What is a useful understanding of youth unemployment today? How can we create a sense of empowerment and hope in a time where there is talk of a “lost generation” and a constant stream of alarming statistics?
Since the financial crisis of 2008, an entire industry of projects tackling the devastating lack of jobs has emerged and continues to grow. It spans a large variety of methods: financing programmes, job training, workshops, educations, apprentice- and intern positions and so on. And they certainly have a hard task to solve. Not only are youngsters lacking income and stability – they are in fact deprived of hope in the future and, ultimately, in themselves. Millions of youth across Europe are living in a new kind of uncertainty, which is not only economical but indeed existential and mental as well.
One does not need to look far back into history to know how dangerous this is. The past decade of intensified political extremism; polarization and intolerance seems all to be related to the labour crisis and is therefore yet another reminder of how vulnerable and interdependent our democracies are. The European project – whether we mean the EU or the general movement for an open Europe – is here facing its most dangerous challenge in a long time. What incentives will there be for openness and unity in the future, if an entire generation is left out?
The project in short
The INCOME-project, acting at the intersection of culture and economy through the co-working space format, will perhaps become one way to answer these questions and to find new opportunities within the concept co-working spaces. With an eclectic mix of members from around Europe, it is an opportunity to explore new ways of how to achieve greater job sustainability and opportunities across traditional formats, borders and methods. But in order to get there a crucial starting point is a of course a critical overview of where and why we are at this situation, including an analysis of how we talk about these issues and what our conceptual understanding is.
The project targets the people who coordinate the co-working spaces in the countries involved, in order to improve their practices, skills and capacities concerning the good management of co-working spaces. They will act as multipliers, sharing the lessons learnt with their peers and colleagues. The project also wants to raise awareness on methods for supporting youth entrepreneurship and employability among a wider audience, addressing namely youth associations, business organizations, culture organisations and public authorities. Putting together different co-working spaces from all over the Europe while also discussing and investigating the concept of co-working in itself, the project wants to raise a discussion on the alternative ways of promoting youth employment and empowerment. Different examples will serve for defining the concept of co-working, looking at comparative perspective on the practices existing in different countries, analysing their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
- Preparatory activities
Launching event and first transnational meeting (in Stockholm, Sweden), May 2017
- Job shadowing program of exchanges between organisations. Exchange of know-how and good practices, analysis of the concept of co-working, analysis of the different contexts and how to implement new ideas in their own organisations. Feb - May 2018
- Transnational meeting “What’s working in co-working?” with public program (in Novo Mesto, Slovenia), June 2018
- Meetings at local level
- Online publication; analyses, essays and methodological guide
- The final conference with public program (in Vicenza, Italy), Dec 2018
- Dissemination activities
01-03-2017 – 28-02-2019
Updates and project results will be published here.
Kommunication and administration support:
ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy, Strasbourg (Italy/France)
Clube Intercultural Europeu, Lisbon (Portugal)
Development Centre Novo Mesto, Novo Mesto (Slovenia)
Euroimpulse Training, Valencia (Spain)
LDA Mostar, Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Megahub, Schio (Italy)
Municipality of Larissa, Larissa (Greece)