Digitalisation, social inclusion, active citizenship, digital citizenship, digital inclusion… These are not a play on words; they are concepts, fields and forms of engagement which interact and have a profound impact on the daily reality of young people. They have been addressed at length separately but less the effects of their interaction. In 2019, the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership will explore this interaction and draw useful conclusions for youth policy, practice and research.
The 2018 EU-Council of Europe youth partnership Symposium ‘Young people, social inclusion and digitalisation’. Indicated, among other things, the need to better understand the reality of digitalisation in young people’s lives, the implications for the youth sector, the adaptations required from youth work and youth policy in order to be better prepared to face the challenges, and exploit the opportunities that current and new digital tools and trends offer.
- A group of experts from the youth and digital sectors has met in Brussels on 8-9 April to guide the research by looking at the objectives and providing guidance on what would be most relevant areas to focus on:
- Conduct knowledge review to define and understand the concepts of social inclusion (online and in real life) and digitalisation in the youth field. This should draw on literature from both within and outside of the youth field
- Explore the opportunities, benefits and potential for inclusion that digitalisation offers to marginalised young people
- Identify what is known about potential risks and opportunities of digitalisation for marginalised groups, based on existing literature and examples
- Produce an overview of the existing state of play regarding national and EU policies directly relevant to digitalisation, social inclusion and young people.
- Identify the implications of the above for the youth field (research, policy and practice).
In the light of the main aim and objectives, the research study aims to address the following questions, based on the research and inspiring examples from policy and practice:
- How can we conceptualise social inclusion, digitalisation and the connection between the two in a way that is relevant to the youth field?
- What are the potential opportunities of digitalisation to address social inclusion and prevent different aspects of social exclusion of marginalised groups of young people?
- How can we best use digital opportunities to enhance social inclusion in the context of young people?
- What are the main risks and challenges for marginalised groups associated with digitalisation and its use in this context?
- What are the existing strategies and policies relevant to young people on digitalisation as means of social inclusion? What opportunities are there to encourage policies and practices, which enable social inclusion through digitalisation for young people?
- What should the youth field take into account in order to make digital tools and frameworks convincingly inclusive?
- What is the role of young people in setting up and leading the digital processes within the youth field?