Empowering youth and cocreating social innovations and policy-making through youth-focused citizen social science
In Europe, substantial numbers of young people are at risk of social exclusion so there is a pressing need to develop knowledge and innovations that create more inclusive and youth-friendly societies. Successful strategies for social inclusion require better knowledge of what young people see as crucial issues for increasing their social inclusion, more knowledge about their experiences of opportunities for social inclusion in their daily lives and how they can be involved as lived experts and change-makers in innovation and policy-making. YouCount contributes to these needs by developing actionable knowledge of the positive drivers for social inclusion of youths with disadvantages and by creating better means and policy-making for social inclusion through citizen social science, where youths can participate as citizen scientists. It aims to develop Youth Citizen Social Science for social inclusion research, followed by systematic evaluation of its potential.
YouCount brings together young people and relevant stakeholders to co-create new knowledge and innovations that address one of the complex societal challenges being faced by Europe: How to increase social inclusion for young people. This programme supports 9 projects where young citizens are supported as co-researchers in all stages of the research – from the planning, design of website, data analysis to dissemination activities. The jury particularly appreciated the focus on young people who are often excluded from these types of processes to democratise social sciences and make an impact for those involved.European Union Prize for Citizen Science Jury 2023 (Kat Austen, Lewis Hou, Pedro Russo, Andrea Sforzi, Stefanie Wuschitz). View full Statement here.
YouCount is funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, GA No.101005931
YouCount (INT) is a consortium coordinated by Dr. Reidun Norvoll from Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway) and made up of other 10 European partners: (i) University of Vienna (Austria); (ii) SPOTTERON (Austria); (iii) Aalborg University (Denmark); (iv) ESSRG (Hungary); (v) Univertsita Degli Studi Di Napoli Federico II (Italy); (vi) Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania); (vii) Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness/Deusto Foundation and Deusto University (Spain); (viii) Soderton Hogskola (Sweden); (ix) V&A (Sweden) and, (x) University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom). Several partners have been involved in the initiative from the beginning, which took off in 2018 with a workshop in San Sebastian, Spain to put together some initial ideas. All partners are involved in research and hands on citizen science activities, while SPOTTERON provides the technological knowledge needed to develop the app through which young citizen scientist are gathering data about their daily experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Youth citizen scientists have been involved in different stages of the research process from their recruitment onwards.