Empowering youth and cocreating social innovations

Empowering youth and cocreating social innovations and policymaking through youth-focused citizen social science

YOUCOUNT (Empowering Youth And Cocreating Social Innovations And Policymaking Through Youth-focused Citizen Social Science) aims to generate new knowledge and innovations to increase the social inclusion of youth at risk of exclusion across Europe through cocreative youth citizen social science (CSS).

Youths in nine countries in Europe will participate as citizen scientists in case studies to explore positive drivers for social participation, employment, social belonging and citizenship. The project will create a psychosocial model for social inclusion and develop policy briefs and educational materials with customised tools for youth CSS to be used by researchers, individuals and citizen groups.

In Europe, and globally, substantial numbers of young people are at risk of social exclusion, and there is therefore a pressing need to develop more knowledge and innovation to create more inclusive and youth-friendly societies. Citizen social science might contribute to these needs, but the actual outcomes of citizen social science and its innovative potential is uncertain.

YOUCOUNT will therefore, through cocreative youth citizen social science (Y-CSS) including youths in the age of 15- 29 years as citizen scientists, produce new knowledge of positive drivers for social inclusion of youth at risk of exclusion, and cocreate innovations and policy-making. Moreover, to provide evidence of the actual outcomes of Y-CSS through hands-on citizen science activities.

The project includes four substudies. One is about the development of a framework for Y-CSS together with a transdisciplinary consortium and multilevel platform of key experts and stakeholders in a European and international setting. Another substudy is implementing a multiple case study of Y-CSS projects in nine countries across Europe where over 900 young citizen scientists and nine local living labs will cocreate innovations together. The third one is examining mixed-methods evaluation of the outcomes and impact of the Y-CSS activities, and a multi-criteria assessment of the costs and benefits of Y-CSS. And finally, we are studying the creation of social and scientific impact through widespread scaling up and continuity. These activities will lead to robust knowledge and scientifically reasoned measures to promote Y-CSS and social change. The project will support dissemination and education in Y- CSS, and make synergies with other CS related projects and initiatives, in particular with citizen social science.

As the leaders of WP3, we will identify opportunities for social inclusion based on a single- and cross-case analysis of the data, along with a gender analysis, we will develop actionable knowledge to increase social inclusion by identifying positive drivers for social inclusion and innovations to cocreate social change based on a single- and cross-case analysis of data, along with a gender analysis. We’ll also provide a theoretical model for increased social inclusion of youth to be used in R&I and as a pathway to new policy recommendations, innovative community actions and sustainable community engagement, and we’ll increase knowledge of the potential role of CSS for creating more inclusive societies.

In YOUCOUNT we will closely work together with the two Hungarian case studies: one will be focusing on the youth of an isolated, tiny rural village who will work together with permaculture specialists to build up a sustainable agricultural system in the village of Siklósbodony. Our case study partners are the Association for Siklósbodony and the Participatory Research Forum (Parforum). This case study is conducted by Márton Oblath. The other case study is led by the Research Centre of the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Szeged, on collaborating for the social inclusion of hard of hearing young people with regard to their move from school to work. Barbara Mihók is in charge of this case study.

You can look at the porject’s leaflet here, and more about the case studies here.

YOUCOUNT is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, GA No.101005931.


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