"I bring home a piece of reality"

In March 2023, YouCount participants gathered for the Consortium Meeting in San Sebastian, Spain. Our young citizen social scientists interviewed eleven researchers coming from eight countries on their main takeaways from the meeting.

 Andrew Dirzu (UK), Elias Mokhlis (Norway), Hamza Nouali (Spain), Hasibe Akan (Sweden)

Group photo with all participants from the consortium meeting. Photo: Nagore Valle

What are you bringing home from the consortium meeting?

I think it's the inspiring stories that I've heard about the other cases and having the opportunity to meet some of the researchers that I have met before, but seeing some new faces as well.

by Susana Franco, Spain (Orkestra - FD)

I'm bringing home the good mood of working together. And I was inspired by all our discussions to co-create further with youth.

by Egle Butkeviciene, Lithuania (Kaunas University of Technology)

I bring home a piece of reality. We have heard so many stories throughout the last two years and now young researchers are actually here.

by Marton Oblath, Hungary (ESSRG)

I'm bringing home that we shouldn't recreate the hierarchy in research but instead work more with young researchers and youth and take everybody serious.

by Alexandra Czeglédi, Hungary (ESSRG)

I'm bringing home a new awareness of the amazing young people that are doing really cool social justice work in other countries that I didn't realise.

by Heidi Ballard, USA (University of California)

I bring home that I'm tired but full of good ideas from working together such as for a future project.

by Fortuna Procentese, Italy (University of Naples Federico II)

I bring home a lot. I never understood how the natural science was connected to the social science when it comes to Citizen Science but now I finally understand.

by Ann Mutvei Berrez, Sweden (Södertörn University)

My main takeaway is the experience that when youth are actually in the number that you have been at this conference, you are changing the dynamic. It's a better experience and a better conference. So, thank you!

by Aina Landsverk Hagen, Norway (Oslo Metropolitan University)

I agree a lot and it's very nice to hear from you what is going on. Instead of us saying, we believe you experienced certain things in a particular way.

by Cathrine Winther, Denmark (Aalborg Universitet)
Young co-researchers are preparing interviews at the campus of Orkestra FD in San Sebastian, Spain. Photo: Frederick Reiersen

What was your favourite experience from San Sebastian or from this meeting?

I would emphasise the common dinner, the food was nice and the discussion I had with the Norwegian team was so illuminating. Sometimes all the important things happen outside of the research groups and the formal discussions.

by Marton Oblath, Hungary (ESSRG)

My favourite thing is that I had an opportunity to meet people I was working with a lot online to have conversations and work together. I really liked doing workshops together with young researchers.

by Egle Butkeviciene, Lithuania (Kaunas University of Technology)

My favourite moment was when I saw that you [one of the young researchers] were also moderating the workshop and taking notes. Before, we were used that only adult researchers would moderate.

by Alexandra Czeglédi, Hungary (ESSRG)

For me, it was having the impression that you're enjoying your stay. In this country, we like to make people feel welcome, so I hope that we have contributed to that.

by Susana Franco, Spain (Orkestra - FD)

Pinchos [Basque snacks].

by Heidi Ballard, USA (University of California)

The waterfront and the sea level, which is changing according to day- and night-time.

by Flora Gatti, Italy (University of Naples Federico II)

It was walking from the hill to the restaurant along the beach in the sunset.

by Ann Mutvei Berrez, Sweden (Södertörn University)

I think being here at the campus of Orkestra with all the students around and being outdoors.

by Aina Landsverk Hagen, Norway (Oslo Metropolitan University)

When we arrived at the airport, it was so sunny and that filled up my energy. So, the weather and hearing the water splash against the stones.

by Cathrine Winther, Denmark (Aalborg Universitet)
Group work activity at the consortium meeting. Photo: Nagore Valle

What did you learn from this meeting? 

That listening to each other is the most important thing.

by Alexandra Czeglédi, Hungary (ESSRG)

That a work cafe can actually work. Many times, I experienced that it doesn't produce any sort of knowledge, but this time we had so many ideas and at the end something conceptually emerged.

by Marton Oblath, Hungary (ESSRG)

I learned that we've all had difficulties during the project, but even the things that have not worked so well are learnings that we can keep with us to improve in the future.

by Susana Franco, Spain (Orkestra - FD)

I learned a lot of new strategies for doing youth-led participatory research.

by Heidi Ballard, USA (University of California)

The relevance of involving youths, not only as the participants in the research, but also as co-researchers, so we can learn from them just as they learn from us.

by Flora Gatti, Italy (University of Naples Federico II)

I was surprised when our youth from the Swedish case said that they saw us as human beings now and not only as researchers.

by Ann Mutvei Berrez, Sweden (Södertörn University)

I learned about how the youth researchers in the project think about motivation. Swedish co-researchers had a good explanation of how you get inspired by being in groups and discussing with each other and not just working individually.

by Aina Landsverk Hagen, Norway (Oslo Metropolitan University)

I had some very good, translated conversations with the Spanish youth which was very strong because you show statements to each other [through a translation app].

by Cathrine Winther, Denmark (Aalborg Universitet)
Participants are discussing at one of the world cafe stations. Photo: Nagore Valle

 What do you like the most about YouCount?

The opportunity to meet people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. Working with young migrants is not common in the field of research where I come from.

by Susana Franco, Spain (Orkestra - FD)

I'm coming from arts-based participatory action research, and what I've learned here is that our work is not contradictory to strict science. Science can be done in a different way than natural science, so we have some hope for social sciences which is a good feeling.

by Marton Oblath, Hungary (ESSRG)

I like in YouCount that everybody in the project is easy-going. Sometimes we don't need to explain things, we just understand each other, and we don't judge each other. We are all implementing these values which isn't necessarily the case in other settings.

by Alexandra Czeglédi, Hungary (ESSRG)

I think the coolest thing about YouCount is its diversity with each case working in its own way, but at the same time they are all connected.

by Heidi Ballard, USA (University of California)

Working with researchers from different areas and enriching each other with different ways of looking at the same phenomena.

by Flora Gatti, Italy (University of Naples Federico II)

The possibility to acknowledge different cultures because we work a lot with people from different countries.

by Yuri Autorino, Italy (University of Naples Federico II)

Being in the middle of a messy situation in the workshop and feeling that I'm out of control but enjoying it. Can I add that I love being interviewed too? Good to be on the other side.

by Aina Landsverk Hagen, Norway (Oslo Metropolitan University)

Being challenged to think in different ways. And getting closer to the environment I live in myself to see things I haven't seen before. Can you have more questions, please?

by Cathrine Winther, Denmark (Aalborg Universitet)
YouCount members are sharing experiences and lessons learned across case studies. Photo: Nagore Valle
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