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Article originally written by zuzana.vaneckova

If you asked me 6 months ago if I could design a wallet, or, from my HRdirect Associate position, coordinate big SAP project including HR, Employer Branding, and Government Relations teams targeting 7,500 young people, I would have definitively said no. But events in the last few months and especially last weekend have made me change my opinion.

As I already mentioned, I work part time in the HRdirect team in Prague but apart from that, I am 22 years old, active in several NGOs and actively fighting for youth rights. Last autumn, I had an idea that SAP could participate at the European Youth Event 2016 with the motto “Together We Can Make a Change”. The European Youth Event is an amazing event that takes place every two years in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This year, the event brought together more than 7,500 young people from all around Europe with politicians, experts, and, thanks to SAP, also business representatives, who all together discussed during the hundreds of activities, the five main topics of the event: War and Peace, Apathy or Participation, Youth Unemployment, Tomorrow’s World of Work, and Sustainability.

After mentioning this idea to my manager, he connected me with experts from branding and government relations teams and together with karolina.telejko, Government Relations, and, Global SAP Employer Branding, we started to shape a real plan for this idea. And how did SAP participate? First of all, we wanted to show young people that each of them can create the world they want to live in. In order to achieve this goal, we organised four Design Thinking workshops for a total of 140 people, which were fully booked by the first day of registration.

The Design Thinking workshops had amazing success. Participants were really excited and I am not surprised. I had possibility to participate in one of the workshops and tried to design the perfect wallet. I have to admit that I am not a really artistic person but with leadership from tobiasjoest's and Sabrina Steinmetz's, SAP Design Thinking trainers, I created a product I am really proud of and they really helped me to think out-of-the-box. Some of the participants loved the session so much that I wouldn't be surprised if SAP helped create several famous future wallet designers!

Besides providing participants the tools to be more creative, they also had a chance to discuss their ideas with markus.bell, Global Head of Vocational Training, who was together with two Members of European Parliament a panelist at workshop about Digital revolution: A fountain of jobs and innovation for more than 400 people. Markus provided participants feedback for their ideas from the business perspective and explained how SAP supports young talents and entrepreneurs through our talent programs or Open SAP courses.

During my panel discussion, I shared with other young people how participation in youth organization helped my personal and professional development. If participants wanted to know more how they could “Run the World Better” within SAP, they could discuss it with, Margit Herrler from Campus Recruiting, who was always ready to answer all their questions and provide them with more information.

Many of the topics were tackled in really interactive and playful way. Participants could also visit the circus, musical or comedian shows, try local food, or have fun during open-air concerts. This event offered something for everybody. It was a lot of fun and even a great way to find new friends!

So in the end, what I have learnt? Besides regaining trust in my artistic talent, I discovered that everybody can be creative and that every idea in SAP is heard. There is always somebody who will help you turn your visions into goals and help you achieve them. Thanks to this project, I had a chance to learn from the best and could also help to provide this amazing learning experience to thousands of young people across the Europe.

-Zuzana Vaneckova


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