Here is a summary of the three nation (UK, USA, CANADA) research proposal that are currently being worked on with collaborators in North Carolina and Vancouver:
The coronavirus pandemic has caused suffering for millions of people. Young adults, in particular, are now experiencing severe socio-economic challenges that threaten their long-term economic future and wellbeing. Emerging evidence shows that the effects are not equal for all young adults: those from neglected geographical locations, poorer households, and minority ethnic backgrounds are more than twice as likely to be unemployed since the lockdown than their peers. Therefore, these young adults need financial, practical, and emotional security, along with the right skills and networks.
As national governments look to build back better, creating a cross-government strategy on health and employment inequalities becomes more important than ever; young people should be central in any future plan. It is widely acknowledged that activities such as designing and making are beneficial in building confidence, knowledge, skills, and economic potential, especially for young adults. Design has the capacity to mitigate harmful socio-economic effects of COVID supporting post-pandemic recovery and renewal.
This interdisciplinary trans-Atlantic research partnership will exploit the untapped talent amongst young adults in the countries of the partner institutions (UK, USA, Canada) to become fulcrums of innovation, and catalysts for the co-creation of inclusive and sustainable social enterprises and job creation. By using design-thinking and making methods, tools and techniques, this research will adopt a co-design approach where the research team and young adults will collaborate on the development of designed interventions/products. The aim being to disrupt the cycle of well-formed opinions and mindsets that often thwart young adults in securing good and sustainable employment.
If you’re interested in collaborating and contributing to this research or have any questions, please contact:
Professor Paul Rodgers
Professor of Design & AHRC Design Leadership Fellow