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Social innovation through participatory art and design with youth at the margins: solutions for engaging and empowering youth with trans-Atlantic mirroring

Grant number: 19/02481-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2020 - February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Industrial Design
Convênio/Acordo: Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities
Principal Investigator:Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Grantee:Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
Principal researcher abroad: Anne Marchand
Institution abroad: Université de Montréal, Canada
Principal researcher abroad: Paul Wilson
Institution abroad: University of Leeds, England
Principal researcher abroad: Satu Anneli Miettinen
Institution abroad: University of Lapland, Finland
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FAU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Mônica Cristina de Moura ; Rosana Aparecida Vasques


This research project responds to the societal challenge of marginalization of youth and young adults. The project focuses on cases on both sides of the Atlantic: homeless and refugee young adults in Brazil and youth at social and economic margins and with refugee or immigrant background in Finland. The problem is severe in the global South and serious in the global North. A report by the ILO (2015) states that 621 million young people aged 15-24 years old are out of education, employment or training. The project's research questions address the ways in which new knowledge and social innovation can be created to improve youth's well-being through arts-based research and participatory art and design. Our unique trans-Atlantic consortium (Brazil, Canada, UK, Finland) will produce novel solutions through transdisciplinary collaboration of social sciences, arts and humanities. Through an in-depth holistic approach, we introduce an innovative Trans-Atlantic Mirroring (T-AM) method that is useful for human growth and an important tool for developing self-awareness with communities at the margins. Mirroring enables the simultaneous reflection and analyzing of activity, assertiveness, display of emotions, and rationality of two case studies on both sides of the Atlantic. It helps implementing emergent innovations in three continents and strengthening the agency of young people, especially girls who live under an increased risk for unemployment. The consortium has a track record in utilizing arts-based research (ABR) as an overarching research approach that generates social innovation with youth and young adults. This research strategy supports new avenues for engaging and empowering youth. Steered with a strong moral commitment to the participating communities, participatory art and design research supports innovative outcomes and increases the practical application, scalability and impact of the project. The ILO foresees young people facing an increasing risk of marginalization globally: unemployment is expected to triple among upcoming generations. This project develops new strategies, methodologies and policies to address and tackle this challenge. (AU)

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