Co-designing in VOLPOWER – Building smart solutions together with our volunteers

by volpower
5 years ago
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For the VOLPOWER project our researchers will implement a unique co-designing approach, working tightly together with our volunteers in arts and culture in order to define, exchange and implement innovative approaches that foster integration and youth empowerment through volunteering.

Blog post by Ilona van Breugel, Msc. (EUR)

VOLPOWER is an interactive research project in which the volunteers are not only subjects and participants in the research via different training events, but also essential partners in co-designing innovative volunteering approaches aimed at strengthening the link between integration and youth empowerment.

Co-designing stems from participatory design techniques developed in Scandinavia in the 1970s. It departs from the idea that a diverse range of stakeholders create something as smart solutions require a creative interdisciplinary team, and, thus, the combination of first-hand experience from different settings. A co-design approach consists of different steps in which a solution is designed, tested and refined – where necessary – together with the users or experts.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

In VOLPOWER we bring together volunteers from different organisations and put our creative minds together to exchange good practices on the nexus of volunteering, integration and youth empowerment. What can the organizations learn and exchange to promote youth empowerment and integration through volunteering activities? We aim at answering this question by organising different focus groups in Malta, Slovenia, Italy, and the Netherlands.

In our project, we thus move beyond producing reports and academic publications to actively engage with the volunteers in the VOLPOWER project and directly contribute to strengthening the relation between volunteering, youth empowerment, and integration.

Header photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash