Markus Gander

Ashoka Fellow
Mooseedorf, Switzerland
Fellow Since 2008

Citation

This profile was prepared when Markus Gander was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Markus’s organization, Infoklick, connects youth with their peers and serves as a “platform of platforms,” offering a centralized infrastructure for youth participation activities. In it, he brings together youngsters both virtually and physically, and strengthens their bonds with supportive adults, youth organizations, sponsors, and communities.

Understanding that most youth cannot be engaged to shape societal processes with a “one-size-fits-all” approach, Markus brings kids into his movement by drawing on their specific interests and addressing their needs through tailored engagement opportunities. For example, hard-to-reach teenagers are attracted to the movement through entry points such as teenager information websites, concerts, or football games, and are gradually connected with more active youth in the network.

While Markus provides each segment of youth with the appropriate arena to engage, he especially uses the “early adopters” to push his movement forward, training them as multipliers who then bring their own youth networks into the system. In this way, Markus has built a network of nearly 6,000 youth in 60 towns who are either participating in youth projects, creating their own social ventures, volunteering for youth organizations as mentors, helping other youth with starting social ventures, or engaging as decision-makers in municipalities.

Markus is expanding his movement through regional hubs in Switzerland. As the main youth organization, Markus works to unify youth policies at the federal level and to certify youth participation as skill development by the government. His organization is currently being exported across Europe, offering easy-to-scale methodologies to national partners who are encouraged to add their own content.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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