at the local level, to create and organize such, to spend their free time in a meaningful way, to realize their ideas, to be active citizens, and sometimes they can be involved in local government decisions on youth policies. At the same time, building such spaces is a kind of social entrepreneurship that can become a sustainable model that creates social change, deepens young people’s understanding of the world around them, and inspires them to create a vision of how passion and their desire for realization correspond to self-employment.

How does this youth space work?

Hub-a started by cooperating with local institutions and organizing joint initiatives with them in favor of enriching the lives of youth communities through culture and art and creating equal opportunities for youth participation in festivals, urban development, media formats, social, educational, environmental, sports, and charitable initiatives.

The atmosphere of the place is casual and friendly, open to all, both young people and youth workers, supporting their planned activities. According to the symbolism of the wheel, in “Hub-a” everything moves, changes, and adapts according to the respective needs. Multifunctional design is an essential part of creating an “open” space in the physical aspect, and the movement in it – its existence.

The cultural calendar of the “Hub” includes events of various kinds and provides an opportunity for young people from the “small town” to feel equal with the event opportunities of the “big city”. Guests of the “Hub” are famous musicians and groups, contemporary artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, vloggers, experts in various fields.

What makes this place unique compared to other youth spaces in the country?

The “Hub-a” also hosts а YouTube channel for alternative professions and music “Groovy office“, which is a kind of synthesis of its activities, uniting in a video material the cultural messages to the public. The process of filming is long and provides an opportunity for the inclusion of young people who want to develop their technical competencies in the field of cinema and sound. “Groovy office” is already a recognizable format at national level, over time it is gaining more and more popularity and fans and leaves in time the meaning and appeal to young people – to follow their ideas and bring them to life.

And for young people who are open to engaging in open spaces, the benefits of this activity are again very spectral. They have to develop their competencies, communication, and organizational skills, to actively participate in social processes and phenomena, to communicate with different cultures and subcultures, to strengthen creative values, to develop their ability to interact with authorities and institutions, and the ability to influence the local reality.

And what is the normative mechanism through which to realize open youth spaces?

One of the most appropriate ways is by establishing or cooperating with a non-governmental organization – an NGO. At present, the spheres of activity of non-governmental organizations cover a wide range of social development – ecology and environmental protection, health care, social, economic, and educational activities, development of culture and arts. NGOs represent the interests of citizens in relation to local policies. They are key to identifying local needs. That is why the achievement of sustainable cooperation between NGOs and local authorities, the organization of joint initiatives is for the benefit of citizens and leads to the solution of issues of importance for the community.

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