YouCount Norway held its first workshop after the summer holidays with young co-researchers from the district Gamle Oslo who are identifying existing (or lacking) job opportunities for local youth, and how social entrepreneurs, public institutions as well as non-profit and non-governmental organizations can increase these opportunities.
How is the experience of social inclusion among young people in Gamle Oslo connected to employability and social entrepreneurship? How are opportunities for work and social enterprise located within the community of Gamle Oslo? What are the challenges when it comes to social inclusion for youth and young adults in the larger society of Norway? In YouCount Norway, 11 youth between 15 and 22 years old from the city district Gamle Oslo are trying to find answers to these complex but important questions. Since spring, the young co-researchers have taken fieldnotes, filled in brief surveys, engaged in a Living Lab session and participant observations, joined walkalongs, debriefs and logging as well as tested an App. Last week, the young co-researchers used their obtained research skills at the first workshop after the summer holidays.
The workshop started right away by getting out of our comfort zone. From what has became YouCount's "base", the familiar Intercultural Museum (IKM) in Grønland, the young co-researchers as well as the professional researchers - among them colleagues from YouCount Austria - competed in "Observation Bingo", all the way to the innovative Losæter in Bjørvika district.
Having revived our research skills, a well-deserved pizza-kit and ready stone oven awaited us in the middle of the blooming urban garden that also provides a stunning view of the sea. Calzone, pide and pineapple pizza were among the creative creations. Still chewing on our pizzas, we gathered in small groups and started to reflect on the research activities we have engaged in before the summer break. Since spring, our young co-researchers have taken fieldnotes, filled in brief surveys, engaged in a Living Lab session and participant observations, joined walkalongs, debriefs and logging as well as tested the YouCount App (in pilot phase).
Visual material helped us to refresh our memories as we went through polaroid pictures taken at the first Living Lab, a workshop we held together with the stakeholders Bjørvikaforeningen, Deichmann Oslo Public Library, Grønland flytende hager, Kristiania University College, MUNCH Museum, Nabolagshager, Area Enhancement Program Grønland & Tøyen, Intercultural Museum, Tøyen Sportsklubb, Tøyen Unlimited, UngJobb – Gamle Oslo District, Vålerenga Football – Jobbsjansen in April 2022. Each of us picked three photos to compile a personal Living Lab story.
Living Lab stories are a good start but how can we communicate everything else we have done so far? Drawing a "Crazy 8" helped us to kickstart our creativity. We could organise a walk and talk in the neighborhood, record a podcast, paint a (legal) grafiti, participate in an intro theater or produce a cooking video.
We discussed how to move forward in the collaboration with YouCount's local stakeholders. Several of these stakeholders have youth groups connected to them, and an idea is for the young co-researchers to make interviews with these youths to establish ideas for social innovation and policy change. We also gathered ideas around our App experiences. The young co-researchers provided useful tips to our colleagues from Vienna on how they can organise workshops with the youth in YouCount's Austrian case: food is the key for motivation and successful team building ;)
The young co-researchers will continue to engage local stakeholders from both the private and public sector in finding creative ideas to develop local job opportunities for youth. What we look forward to this autumn and beyond are dialogue forums, more Living Lab sessions, a national workshop and definitely some of the communication activities mentioned above.
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