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Combating inequalities through innovative social practices of, and for, young people in cities across Europe

Final Report Summary - CITISPYCE (Combating inequalities through innovative social practices of, and for, young people in cities across Europe)

Executive Summary:
The CITISPYCE research project began on 1 January 2013 and ran until 31 December 2015. It was set against the backdrop of i) research which showed the disproportionate impact of the global economic crisis post 2007 on young people across Europe. This includes excessively high rates of youth unemployment (particularly amongst those who face multiple social, economic and cultural disadvantages) and threats to the social provision enjoyed by previous generations; and ii) the continuing interest at European level in the potential of social innovation to find new solutions to pressing social needs.

Its main objectives were to:
• Understand the changing nature of inequalities faced by young people in EU cities today and examine current policy and practice at national and local levels to tackle those inequalities;
• Uncover the various strategies for navigating, surviving and overcoming inequality that have emerged, and are emerging, among young people aged 16 to 24, particularly in deprived parts of large cities and assess to what extent such strategies might be regarded as socially innovative;
• Test the transferability of local models of innovative practices, in order to develop new policy approaches for the fostering of innovative social practices to enable young people to overcome multiple and changing inequalities across Europe;
• Make recommendations to stakeholders at local, national and European levels on how they might improve their support for social innovation to combat inequalities faced by young people.

The research was undertaken by a consortium of 13 partners from ten countries comprising a mix of universities, municipalities and NGOs specialising in the areas of social inequalities and young people.
The work began with an assessment of the macro or structural forces causing inequalities in each of the partner countries. We placed these alongside what we describe as symptoms of inequalities – the way social inequalities manifest in young people’s lives and in their material and social worlds. This provided an initial conceptual frame to guide subsequent investigations and interactions with policy makers and practitioners. These included fieldwork in two deprived neighbourhoods in each of the ten cities: first, taking into account the opinions of ‘experts’ and stakeholders through 146 interviews and second, gathering the lived experiences of social inequalities among young people in the same areas, plus their forms of civic engagement and resilience through an ethnographic study (445 interviews and 28 focus groups with young people across the 10 cities).

We then moved from research to policy, following the rationale of action-research. From the fieldwork, we selected the most innovative and apparently effective practices against inequalities and assessed their feasibility for transfer to a new context. After further assessment, a number of them were selected to be implemented as pilot projects. A range of 21 case studies (informed by pilot actions and socially innovative practices) were then produced and assessed following evaluation theories. Key findings and initial policy recommendations were distilled for discussion with stakeholders at EU, national and local levels. These were finalised as Strategic Recommendations.
The project has shown how the interactions of societal level and individual level causes of inequalities affect young people disproportionately within the economic crisis. Societal causes include: changing economic structures in the city/neighbourhood, high levels of unemployment and precarious/poor quality employment, discrimination and stigmatisation in all life domains. Individual causes and symptoms include: poor education, lack of social competences and skills, deficient language and communication skills, lack of social and cultural capital, low self-esteem, lack of trust in institutions and wider society, low levels of the individual and social resilience and self-exclusion.
We have identified social innovations that address societal and individual causes of inequalities and/or the symptoms and consequences, as well as the intermediary level of the social environment and social network. Most social innovations uncovered react to the gaps and failures in the policies and social infrastructures available to young people in deprived neighbourhoods and beyond. A further feature of some of the social innovations is that they address dimensions of inequalities or social exclusion which are neglected in mainstream policies.
In these aspects, some of the innovative practices present themselves as alternative models of policy and interventions to prevailing mainstream sensibilities. We stress that such alternatives must influence a shift in the policy agenda by changing policy discourses, and ‘mindsets’ of the policy makers, young people and the public. As a result they may address one of the most important causes of inequalities, which is the inadequacy in the approach of social policies addressing young people.
Our findings call for major shifts in the way EU, national and local policy-makers and practitioners regard young people; moving from seeing them as a category to be worked on towards one that can be worked with. This in turn should force us to look again at the underlying philosophies and mechanisms in policy making over the past few decades. We must, therefore, assess what changes are urgently required to better serve and reflect the aspirations and needs of a growing constituency of young people in Europe’s superdiverse cities. Our recommendations are also designed to go beyond the EU through the Eurocities network (130 major cities) and other key international policy networks. Our online Cascading Network will spread our findings internationally.

Project Context and Objectives:
The global recession of 2008, the subsequent stagnation or decline of the economies of a number of EU member states and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone resulted in serious pressures in the social arena. The numbers of people facing multiple barriers to social and economic inclusion were on the increase, threatening to derail the achievement of the goals of Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The climate of so-called austerity has also led to a rapid redrawing of social inequalities across Europe. This includes both a retrenchment of longstanding inequalities and the emergence of new or forgotten disadvantages together with an erosion of the status and protections previously enjoyed by many citizens. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in Europe’s cities where severe economic pressures combined with significant shifts in their demographic make-up (resulting from successive waves of migration and increase in numbers of young people) are leading to increased social, economic and spatial segregation. In periods of recession such as this, young people are particularly vulnerable and often the first to exit and the last to enter the labour market .

At the time we commenced this project youth unemployment stood at an average of 22.7% against an average of 9.8% for total unemployment across the EU. We were aware that a number of the countries in this project had a higher youth unemployment rate than the EU 27-country average. In most of these countries youth unemployment was double and sometimes three times the rate of overall unemployment. In addition, the youth labour market was significantly more volatile than that of mature workers and more sensitive to changes in GDP. Young people are also confronted by increasingly complex transitions to adulthood. When linked to other indicators of deprivation, it was clear that young people in the 16 to 24 age group are amongst the hardest hit and face more barriers to economic and social inclusion than any other group in society.

In spite of many European governments having devoted intensive energies to combating inequality among their populations over the past 25 years, the current climate of so-called austerity has considerably exacerbated the challenges facing both young people and governments at all levels. It has led to a rapid redrawing of social inequalities across Europe with young people at the heart of this. Young people’s welfare, risk behaviours and vulnerability to social exclusion are associated with their material, cultural and relational contexts, the resources and role models available, and the extent to which they feel connected, supported and recognized. This is linked to the social and cultural context in which they live, and can be influenced by the availability of ‘social capital’ within their communities. This was particularly evident to us in the new generation of young Europeans who have migrant roots, yet who also share the experiences, aspirations and social spaces of young people of other ethnicities.
In assessing innovative social practices that exist among marginalised groups and young people in particular, it would be necessary to pay particular attention to the changed/changing demographic profile of urban centres in cities that can be characterised as ‘superdiverse’ (Vertovec 2007). Young people living within densely populated parts of such cities have different experiences again of exclusion. Initial responses, however, have tended to assume that the young, irrespective of their particular circumstances, are in need of remedial assistance and that solutions must come (as so often in the past) from above and through official channels. All levels of government need to re-assess their approach to, and understanding of, inequalities in the light of changing public attitudes towards deprivation and the changing patterns of deprivation itself. In particular, this may mean being more open to innovative responses generated by young people themselves to overcoming their perceived barriers to inclusion.

We know that young people face extreme barriers in the labour market and in access to usable welfare and education provision. There is, however, also evidence that some young people have chosen (or been forced) to re-imagine entry into the labour market through their own innovations in economic and social entrepreneurship. These varied forms of entrepreneurship among young people include imaginative engagement with the possibilities of youth culture, including alternative understandings of politics, culture and public space and adaptations of approaches to business and innovation that have been developed in response to social exclusion and/or extremely limited opportunities in Europe or in other locations.

The CITSPYCE project, then, set out to re-evaluate the potential of innovative practices that previously may have been overlooked as examples of low-status work in the informal or semi-formal economy, or as economically and politically insignificant articulations of passing trends among young people. The project considered how such practices could be co-opted as social innovations by policy makers enabling a broader understanding of the way inequalities manifested on the ground and how they are navigated by young people.
Social innovation and young people
The project began with an understanding that the aim of social innovation in combating inequalities on a primary level, is to contribute to building the capacities of disadvantaged (young) people and the people who can help them. This can encompass strengthening resilience, building social capital and networks, providing access to media and information resources, access to education and the labour market, support in starting one’s own business (stimulating entrepreneurship), and so on.
We also recognised that social innovation can exist at several interrelated levels: bottom up participative actions to deal with a shared problem or social need at a local level; innovative responses from social actors to broader societal challenges for the greater good; and innovations in public governance to create conditions in which social innovation can flourish. In these cases social innovation can be said to contribute to improving links between disadvantaged (young) people’s needs, strategies and own resources on the one hand, and societal needs and resources on the other. In this regard, actions aimed at improving the quality of the relations between citizens and government play a crucial role.

Mainstream policies, especially the tightening of requirements attached to social welfare provisions, which seems to be a common response to the crisis in most EU countries, can have adverse effects (often unintended), excluding some people rather than including them. Minimising such effects can also be seen as social innovation. Creatively keeping up the same level of services in times of economic crisis and budget cuts can be seen as taxpayers demands and meeting the needs of the clients of services may also be regarded as a form of social innovation. The project, therefore, emphasized the proactive engagement and co-option of social innovations by local government as crucial to legitimatizing and sustaining action against the challenges of youth unemployment and tackling inequalities in a post-crisis Europe.
Social innovation may also arise from technological and cultural developments, for example, with new communications technology. This is changing the way (young) people communicate, exchange information and views, and create new meaning together; or the way that media production technology that is now available on laptops has changed the making of popular culture. In these cases, a challenge for social policies is how to link to such developments, how to incorporate social innovations into the development and delivery of policies.
Much of the literature on social innovation did not explicitly identify young people as either a key target group for social innovation, nor a key source of socially innovative practices. Little research seemed to have been done which focused exclusively on innovative social practices by and for young people to combat inequalities. Yet it would seem that, whilst many young people lack the resilience to overcome the repeated setbacks they experience in trying to overcome multiple barriers to inclusion, at the same time many young people appear to be playing an active part in social innovations already taking place. Although it is clear that a growing proportion of young people among the European population are vulnerable to 'precarious jobs, low pay and little social protection and health care', our initial hypothesis was that they may not only make up a disproportionate part of the problem (i.e. social inequalities), but also – potentially – contribute disproportionately to finding solutions.
The urban dimension
Whilst all levels of government are increasingly concerned by these issues, it is in cities that the problems are most clearly demonstrated and where some of the most innovative solutions are most likely to be found. There is a real need and potential for innovation in the public sector, because it must increase its efficiency (budget constraints) and also deliver new and better quality services that respond to users' evolving needs and expectations. Over the past decade, there has been a move towards new forms of public/private and public/not for profit sector initiatives in cities aimed at tackling some of the longstanding societal issues which have been perceived to hold back economic growth. These have very often been targeted at young people who not only make up an increasing proportion of the overall urban population but include those who are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in society. Being often small scale, uncoordinated and under resourced, however, such initiatives have had limited impact beyond their immediate target group or area. Nevertheless, they may offer insights into social innovative practices from the perspective of both the client groups (or users) and the public and private organisations responsible for their design and delivery. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence which indicates that at the city level new forms of communication, social organisation and interaction between young people are leading to new types of economic activity, new ways of working and engaging with civil society.
This project, therefore, recognised the importance and centrality of existing structures of city and local government – but also sought to examine new ways of both engaging young people and of harnessing the creativity and innovation that arises among young people themselves in response to the recent challenges. The success factors at play, that are relevant for transferability, would not only be sought in the concrete form of, and ideas underlying, a socially innovative project or initiative, but also in the processes leading to a project or initiative.
In assessing innovative social practices that exist among marginalised groups and young people in particular, the project paid particular attention to the changed/changing demographic profile of large urban centres within 10 EU cities that can be characterised as ‘super diverse’. Thus, bringing into the analysis the experience of settled minority ethnic groups and the emergent generations of minority ethnic youth, as well as newly migrant communities who tend to be disproportionately concentrated in post-industrial urban centres of EU cities.
Objectives
The objectives of the project were set in the framework of the Social Innovation Europe Initiative and followed on from the establishment of the European Platform against Poverty, the Social Innovation Pilot within the European Social Fund, the PROGRESS programme and the focus on young people and employment through Youth on the Move and New Skills for New Jobs.

They came together around the key question:
In the rapidly redrawn landscape of deprivation and inequalities across Europe, how might policymakers (at local, national and EU levels) be assisted in their objectives to tackle inequalities through learning from innovative strategies developed for and by young people and particularly those from marginalised groups in major European cities, including an elaboration of the resources and technologies at the heart of these social innovations?

Specific CITISPYCE Objectives
CITISPYCE had seven key objectives in order to try and enhance these policies and contribute to combating persistent socio-economic inequalities facing young people in Europe. They were as follows:
• To examine the current state of play with regards to policy and practice aimed at tackling inequalities, the extent to which these register the changing demographic landscape of inequalities as manifested in large urban centres of EU cities today and show evidence of a changing structural response involving social innovation, particularly towards young people;
• To gain a better understanding of how and to what the extent the public sectors of Member States innovate in dealing with the issues facing disadvantaged young people and what policy responses may be needed to enhance social innovation in the public sector;
• To map the changing demographic landscape of inequalities as manifested in large urban centres within the EU today and the particular challenges facing young people disadvantaged by reason of ethnic origin, cultural background, neighbourhood, family and educational and economic situation.
• To uncover the various strategies for navigating, surviving and overcoming inequality that have emerged, and are emerging, among young people aged 16 to 24, particularly in deprived parts of large cities, analysing their potential for providing more effective and efficient social support in post-crisis Europe;
• To examine the extent to which these strategies might be regarded as socially innovative and explore ways in which such strategies might be transferable to contexts across Europe and could be scaled up from city to transnational level through multi-disciplinary networking across Europe and the exchange of ideas and personnel from, and between, a wide variety of stakeholders.
• To develop a policy approach and make recommendations as to how bottom up initiatives might be encouraged by stakeholders and thus help shape the formal practices of policy making and implementation at local, national and European levels of measures to support social innovation to combat inequalities;
• To contribute to the delivery of the goals of the European Platform against Poverty and to assist in moving towards the goals set out in the European Commission’s Innovation Union and Europe 2020 strategies, particularly the use of social innovation to find smart solutions in post-crisis Europe, especially in terms of more effective and efficient social support.

Project Results:

CITISPYCE: Scientific Results/foreground
Background
Research has shown that the global economic crisis of 2008 has had a disproportionately adverse impact upon young people. Not only are they experiencing excessively high rates of unemployment but threats to the social provision enjoyed by previous generations. When linked to other indicators of deprivation, it is clear that young people in the 16 to 24 age group are amongst the hardest hit and face more social and economic inequalities than any other group in society.
The CITISPYCE project was set against the backdrop of the rapid redrawing of social inequalities across Europe. This includes both a retrenchment of longstanding inequalities and the emergence of new or forgotten disadvantages, together with an erosion of the status and protections previously enjoyed by many citizens of European cities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Europe’s cities where severe economic pressures combined with significant shifts in their demographic make-up (resulting from successive waves of migration and increase in numbers of young people) are leading to increased social, economic and spatial segregation.
We have been concerned to examine the changing nature of social inequalities in major cities in post-crisis Europe together with the relationship between inequalities faced by young people and existing and new strategies to tackle them. In particular, we have been interested in socially innovative strategies/practices which have been devised and engaged in by young people in which they seek to mitigate the causes of their inequalities. It is clear that, in spite of the barriers which young people are facing in the labour market and in gaining access to usable welfare and education provision, some have chosen (or been forced) to re-imagine entry into the labour market through their own innovations in economic and social entrepreneurship. CITISPYCE, therefore, has sought to re-evaluate the potential of innovative practices of and for young people that previously may have been overlooked by policy-makers as examples of low-status work in the informal or semi-formal economy, or as economically, socially and politically insignificant articulations of passing trends among young people.
Given that the factors which shape social inequalities and the risk of exclusion for young people are complex and multi-dimensional, the CITISPYCE consortium includes academics from different disciplines and theoretical perspectives, third/sector organisations with on the ground experience of working with young people. We also have policy-makers involved this project at the city level, since it is in cities that the problems are most clearly demonstrated and where some of the most innovative solutions are more likely to be found.
The project design envisaged the first 18 months being spent on understanding the changing nature of inequalities, especially as faced by young people, and using the macro, meso and micro levels as a heuristic to guide the evolving phases of research (and to allow for appropriate and distinct research methods to be applied in each phase). This was organised through three consecutive research work packages. The first examined the macro level causes and symptoms of young people’s inequalities in ten countries across the EU, especially as they play out in the ten cities where partners are located. Individual city/country reports provided material for a comparative analysis of various structural determinants and causes of inequalities affecting young people.
The second and third work packages were concerned with fieldwork at the meso and micro-levels in these ten cities. The first fieldwork phase looked at the meso level dynamics in the form of infrastructural causes and manifestations of inequalities in two ‘case study’ areas in each city. Based on a mix of social research methods, it included document analysis, site visits and a total of 146 expert interviews in 20 neighbourhoods. These focused on the socio-spatial characteristics of the neighbourhood, the local social infrastructure, its relationship to inequalities, and incidences of social innovation. Individual city reports fed into a comparative report and an overview of policy frameworks in place in these cities.
The second field work phase focused on qualitative investigation at the micro level, to capture young people’s own perceptions of inequalities and their causes. The methodology included participant observation and depth-interviews through multiple encounters with young people drawn mainly - but not exclusively - from the ten cities’ case study areas. In all, 445 interviews and 26 focus groups were conducted.
Slicing up social investigation into these three levels is problematic, as they are obviously intertwined. Yet, part of the CITISPYCE project rationale is to understand factors that are specific to each level, while also seeking to uncover the interplay between these three levels in order to help understand how social inequalities are (re)produced and how they may be counteracted. This brings into dialogue a range of different external actors at these three levels, including policy makers, practitioners, third sector/voluntary organisations, young people and networks incorporating all of these.
At the same time there is also a strong focus on the local dimension. This not only enables a clearer picture of the deprivation and inequality that exist in places, but also of the problems as they are experienced by people living and working there. Furthermore, it provides insights into the visibility and impact of policies and projects (government, private and third sector) aimed at young people in the contexts of their neighbourhoods or everyday lives.
The second 18 month period of the project saw the emphasis shift towards identifying strategies and practices among young people for navigating, surviving and overcoming inequalities and analysing their potential for providing more effective social support for disadvantaged young people. Partners were able to identify examples of what appeared to be socially innovative practices from the fieldwork data. These were then assembled into a Menu of Innovative Practices according to a preliminary categorisation of socially innovative practices. The Menu was reviewed by policy-makers and practitioners as well as young people from the consortium cities for their potential to address what they felt to be key inequalities. An action research stage followed which involved testing the transferability of existing socially innovative practices of and for young people from their home location to a different context/city. The final phase captured the learning from the previous phases of the project and translated this into key implications for policy-makers at all levels. They then developed a set of Strategic Recommendations to help shape the formal practices of policy-making and implementation of measures to co-opt and support social innovations to combat inequalities faced by young people in cities across Europe.
Research approach
This investigation was immersed within the qualitative and multi-method research debate, arguing for the relevance of its nature when approaching an object of study which engenders a complex world of social relationships. Thanks to the reflexivity, depth and comprehensiveness of qualitative methods, this project has been able to unravel young people’s inequalities in deprived neighbourhoods and identify existing social innovation strategies to confront them.
Whilst several research techniques have been applied, the framework of analysis has been qualitative with a strong reliance on ethnographic methods, i.e. in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus groups. This has been complemented with secondary quantitative data to reflect on the different manifestations of social inequalities and levels of deprivation within each city. By adopting a comparative perspective, the findings of each phase of investigation have systematically been cross-nationally analysed, highlighting the main patterns of convergence and divergence between national/local contexts from a triangulated approach.
As an action-research project, CITISPYCE has also focused on the assessment of Socially Innovative Practices (SIPs) aimed at tackling social inequalities. This has implied the design of other methodological approaches, first to identify and gather SIPs, then to implement and transfer some of them in pilot actions, and finally to analyse their impact and policy implications. The findings have thus been up-scaled through action with young people, creating spaces for dialogue between young people, policy makers and practitioners at a range of levels. It has been this unusual methodological approach what has enabled us to grasp young people’s voices from the ground and formulate recommendations at the policy level.
We have grounded our findings on strong secondary base data from cross-EU and local city sources, and we have constantly tried to reflect our findings back to key stakeholders as a way of validating and legitimising our analyses.

Results I: Towards new understandings of Social Inequalities in large urban centres
The base-line study on inequalities identified drivers of social inequality at a macro level. It looked at the scale level of cities, EU Member States and beyond and, deploying a critical realist perspective, discussed how varied forms of regulating capitalist economies produce and reproduce social inequalities. In particular, this study sought to go beyond examining the ways in which social inequalities manifest in superdiverse cities in post-crisis Europe – what we describe as symptoms - and to explore the macro or structural forces causing these inequalities. Such analyses show that the symptoms may be the same in two cities, for example in terms of youth unemployment, but the causes different.
The comparison of the ten cities in their national contexts shows that labour markets, housing conditions and education systems still contain mechanisms which tend to exclude young people (if inadvertently). Across Europe, young people find it hard to access financial and social support. Furthermore, current reform trends are biased towards a problem-oriented approach that deals with symptoms of inequality and may be perceived by those affected as “blaming the victim” and not consulting. They rather individualise social problems than tackle underlying causes. For some groups this may be appropriate, for others not. In the latter case, individual strategies may have adverse effects. There is, therefore, an urgent need to deal with the causes of inequality.
The work in Citispyce has revealed a number of such causes. From these we can make the following deductions about the way social inequalities impact young people’s lives:
• The normalisation of debt excludes both those that cannot borrow and those that are getting trapped by not being able to pay back. In both these cases, young people particularly are excluded from fundamental provisions such as owning a house .
• The increasing wage divisions, which lead to growing numbers of working poor, prevent young people from having what they need in order to lead a decent life, such that young people have become known as the new precariat.
• The deterioration in the quality of jobs limits the life possibilities of the disadvantaged, often young people. Furthermore, it tends to cause unemployment as it does not enable people to learn and gain qualifications and experience on the job. The concept of precariat also covers people in such situations.
• The way of accumulating capital by dispossession tends to exclude those that do not have the necessary knowledge, societal position or support to resist the fraud and predatory practices as well as the reneging on, say, pension and health care obligations.
• The retrenchment of the welfare state/cuts in welfare benefits and services, and/or lacking social infrastructures and support to young people at the national and municipal level, de-commodification in terms of marketization and privatisation of public services further disadvantages young people. This derives from the neoliberal principle of consolidating a market-friendly constitution which lies behind austerity policies and results in new forms of inequality; depriving people of key social goods and in many cases also work (due to a shrunken public sector).
The neoliberal principle of promoting individual freedom on the basis of “economic man” also plays into a discourse of ‘blaming the victim’. This has further exacerbated inequality by dividing people and making them feel that they do not belong. There is an urgent need for another perspective/imaginary/mind-set which sees young people as potentials and pays attention to more than the symptoms of inequalities that a ‘blame the victim’ discourse has come to embody in young people.
These causes leave young people in a state of uncertainty. In fact, uncertainty seems to be the most common symptom of inequality among young people across Europe. The symptoms of such causes are clearly visible in all the ten cities although to different extent and scope. The ten cities and the societies to which they belong are indeed very different and one of the conclusions from our comparative study highlights this increasing divergence. Nevertheless, we also stress an opposite trend, namely an increasing convergence due in particular to the continuing financialisation that affects societies all across Europe. An outcome of these opposing trends is that countries, cities and indeed also neighbourhoods are becoming increasingly dependent upon each other. The lack of awareness and understanding of these interdependencies within Europe, also between different parts of an individual city, is another cause of the inequalities that affects young people and one clearly highlighted in Citispyce.
Following on from this macro-level analysis, we sought to examine the symptoms and causes of young people’s inequalities through two sets of fieldwork at the meso and micro levels. In the first - the meso-level- this was operationalized as neighbourhoods and public services. The research was expected to show if (and how) neighbourhoods and public services contribute to social inequalities. In other words: Do they matter? Does it make a difference to the life chances and social inclusion of a young person, in which neighbourhood of a European city he or she lives and which public services are provided there? We presumed that, yes, place and services do matter and that there is a power (in some instances more limited than in others) in the locality that (potentially) mediates and shapes such manifestations. Badly equipped and isolated neighbourhoods can amplify experiences of inequality as can discriminatory service delivery. Well-equipped and accessible neighbourhoods on the other hand can be important resources to cope with deprivation and even escape poverty, empowering services can be a decisive factor of social inclusion.
Two EU wide trends feed our presumption of the significance of the neighbourhood level at which we explore manifestations of inequalities as well as services to tackle them. Firstly, residential segregation and social polarisation have been on the rise in European cities since the late 20th century so that where one lives is more and more decisive about his or her health, safety, educational achievements and career prospects. Secondly, in a still ongoing process of rescaling state spaces, the urban neighbourhood as a geographic entity has become an important site of social intervention.
The fieldwork was carried out in two deprived neighbourhoods in each of the ten cities associated with the project. Research methodology was based on a mix of social research methods, including document analysis, site visits and about 15 expert interviews per area. Documents that were analysed include recent and past administrative reports and plans, policy papers, research reports. The site visits included an account of the appearance and condition of local infrastructure, service facilities and public space. Experts that were interviewed were local policy-makers, service providers, local associations, businesses, researchers, inhabitants and in some cases also service users. They focused on the socio-spatial characteristics of the neighbourhood, characteristics of local social infrastructure, the relation of social infrastructure to inequalities, and incidences of social innovation in the area. A total of 146 interviews were carried out.
The case study reports from these 20 neighbourhoods provide information about socio spatial development in an area, about local social infrastructure and about their respective role in (re)producing and tackling social inequalities.
We discerned three key concepts from this phase of research which were later further explored in conversations with young people the second fieldwork stage. These were:
Distance: young people from deprived neighbourhoods are distanced both physically and socially from the centre of cities, as well as from other groups of people.
Distance is also not a mere matter of geography, topography and connectivity, but that there are “inner peripheries” that seem worlds apart when they are just next door. Somebody can be kept at a distance even when physically being very close (e.g. when a door is shut), at the same time emotional nearness can bridge long physical distances (e.g. in migrant diasporas). The terms “distance” and “isolation” are used here as signifiers for situations that could also be described as marginalisation, peripheralisation or segregation (Bernt/Colini 2013). We use these specific terms to grasp the particularity of marking a difference, linking up to the concept of “othering” that was introduced above.
Neglect and decay: resources are withdrawn from places.
Abandoned places, when they lose their function, make space for uses that connote deviance, illegality and anomie. Vandalism, graffiti, gambling and drug abuse seem to be the rule in all case study areas, but they are only the more visible expressions that can occur at or in these respective places and give them a new meaning. But they can also take place elsewhere, hidden and private.

Piecemeal and authoritative approaches to youth and social services:
A third set of attributes is about those (public) services for young people that are still in place and being used, such as schools, street work and youth work, training and skills development schemes. Here, a complex change of service frameworks and policy reforms has been observed. It has many shapes: Embedded in work first schemes and depending on related funding programmes, services seemingly become more daunting, authoritative and repressive. That goes in hand with a new perspective on the young service users, driven by suspicion and centred on employability rather than broader concepts of empowerment and participation. At the same time, due to austerity measures, small scale civil society service providers seem to face increasingly rigid and bureaucratic funding contexts that, in some cases (Birmingham, Rotterdam, Hamburg) appear to replace trust as a mode of governance by contracts and hierarchic control, whilst in others public services are even absent and civil society struggles to compensate (Sofia, Athens).
A recurrent theme has been about recent reforms and reorganisation that seem to toughen the services and are described as high-handed and at times even arrogant, a result of work first and employability principles and their implementation under stressful conditions of austerity measures.
Apart from tough rhetoric, a subtler sign of that trend is a destabilisation of funding. Long-term services are being replaced by short-term projects, which need less of a commitment by public funders. Priority setting in public budgets under austerity measures seems not to leave much space for young people and social inclusion. This practice stands against the active inclusion and social investment strategies to which governments in the EU subscribe. It is also at odds with the public commitments to youth participation as it undermines opportunities for the young people to participate.
Across the board, there is a striking lack of coherent frameworks. Policy approaches to social inclusion of young people (outside school) seem piecemeal and short-term, based on projects and successive waves of experimental policy. One policy fashion replaces another, jeopardising previous results. These initiatives seem to be driven more by the imperative of having to make budget savings rather than developing ‘new’ responses to young people’s needs. Worryingly, the ten city case studies are full of stories of disinvestment.
A teacher in Rotterdam observed:
“Until 2009 there were a lot of investments in the social domain, and there was sufficient support possibilities for young people. A lot of attention was paid to school dropout. This was all abandoned from 2010 onwards [because of budget cuts as a response to the economic crisis]. There are no community centres anymore. And even if they are still open, there are hardly any groups of inhabitants making use of these. Specifically for young people there is nothing available anymore.”
Youth services, where they are in place, seem to be bound to conflicting agendas of public order, employability, and also human rights and social inclusion in a broader sense. Resources seem scarce and limited to short-term projects rather than robust and reliable infrastructure and long-term perspectives. In such circumstances, innovative approaches to servicing seem to be about resistance against rigid and narrow policy goals, and subversive strategies of providers to stretch those agendas and make full use of the leeway they leave in implementation.
A general and not surprising observation is that locally based workers and civil society organisations seem much closer to local problems and better placed to address them than many municipal departments and civil servants. In Athens, some community-based self-help projects, initiated either by local administration or by civil society, have been set up in recent years to mitigate the dramatic economic problems and their side-effects, including social groceries and health centres, clothes exchange, communal cooking etc. A good example of how civil society may turn temporary initiatives into sustainable and inclusive local institution is the community centre Sofielunds Folkets Hus in Malmö, started exactly 20 years ago and hosting since 2005 a folk high school . Along these lines, several implementers of integration initiatives point out how the participation of young volunteers in the implementation of the service is of vital importance for its sustainability.
Withdrawal of trust: and a sense that in many places things have been better.
Due to the above changes, young people, the service users, seem to lose their trust in public administration and providers, because they interpret the new regimes as manifestations of distrust. Hence, they don’t see service providers as “on their side” any more and eventually back off.
A key aspect of Citispyce has been to engage directly with young people, especially those facing inequalities, at the local level and to gain insights into their situation through their perceptions and lived experiences. Thus, the second stage of fieldwork focused at the micro-level and, through an ethnographic study, enabled us to gather the lived experience of social inequalities among young people in the same neighbourhoods as selected for the fieldwork at meso-level. We were also able to explore their forms of civic engagement and resilience.
This phase of further qualitative investigation involved trying to capture young people’s sentiments toward issues uncovered in both the previous phases, through broadening out the methodology to include participant observation and depth-interviews through multiple encounters with young people. The objectives were to capture more about the lived effects of inequalities and how young people might traverse these in their day-to-day social, cultural and economic activities. Young people expressed a range of positions with regard to their neighbourhoods and the city as a whole; belonging to minority ethnic communities; treatment by statutory agencies and employers and the role played by different public and private infrastructures in shaping their life chances.
A recurrent theme in interviews and focus groups involving more than 600 young people was the low quality of living conditions and the urban environment - overcrowded homes, squalor and run-down and neglected public spaces. This plays into those neighbourhoods being seen as less desirable areas in which to live or with which to be associated. Many of these sentiments reflected on young people’s sense of their own neighbourhoods becoming polarised (Malmo) or ghettoised (Birmingham, Brno, Hamburg, Netherlands, Sofia). This trend was prevalent in all cities where the research was carried out.
The poor housing conditions and decaying and neglected public spaces in the neighbourhoods where young people lived were considered by them to contribute to their inequalities. They felt stigmatised by their address and many saw it as another barrier to their chances of getting a job outside their area.
In one of the neighbourhoods in Birmingham, young people made the point about feeling excluded from other parts of the city because of where they lived:
‘there’s certain people that obviously I don’t get on with because of where I’m from so it’s one of them ones’ ‘it’s postcodes’
‘basically if you’re from Handsworth you can’t go Aston, Newtown, Nechells or other places’
For these young people, the poor quality and provision of public infrastructure was yet another sign of their inequalities as it appeared that the public authorities did not see them as important. A young person in Agia Sophia, Athens commented:
“...It is an area offering low quality of life standards. There is nothing: no cinemas, no courts, no music scenes despite the fact that there are numerous young people with artistic interests, there is no point of reference for the youth, just a few local coffee shops. However, there is a sports club. This is not a matter of inability; it’s a matter of inexistence...” “...The area of Agia Sophia has been neglected since day one. It is downgrading for a fact...”
Talking about one of the neighbourhoods Krakow, two young people observed:
‘Nothing happens here, it’s so unpleasant, and I feel like being in a horror movie. (...) It means that nothing happens, it’s desolated, there are no people, you do not know who is hiding behind the bushes.’
‘I don’t use any local services. There is nothing happening that would be attractive for me in terms of the services offered. (...) Actually, I find it difficult to say what should happen for the services to be attractive for me.’
Young people who expressed despair about their conditions in terms of services and opportunities, revealed there to be a decline in key layers of support that were expected to help the transition from child to adulthood. These cutbacks in resources of the statutory agencies for information, guidance and support services appear to have reinforced a growing sense of distance between young people and those in authority. It has also limited the horizons of some young people, making the transition into a new economy much more challenging.
In a similar vein, young people expressed unease about service staff and opportunities with regard to job preparation schemes. Such experiences lead some young people to rather fatalistic views on public institutions and current policies. In particular, the emphasis on quality education as a safeguard against unemployment is ridiculed in light of dramatic rises in youth unemployment.
A young person from Athens told us that:
“... I would never rely on my University degree to find a job. It’s one thing to be a plumber and another to be a political scientist! If your faucet gets broken you will call the plumber, but who will call me? There are so many political scientists who are nothing, just thin air”.
Yet many young unemployed people are ready and motivated to enter the labour market. They just need an opportunity to get started. Dominant social security and labour market policies in the countries and cities in our study, however, tend to try to move marginalised and unemployed young people towards low-skilled jobs rather than support them towards entrepreneurship and self-employment.
‘I went to the job centre, I’ve been with them for a year and they haven’t provided me any support for business entrepreneurship and only help people looking for jobs. I don’t want a job but want to run my own business, I often feel like I’m struggling with this battle by myself’
This phase of fieldwork with young people involved listening to their experiences in relation to the effects of the economic crisis, impacts which resonate on them and their prospects and participation, as well as in the constrained resources within their local neighbourhoods. It also involved observing young people’s social and cultural practices as they sought to mitigate against the area effects identified in fieldwork at the meso-level and those of a shrunken economy and shifting macro political climate of welfare retrenchment outlined in the base-line study. The fieldwork revealed that there seems to be promise in young people being connected with alternative life worlds, such as things going on across the country or around the world, with young people being able to imagine and live a world beyond their neighbourhoods.
What limited young people’s sense of an outside, however, (beyond their localities or limited frames of ‘community’ based on area or ethnicity) were their perceptions about statutory agencies and more specifically experiences of treatment at the hands of statutory agencies, such as the Police, educational establishments, careers services as well as macro-economic forces that had resulted in reduced opportunities for young people. The combined effect of these forces tended to reinforce pathologies about young people, minority ethnic groups and deprived areas and ultimately new forms of inequality. In addition, the symbolic relegation imposed on highly segregated local neighbourhoods, has an explicit connection with how young people are perceived and how they perceive themselves. Improvements to resources and spaces within local neighbourhoods are part of their narrative, as well as the need to find ways to engage in society beyond the local area.
Young people were able to break away from limiting factors when connections were brokered across generations, spaces and ethnic groups and also within the constituency of young people as well. While young people themselves could initiate some of these as illuminated in examples above of networks and innovative uses of social capital and space beyond their own neighbourhoods, the sustainability of innovations is a key next question.
The innovative practices we encountered were in their infancy but are nonetheless remarkable in a context of segregation, stigmatisation and resource constraints. Primary techniques and mechanisms for initiating innovations include: new forms of networking and movement around the city as well as the expansion of zones of familiarity for young people who might be condemned to lives in deprived neighbourhoods.

Results II: Adding to the knowledge base on social innovations of and for young people to combat social inequalities
Identifying socially innovative practices
Following on from the base-line study and fieldwork, the project emphasis shifted from social inequalities towards social innovation against inequalities and from one in which researchers took the lead to one in which the policy-makers and practitioners came more to the fore. The pivotal point for this was an Interim Evaluation of the findings so far on the changing nature of social inequalities and the relationship to them of socially innovative practices uncovered in the fieldwork. Researchers identified a number of emerging themes and drew up a Menu of Innovative Practices that collated and structured them along key variables.
This Menu was based on the gathering of 45 projects, initiatives and practices assessed by researchers as socially innovative with regard to tackling, navigating and overcoming social inequalities affecting young people in the ten cities. Such practices had been developed and fostered by institutions or municipalities (top-down level), as well as by associations, grass-root organisations and groups of young people (bottom-up level) with varying degrees of organisation and different structures of governance.
In order to enhance the bridge between academia and policy, an Interim Workshop was held, aimed at presenting a selection of social innovations and discussing them with stakeholders and young people previously involved with the project. These included interviewees from both stages of the fieldwork (experts and youngsters) and policy-makers from the cities involved. A key objective of this workshop was to discover if these policy-makers and young people considered any of the socially innovative practices uncovered during the fieldwork worth applying elsewhere. Thus, both the Menu and the workshop, in turn, served as the basis to inform the selection and implementation of a set of Pilot Actions to test transferability.
The practices included in the Menu are regarded to be innovative as far as they: i) meet new social needs or better meet the already existing ones of specific vulnerable groups like young people; ii) find new ways of meeting social needs which are more effective, efficient and/or sustainable than the alternatives; iii) empower people, allowing them to participate and increase their capabilities; iv) promote the awareness of rights and active citizenship; v) turn social challenges to opportunities; and vi) increase social capital, social trust and enhance society’s capacity to undertake actions at the local level. We may also consider as a criterion to identify social innovations, those practices which go beyond the local level and take into account the interdependencies between cities and countries and the consequences this has in the growing inequities within Europe (Stigendal 2013).
The innovative nature of the practices selected is manifold, reflecting the theoretical conceptions around social innovation. Some of them are focused on addressing the causes of social inequalities (e.g. local welfare programmes against youth unemployment, facilitating access to housing, support in education, health assistance, programmes of antidiscrimination against ethnic minorities). These initiatives arise in the context of a shrinking welfare state and are often led by NGOs or associations which offer services for disadvantaged groups who otherwise would not have access to.
In contrast, other practices are more tailored to address the symptoms of social inequalities which do not attempt to change the socio-economic structures, but have a more palliative character (e.g. after-school leisure programmes, projects focused on sports or artistic genres, food banks). Here we must take into account the complexity and shortcomings in some cases to distinguish between causes and symptoms of social inequalities. Going beyond an analysis framed in binary terms, the results of this investigation have shown that causes and symptoms are often intertwined and one reinforces the other, especially at the meso (neighbourhood) and micro (individuals) levels.
On the other hand, there are some practices in which innovation relates to the means they use, the approaches they adopt, or the dimensions they tackle related to the types of social inequalities. By means we understand, for instance, the use of virtual social media and technology (e.g. groups of WhatsApp, YouTube tutorials, Facebook groups) to devise innovative ways of studying, communicating, sharing resources and organising social networks together. Another innovative method is the use of creative arts or sports to provide skills and competences which can then be applied to seek a job, continuing education or becoming an entrepreneur. These are sometimes related to non-formal education with the involvement of social/street/youth workers who are in regular contact with youngsters. This is the case of, for instance, the school of theatre Forn de Teatre Pa’Tothom or the ‘Educational Demos’ project, both located in Barcelona.
The innovative approaches focus on new ways of dealing with problems and finding solutions, also linked to the concept of resilience, often connected to the use of innovative means. For instance, in Brno the NGO IQ Roma Service increases chances of labour market inclusion for the most disadvantaged (including the young Roma) through a complex intervention called ‘triangle approach’. This combines the ‘Ethnic-friendly employer’ campaign, a media campaign about active Roma ‘We do work’, counselling and training activities. Another example is the ‘Challenge Sports’ project in Rotterdam which uses sports to teach young people social skills, help them find their way (back) into education or employment and build social capital.
The dimensions that have been considered as socially innovative are mainly related to the effects that deprived neighbourhoods have on young people by (re)producing social inequalities. These dimensions arise from the comparative findings of the first fieldwork phase which focused on analysing how young people are affected by neighbour-related factors like the social infrastructure, the social structure, or the most recent social history. Such findings were then considered and contrasted during the second phase of fieldwork when talking to young people. In this sense, we looked at how young people experience social inequalities in deprived neighbourhoods, how they face them in their every-day lives and their engagement in socially innovative practices, both organised by them or by other bodies or institutions. The dimensions of social innovation are thus directly related to responses to social inequalities.
One of the key findings arising from fieldwork is revealed by the effects caused by physical elements or symbols that divide a deprived neighbourhood from the rest of the city in terms of reinforcement of the ‘ghettoisation’ of the area. Therefore, actions oriented to bridging urban and social distances between and within neighbourhoods could help in a greater mobility and networking with the resources offered in other parts of the city. Social distance could be mitigated by ethnic or kinship communities which offer a safe environment, or by organisations providing easy access to services within the deprived neighbourhood. It is the case, for example, of the Health and Social Community Centre of Fakulteta (Sofia), oriented to provide consultation, training, and health and social assistance to young families, children and young people of the Roma community who do not tend to use services outside the area.
On the other hand, the existence of neglected and abandoned spaces was also reported as a phenomenon in many cities, intensifying an image and impression of decay. Here, the dimension of social innovation would be (re)claiming such spaces and giving them a (new) use undertaking activities with which young people may feel identified. Communing is an increasing trend to foster participation of residents in decision-making linked to urban regeneration schemes (e.g. urban gardening, skateparks).
Finally, another influence of the neighbourhoods in (re)producing social inequalities is represented by the social infrastructures available for young people. There are youth services which lack resources, are limited to short-term projects, and are bound to conflicting agendas of public order, employability, and also human rights and social inclusion (Güntner et al 2014). In this sense, exclusionary forms of servicing could be addressed through innovation in service provision offering reliable and robust funding. This is also connected to an issue of trust which, in the interviews with young people, proved to be fundamental for their social inclusion. Innovative projects thus relate to the promotion of trust and empowerment of young people so that they recognise and achieve their personal goals, and foster civic engagement for a more cohesive society. This is the case, for example, of ‘Own Strength Conferences’ in Rotterdam, oriented to promote self-confidence and empowerment of young people and help in achieving their goals in the future, as well as programmes of mentorships (e.g. Mentoring for refugees in Hamburg or the Brightful project in Malmö).
Two further dimensions explored during the fieldwork are represented by those social innovations aimed at fostering engagement and civil participation, or taking into account the gender perspective and kinship programmes. The dimension of gender and kinship is highlighted by the practices of Dolce Lounge and Little Miss Creative (both in Birmingham) or the Health and Social Community Centre (in Sofia). The latter covers important needs such as enhancement of youth’s personal development and reduction of risky behaviours, training of youth leaders or empowerment of girls and women towards gender equality.
On the other hand, the selected practices include both bottom-up initiatives resulting from individuals, groups of young people or organisations, and top-down projects responding to a more structured programme designed and implemented by institutions or the local government. In some cases, this is not so clearly distinguished as there might be different logics of governance behind them, also influenced by the agencies funding the project/programme/initiative (e.g. co-financing between public and private funds). In this sense, a lot of the criticism about restructured relationships between the state, local government and communities is that they result in complex and contradictory logics of accountability and governance. Linked to the origin of the practices, some adopt a more formal organisation, often coinciding with the top-down measures, whereas others are more informal evolving to growing levels of institutionalisation.
Piloting phase
During the Interim workshop in which a number of examples of socially innovative practices had been presented to policy-makers and young people, there had been a marked difference in response between the two groups. The young people were enthusiastic for projects which appeared to address more individualised needs and use ‘informal’ learning and peer to peer approaches. Policy-makers were, however, more circumspect in their responses to the practices presented and tended to focus more on the fit with existing policies and programmes. In the weeks following the workshop, the practical implications of implementing these initial choices e.g. time-scales and financial and human resources available were assessed. In some cases, this led to a change of project or a modification of their original selection in order to reflect the local context and need. Finally, nine pilot projects were set up in consortium cities to study social innovation in action.
Although it was not possible to control the selection of pilots from a research perspective, there seems to have been a good variation in a number of dimensions. Some were transferred from one city to another, others developed on the basis of local opportunities; some were designed more “top-down”, others more “bottom-up”; some were run by NGOs, some by municipalities; some emphasized training and competence development in innovative ways, others emphasized offering opportunities, co-creation and using and building on young people’s ambitions, building social networks and strengthening communities; some used traditional printed media to reach young people, others (also) relied on social media and websites; some target a specific group (e.g. refugees, Roma, artists), others aim at excluded young people more generally.
The intention behind this action research phase, however, was not only to examine organisation and process issues but the central ideas and internal success factors of each pilot. Involving young people in some way seems to be a central element in all pilots, although the way this is done (or envisaged) differs according to target groups, situations and local contexts. Most pilots seemed to focus on issues such as strengthening self-confidence, social ties and community identity, using each other’s talents and networks to create more opportunities, building social networks and so on – issues that are relevant for employment and education through developing social capital, resilience and readiness for work.
The pilots that were carried out can be regarded as a form of action research or action learning, with active involvement from an insider’s perspective, and as an attempt to gain more insights into how social innovation works. If we look at the study of social innovation as an attempt to gain more rational control over social development, the attempt may include several general approaches:
• Addressing the micro-level of individuals: A pedagogical, or learning approach: building the personal strength and problem-solving capacity of disadvantaged people and the people who can help them. This can encompass strengthening resilience, developing competences, building social capital and networks, providing access to media and information resources, access to education and the labour market, support in how to start one’s own business (stimulating entrepreneurship), and so on.
• Addressing the meso-level ‘between’ people: An approach of creating conditions that enable empowerment and strengthening of resilience, i.e. giving space to people and/or organizations, and building trust and connections between citizens, organizations and government, strengthening social ties and creating links between people that can enable them to support each other.
• Part of ‘creation conditions’ could also be protection, for example, through minimizing unintended adverse effects of mainstream policies - social exclusion that results from the tightening of requirements attached to social welfare provisions that seem to be a common response to the crisis in many EU countries (Loedemel and Moreira 2014).
• Addressing institutions and services: An approach aimed at preserving services in times of austerity. This approach addresses mostly the level of organization of services. In the delivery of services there is room for more effectiveness and efficiency, as generally a lot of time and energy is spent on eligibility, control and management issues (i.e. meeting tax payer’s needs) rather than on achieving results (i.e. meeting pressing social needs).
• Addressing gaps in services: This approach can entail setting up new services through entrepreneurial activities, by NGOs or the public sector.
• Addressing the macro-level of allocation of resources (jobs, education, housing etc): This approach aims at new ways or forms of providing people with resources, e.g. through exchange and second hand markets, #daretoask (crowd mining for information, services or goods on twitter), or redistribution (e.g. basic income schemes, food bank).
• Addressing societal trends: Identifying and using technological and cultural developments to help change the way people communicate, exchange information and views, and create new meaning together (e.g. through social media, online communities etc).
The pilots were of short duration and small-scale because of the constraints of the time available in the project. In spite of this, it has been possible to gain valuable insights into the reasons for success of the social innovations involved and into what some of the critical factors are to enable the successful transfer of a practice from one context to another. We considered that seven out of the nine pilots undertaken were a success and the most important conclusions we can draw from them are:
• Young social entrepreneurs (e.g. in Birmingham, Rotterdam) and young people with ideas (e.g. in Hamburg) in many cases are at the root of socially innovative practices. Many socially innovative practices begin with talents and capabilities of the people involved.
• Windows of opportunity play an important role in the matching of SIPs and local social needs and in supporting individual initiatives in scaling up. The feasibility of a pilot in the local organizational and institutional context, policy framework and time frame, seems, in practice, to be more important than considerations about target groups, which social needs to address, and what innovative central ideas to pilot.
• According to the people involved, the involvement and active support of the public sector and its resources is an important success factor, or measure of success, in social innovation. From our pilots this seems to be irrespective of which actor takes the initiative.
• Pilots initiated by NGOs have been more successfully implemented than pilots initiated by public administrations. Actor-ship, and the relative independence of NGOs from public policy processes, may have something to do with this, but the smaller scale of the pilots may also be important.
• Rules and regulations seem to be a frustrating barrier for all actors. This is not to be equated with the public sector as an actor, however since it is not only the public sector that reproduces these rules and regulations. The reason for this is that rules and regulations are also a resource, and rules and regulations can be a point of access to these resources, and other actors ‘play the game’ to gain access to these resources. In many cases, however, rules and regulations are a barrier, e.g. obtaining re-building permits for the location of Amaro Records in Brno; refugees not being allowed to open a bank account which prevents them from taking part in activities of sports associations in Hamburg; tendering procedures delaying the implementation of a pilot; difficulties in obtaining permits to organize activities in a park where young people hang out anyway in Venice.
• Successful implementation often depends on key individuals willing to take chances and for whom the goal is more important than avoiding risks, who inspire, have authority, and make things happen. In several pilot reports there appear key individuals who make a difference, e.g. the involvement of a social worker/educator who had a good connection to many young people in Venice, and very experienced and highly rated trainers in Krakow.
• Successful implementation depends also on good, unselfish cooperation, involving and respecting everyone and every organization that can contribute something.
• Making use of experiences, good practices and inspiration from elsewhere seems to speed up the development of socially innovative practices (SIPs) -transferability
• A pedagogical approach of learning/teaching and a facilitating approach of building conditions through giving space, building trust, involving local authorities, employers and other organisations that young people are not familiar with, are important success factors, as are endurance and perseverance.
• “Bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches, supportive and compensatory approaches, can both be appropriate, depending on the context. The important success factor seems to be the ability of professionals to choose an appropriate approach in every context, and flexibility with an eye to individual tailoring of activities.
• SIPs are effective when the ‘logic of their interventions’ matches the ambition and abilities of the young people they address, both in the positioning of a SIP in relation to its target group, as in what happens in the interaction between people (professionals and participants).
A key feature of the innovative practices we studied is that not only did their complexity reflect the complexity of inequalities but they paid attention to aspects of inequalities often neglected in the mainstream policies. They also contrast with the currently widespread MUD discourse and the corresponding approach in mainstream policies which assumes that young people living in deprived neighbourhoods represent a problem themselves. Instead they are aiming to bridge distance, to provide recognition, build trust, offer engagement and empowerment to the neglected target groups like those who lose aspirations and aim at alternative solutions or they may even resign solutions. This all enables the use of the knowledge of young people in the proper recognition of their problems and the causes of inequalities they are facing.
Processes and approaches to young people play a key role, enabling the actors involved to facilitate/boost their individual and collective potential through active cooperation in addressing social inequalities in excluded neighbourhoods. Creativity and potentials of young people have the central role, similarly as social potential of the communities they are living in.
Originally we assumed that mainly employment and education oriented innovations would be in focus. It turned out that these practices or innovations proved to overlap with other more general aspects like recognition, empowerment, participation, self-esteem, trust and engagement. The latter aspects create the necessary preconditions for more specific employment and education oriented effects. This is because very often the young people who are living in the deprived neighbourhoods are marginalised or excluded in several dimensions: economic, social, civic/political and spatial. As a consequence they are losing trust, self-confidence, aspirations and motivation. Mainstream policies fail to recognise the above crucial aspects of social inclusion or they assume that employment will be the solution to these problems. Consequently, mainstream policies are perceived by young people as oppressive and not very helpful, or insufficient.
Learning from socially innovative practices
The nine innovative practices from one city piloted in other societal and implementation contexts enabled us to examine their positive potentials in a creative way. They were subject to evaluation in the form of detailed Case Studies as were a further 12 practices including some of the projects on which the pilots were based. The 21 Case Studies were presented and emerging policy implications discussed with stakeholders from the European Commission and other interested partners at a workshop held on September 10 2015 in Brussels. These discussions and feedback from other stakeholders in the cities and countries involved in the project as well as from participants in the Final Conference enabled us to develop a list of key issues for consideration by policy-makers and recommendations for future policy making.
As we have already highlighted, all the innovative practices we have identified address both the societal and individual level causes of inequalities and/or the symptoms and consequences, as well as the intermediary level of the social environment and social network.
In the case of small scale or even middle scale initiatives by young people themselves, or other actors who are not ‘formally empowered’, but close to young people such as NGOs or charities, it is not in the power of the actors to change substantially the structures of social inequalities. Nevertheless, these innovative practices are taking the societal level causes of inequalities into consideration and are addressing them in several respects.
First, these practices adopt a potential-oriented view of young people which means that young people are seen and approached as potentials. This is not only for solving their own problems; at the same time they develop the potential (ambitions and abilities) of other young people in deprived neighbourhoods to respond to the causes and/or the consequences of inequalities.
Secondly, they use views, experiences and cultural expressions of young people in order to reinforce knowledge on the causes and consequences of inequalities. Young people are also encouraged to express injustices they are facing and enabled/empowered to become critical citizens with a wish to be politically engaged. New views, knowledge and discourses about the causes of inequalities are thus produced by young people themselves and the causes of inequalities are challenged by them,
Thirdly, they attempt to change (at least partially), the patterns of the causes in several respects. For example, employers and business sector are involved in practices, in order to alleviate the impacts of widespread discrimination, at least within specific segments of the labour market (cooperating employers).
Fourth, new opportunities for personal development and education are being promoted in situations where the mainstream policies do not provide them, or communing/sociability opportunities are provided when public spaces are not (or do not appear to be) available for this purpose.
Fifth, they are using the potential of young people to advantage in enabling them to learn and grow on the job, to participate in meaningful economic activities and accessing better quality jobs.
Sixth, new networks of actors are established, or multi-sectoral cooperation developed in order to address the structural problems: this increases their capacity to combat social exclusion.
Seventh, holistic measures are being adopted. These include those which tackle material forms of the causes of inequalities like providing social infrastructures in the deprived neighbourhoods and spaces, opportunities for communing, socialising.
Overall, there is a change in policy approach which recognises the causes of inequalities affecting young people and their needs, taking their positive potential into consideration and enabling their active participation in policy making.
In the case of large scale practices, underpinned with sufficient resources, the range of opportunities offered in order to overcome societal inequalities is broader, which includes also the provision of job or training opportunities. On the other hand, there are clear limitations regarding the capacity of these social innovative practices to change the structures of inequalities which are embedded in labour market structures or in welfare state/mainstream policies objectives and design. In the latter respect, however, the innovative practices and/or the principles which underpin them could serve as ‘policy models’ or ‘policy guidelines’ for broader (mainstream) public policy reforms, even when introduced at the local level as ‘incremental policy reforms’.
The individual level causes of inequalities are addressed more extensively and intensively. Most often, the social innovation practices develop supporting abilities, competences, capabilities of young people or their ambitions, self-efficacy, and creativity. They empower them and/or they offer opportunities in order to alleviate/overcome their individual deficits regarding ambitions, competences, creativity. They also develop communing, sociability, social networks, social capital/social potential in neighbourhoods, trust in institutions and active civic participation.
The case studies confirm that an important device of the innovative practices is that they address the dimensions of social exclusion which are rather neglected in mainstream policies. Typically, the practices are unique in that they address neighbourhood, individual, spatial and group dimensions, often in a combination with political/civic and social dimensions. Self-confidence, creativity, empowerment, sociability, trust and engagement are strongly supported through such innovative approaches. The other related characteristic is a highly individualised approach and emphasis on the process to balance relationship, recognition, mutual trust, empowerment and co-determination. Typically, individual or group/community work based on the partnership/ co-creation principle is the norm/quality standard.
Finally, there is a collective empowerment principle applied. This means that young people are empowered to deal collectively with the problems of inequalities.
In this way, young people are supported in many respects more effectively than mainstream policies aspire to do or succeed in doing. This is an important pre-condition for effective social inclusion in the case of young people who are seeking alternative solutions to those based on the ‘standard pathways’ offered by mainstream policies or, in the case of young people who are living from day to day, without any ambition to change their social exclusion (see next section). These two groups are typically hard to address in mainstream policies or they are addressed through mainstream policies which focus on external motivation (inspired by MUD discourse).
The internal success factors include both practice/project design and practice/project implementation which are of equal significance. Regarding project design two aspects which are at the core of the philosophy (programme theory) underpinning these practices/project appear to be the most important.
The first one is the strong focus not only on the needs of the participants, but also on their potential. Recognition and respect of young people´s interests is often a starting point. A highly individualised approach is consequently a norm, based on mutual recognition, involvement, cooperation and empowerment as the principles of action. The second aspect (closely associated with the first) is that the method, process and approach matter the most. The method of operation consists of cooperation, co-determination, empowerment and partnership.
Most notably a strong central idea informed by the above principles, is the most important success factor for Socially Innovative Practices. These central ideas can be adapted to different local contexts as our pilots show. Also, process and content often merge. Within these central ideas there is a strong focus on the extent to which there is a match between views of young people embedded in policies/interventions/practices and young people’s own perceptions. How can what is offered be better tailored to what is required to fulfil needs or to realise potentials of young people?
Three external success factors were identified as important. The first one was the network mode of governance, or the existing cooperation networks like cooperative relationships between NGOs, municipalities, business sectors, universities, etc. This was very much influenced, however, by the already established social capital and networks of the principal actor (internal success factor) and/or by the ability of the principal to find the partners and to establish networks.
The second facilitating factor was the already existing community/neighbourhood social capital and social potential. In addition, sometimes, particularly in relation to the pilot projects, it was the window of opportunity (e.g. political feasibility) of the practice in the local context that were important for the choice of our pilot SIPs.
The third facilitating factor was the financial resources provided (for example, financing through European funds was very helpful) or some infrastructures provided (for example space for the activities provided free of charge by a municipality). The financial and personnel resources were more important in the case of larger projects which have combined several time-consuming (professionalised) activities necessary to achieve the outcomes.
Recommendations are emerging from the confrontations of the causes and symptoms addressed by the innovative practices, the gaps and failures of the already existing mainstream policies, mechanisms of change and success factors identified in evaluation case studies of the innovative practices.

III: Assisting policy-makers to tackle the challenge of growing and changing social inequalities through harnessing social innovations
By analysing the data through the lenses of different disciplines within the consortium, we have begun identifying aspects of social innovations which have the potential to address not only symptoms but the underlying causes of inequality. Our initial reflections have been drawn from all phases of the project and have been assessed through feedback and interaction in workshops and conferences. The Final Conference in December 2015 gave us a further opportunity to share our ongoing work with policy-makers, practitioners and young people. This has helped to refine our thinking on the role that social innovations developed by and for young people could play in “assisting policy-makers to tackle the challenge of growing and changing social inequalities.” Whilst we acknowledge the intrinsic complexity of these inequalities, we consider that our findings, even though based mostly on small-scale local practices, offer valuable learning points for policymakers at all levels.
Above everything else, we stress the importance of changing the prevailing discourses around policies relating to young people if real progress is to be made in mitigating social inequalities experienced by young people across Europe. Our findings call for significant changes in the way policy-makers and practitioners regard young people. It is vital that we take advantage of the experiences, stories and reflections of young people to help shape future policies to combat their inequalities. This implies a shift in the paradigm that frames our responses to disadvantaged young people. We must move away from treating young people as a problem to one which acknowledges and harnesses young people’s potentials, and away from seeing them as a category to be worked on towards one that can be worked with. This in turn should force us to look again at the underlying philosophies and mechanisms in policy making over the past few decades.
The change of paradigm, approach and philosophy represents a systemic change which will be hard to achieve. Such a change presupposes a change in mind-sets and ways of working of policy-makers at all levels, based on more appropriate knowledge and understanding of the causes of inequalities and social exclusion of disadvantaged young people. Obtaining this knowledge requires listening to young people and giving them a voice and participation in policy making. This aspect is included in several ways in the following set of recommendations because it is so central to this issue.
The other way, in which a paradigmatic change may happen is through the incremental implementation of socially innovative practices and their scaling up, leading to the adoption of their principles in mainstream policies. In this way the new approaches may become more widespread practice. Moreover, the young people’s feedback on such policies and their positive impacts on young people and more general social benefits can work in favour of these practices.
We list below some of the key issues emerging from our research that need to be addressed by policy-makers at all levels in order to improve their capacity to combat social inequalities as they currently manifest themselves in cities across Europe. In particular, they highlight significant barriers to their ability to harness the potential of socially innovative practices of and for young people. With them, we include examples of the recommendations we have made relating to changing institutional mind-sets and ways of working which frame their approach to young people and underpin many existing policies and programmes. Then we suggest how policy-makers might make use of social innovations to tackle specific dimensions of inequality. Finally, we include examples of the recommendations we have made with regard to a more effective use of resources by policy-makers at all levels.
Key issues for policy-makers:
• Institutional mind sets which fail to recognise and tap into young people’s potentials, knowledge and lived experiences
• Institutional mind sets and ways of working which limit scope for change
• The current framing of public policies which may contribute to inequalities
• Policy responses to austerity which have restricted the scope of youth policies and reduced support services for young people
• Policy approaches to education and training which contribute to young people’s inequalities
• Failure to recognise and respect the needs of young people which leads to distance, disillusion and distrust

Summary of key recommendations relating to the above
Change institutional mindsets
Disadvantaged young people are perceived as ‘not belonging’ to society and are regarded by policy-makers as a ‘problem’ to be solved. It is vital that policy-makers change from seeing ‘young people equalling ‘problem’ to ‘young people having potentials that could be actualised.’
We recommend:
• Listening to the voices of young people themselves, by engaging more directly and openly with disadvantaged young people in order to recognise their potential, empowering them, engaging them, and helping them with their self-development
• Being less directive and resisting the temptation to micro-manage the dialogue and any initiatives which may emerge
• Co-opting or working in partnership with individuals and social enterprises which have established trust with young people and can act as connectors/bridge builders between them and policy-makers
• Using the communication, peer-to peer learning and mentoring skills of such organisations to establish open dialogue, facilitating the active participation of disadvantaged young people in discussions about their peer group
• Building local and national Knowledge Alliances where all parties meet on equal terms.
Policy-making is frequently bounded by institutional custom and practice and received knowledge. This often shows itself in a paternalistic approach to the design and implementation of policies and a lack of awareness of the differences between causes and symptoms of social inequalities. Policy-makers need to change this paternalistic mindset.
We recommend:
• Recognising and accepting that a controlling role in the development and delivery of programmes, usually associated with being the primary funder, is no longer realistic or appropriate because of reductions in resources (money and personnel)
• Being open to co-opt external organisations with appropriate knowledge and skills of the issue(s) or target group(s) to work on an equal footing
Change ways of working within institutions
Complex and often rigid bureaucratic processes act as barriers to the involvement of individual social entrepreneurs and newly established or small-scale NGOs in design and delivery of programmes to assist young people. It is important to simplify processes. Departmental territoriality (silos) limits the potential for cross-fertilisation of ideas, knowledge and sharing of resources. Policy-makers need to break down internal silos.
We recommend:
• Introducing more flexible, light touch regulatory mechanisms for small-scale funding programmes and for support to new and/or micro-organisations;
• Subsidiarity – devolving more decision-making powers on the use of resources to the lowest level to reduce delays in project design and implementation;
• Instigating more formal as well as informal cross-departmental working to achieve a more joined up approach in terms of policy objectives, desired outputs and outcomes and resources to be allocated e.g. more round table events on topics of mutual interest and concern
• Establishing a dedicated champion for young people facing inequalities (e.g. Birmingham City Council) within the institution with power to bring together representatives of all areas of policy with potential vested interest. ie Create Internal Knowledge Alliances
Public institutions have a high sensitivity to risk - financial and reputational - which frequently prevents them accessing external knowledge and networks by co-opting or funding new, unproven organisations or initiatives. They need to change their attitude to risk.
We recommend:
• Using connectors/bridge-builders with proven track record of trust within local communities to broker introductions to new organisations operating in the relevant policy fields
• Engaging such organisations in open dialogue to understand how they work before making any commitments
• Undertaking a cost/benefit analysis of traditional versus possible new ways of working
• Making use of examples of good research-informed practice to support new approaches
Policy-makers need to improve their understanding of the changing nature of inequalities in post-crisis Europe.
We recommend:
• Accessing current research through Knowledge Alliances between universities and/or policy think tanks and policy-makers to provide a more informed understanding of the differences between causes and symptoms of inequalities. This is so that officers are clearer about the purpose/objectives of policies and programmes to deal with aspects of inequality and can plan accordingly with regard to the use of resources, time-scales and evaluation or measurement of effectiveness.

Modify institutional responses to the impact of austerity measures
Policy-makers have responded to budget cuts by imposing more conditions upon any support still offered, removing services altogether or replacing them by less costly ‘new’ initiatives which fail to meet the needs of disadvantaged young people on the ground. This has meant that young people are falling through the gaps left in mainstream policies and programmes thus adding to their inequalities.
Initiatives which seek to fill these gaps in ways that also help connect (or re-connect) young people with those in authority may not just be compensatory. They may also stimulate changes in the approach to policy-making and delivery which counter the current tendency to limit the scope of interventions. Policy-makers need to be open to alternative ways of filling the gaps.
We recommend:
• Drawing on the knowledge and creativity of young people themselves and their lived experiences of policies and practices as they play out in their cities and communities
• Being prepared to identify and work with new actors or structures beyond the institution’s own established networks, particularly those involving young people who are facing inequalities e.g. social innovations which have emerged in response to an unmet need.

Harnessing social innovations to address key causes of social inequality
Education and development
Whilst recommendations regarding detailed changes to national education systems are beyond the reach of this project, the significance of access to quality educational opportunities in tackling the causes of young people’s inequalities cannot be ignored. There are frequent references in the CITISPYCE fieldwork reports to young people from deprived neighbourhoods/communities not having access to decent schools, being discouraged, demotivated and limited in their prospects for training or employment post-school because of poor grades. The following recommendations are based on the evidence of several innovative social practices identified during the fieldwork at the local level. They have the potential to redress symptoms of inequalities in the short term and possibly causes in the medium to long-term. Policy-makers should move from ‘one size fits all’ in terms of pedagogical approach and be open to alternative learning methods.
We recommend:
• Minimizing restrictions on the provision of public education by NGOs and parents’ associations in order to open up more opportunities for non-formal learning approaches to assist young people to acquire social and cultural competences and skills
• Working with Universities and other Further Education institutions to offer more routes to improving basic educational qualifications using peer to peer mentoring schemes e.g. Social innovations in Krakow (mentoring/coaching) and Hamburg (WhatsApp)
• Co-opting innovative arts or sports-based social practices which help develop social and emotional competences (confidence, self-belief) as well as basic skills to offer alternative pathways to learning. For example:
▪ Beatfreeks, Birmingham helping young people navigate their way through their inequalities by improving their social and emotional competences, raising their aspirations and signposting pathways to further education or training
▪ Pilot initiatives such as Educational Demos from Barcelona with Amaro Records in Brno which uses a shared interest in making music as a basis for building self-esteem and confidence and becoming ‘critical citizens’

Employment and entrepreneurship
One of the key causes of inequality is increasing labour market segmentation and exclusionary tendencies in labour markets where young people are disproportionally affected by unemployment, precariousness and low quality of jobs available. They are sometimes locked in the shadow economy. This is often accompanied by discrimination in the labour market and other areas in the case of immigrants or ethnic minorities. At the same time, mainstream policies have shown a growing convergence towards work-first, sometimes even workfare-like policies which are underpinned by moral/underclass discourse (MUD). Young people are perceived as ‘not belonging’ to society, and this is also communicated to them – demonstrating ‘othering’ as an exclusionary mechanism. Policy-makers need to change the principles of activation.
We recommend:
• Replacing conditionality requirements with effectiveness requirements, both on an individual level and on an organisational level, to provide more opportunities for professional discretion based on social work approaches and greater focus on effectiveness through needs-oriented and continuous performance of the institutions involved
Current labour market policies aimed at dealing with youth unemployment frequently fail to reach the most excluded since they require a certain level of skills and social competences to benefit from the support offered e.g. around job-search, CV writing and interview skills which many young people lack. Policy-makers should extend the reach of their interventions.

We recommend:
• Combining small scale policies/practices oriented towards empowerment, general individual and social development of young people and communities where they are living with the (larger scale) policies/practices focused more directly on employment or formal education. Such combinations may produce more synergy as individual and social development creates important pre-conditions for improved employability
• Increasing the numbers and proportions of disadvantaged youth in Active Labour Market Policy programmes (ESF projects included)
• Focusing the programmes even more on deprived neighbourhoods
• Adopting a comprehensive but individualised approach to tackle the multiple barriers to labour market entry, ie employment services must be accompanied by other social (wrap-around) services, infrastructures and support
• Ensuring that a certain proportion of their programme funding is allocated to support for the most disadvantaged young people to provide more individualised treatment with special focus on their needs in transition to the labour market.

In addition, employment policies often fail to take account of the ‘demand’ side of the labour market and insufficient effort is made in some countries to collaborate with employers in the provision of targeted support for specific for ‘hard to place’ and discriminated target groups.

We recommend:
• Involving employers directly by creating public-private partnership/pacts between employers and municipalities/cities
• Developing an integrated approach such as that piloted in Sofia (HESED) based on example from IQRS in Brno.
There is a disconnect between employment and other services for young people and their client groups. Although One Stop Shop initiatives exist in several of the CITISPYCE cities, they seldom reach those most in need. Our findings reveal distrust and disillusion amongst this target group with the help available.
We recommend:
• Improving the quality and reach of employment and other services for young people through ensuring better training for staff working in front line services of One Stop Shops and also in the back-office (coordinated strategy/actions) and improving the ‘signposting’ of such services
• Co-opting organisations working with and trusted by young people to provided informal one-stop shops where specialist advisors can be co-located and more approachable than in an official building e.g. Physical spaces occupied by social innovations such as Amaro Records in Brno and Community-based NGOs e.g. HESED in Sofia
• Providing better signposting to young people at local level and strengthening outreach services through collaboration with community-based NGOs e.g. HESED in Sofia or Educational Demos in Barcelona
There is a gap in support for those young people who have positive “alternative ambitions” (e.g. arts, media, entrepreneurial). Many young people do not wish to join job-seeking programmes with their conditionality and lack of flexibility. Self employment is, therefore, seen as a potential alternative, even if a precarious one, but there may be little or no help available to support this choice. In our research, however, we found a number of examples of young people who had been supported and assisted to become self-sufficient within arts-based social innovations aimed at developing participants’ personal and social competences. These also provide a supportive network and safe environment in which they can gain the necessary knowledge, experience and self-belief to work independently. Policy-makers should make use of these alternative informal learning and mentoring projects.

We recommend:
• Co-opting their services e.g. Educational Demos Barcelona, Beatfreeks, Birmingham, Hidden Wings Krakow
• Facilitating access to funding and other resources to enable such organisations to scale up their activities and thus provide training and support for a greater number of aspiring freelance workers

Recognition, empowerment, trust, engagement
Our research shows that there is a strong requirement to empower young people facing inequalities through targeted assistance to meet their individual needs, leading to improved social competences, increased confidence and self-belief. There is also a need, however, to empower local communities (in which many of these young people live) by introducing more open governance mechanisms and new policy approaches to deprived neighbourhoods. This will involve: bridging symbolic and spatial divides; addressing the perceptions of decay and neglect; and creating trust to encourage the participation of those who feel excluded from the mainstream.
We have observed socially innovative arts-based practices at the local level which are able to empower young people who suffer from low levels of educational attainment and limited social and cultural capital. e.g. Hidden Wings (Krakow), Educational Demos (Barcelona), Beatfreeks (Birmingham).
We recommend:
• Using small-scale local social innovations as ‘policy models’ or ‘policy guidelines’ for broader (mainstream) public policy reforms in addressing discrimination, neglect of the most disadvantaged and helping change an approach focused on a policy of enforcement/work first activation
• Co-opting socially innovative arts-based practices at the local level to work with young people who suffer from low levels of educational attainment and limited social and cultural capital to improve their social competences, build their self-esteem and empower them to become ‘critical’ citizens
• Establishing local community centres that provide integrated and culturally tailored services for young people in the area (NB Roma neighbourhoods have the most important significant need for such approaches).

Measurement and evaluation
Our research has shown that quantitative indicators alone are not adequate to measure the impact of social innovations, particularly in mitigating social inequalities. The Case Studies of the socially innovative practices we identified across the ten cities in the CITISPYCE project highlight the need for a more holistic approach, incorporating qualitative as well as quantitative indicators and assessing both internal and external success factors. These Case Studies also illustrate the value of small-scale social experimentation at the local level and the importance of the role of researchers in analysing their critical success factors in relation to achieving specific policy objectives. Policy-makers also need to re-assess what their policy objectives should be. Mitigating the symptoms of inequality alone is not enough; the overarching aim should be to find ways to tackle the underlying causes.
We recommend:
• Adopting continuous and systematic monitoring and evaluation to distinguish more clearly the effects of policy measures, bearing in mind that a possible higher cost for early intervention to assist an excluded young person is likely to be more cost effective over the long-term
• Investing in longitudinal client monitoring (at city and also at local area levels, coordinated by local authorities) where possible: at least in countries with sufficient administrative capacity
• Creating Knowledge Alliances between policy-makers, researchers and young social innovators to develop more holistic measurement frameworks in order to harness social innovations against inequalities experienced by young people more effectively e.g. Using subjective indicators of employability (as personal development, capability to gain and retain a meaningful job) and quality of life alongside objective indications such as drop-out rates from the programmes, job retention rates and similar.
Funding policies and programmes
Improving the complementarity of funding programmes of different departments within and between institutions in terms of priorities, timescales and application criteria.
Whilst we recognise that progress has been made to improve communication and collaboration across different Directorates General (DGs) in the Commission, we consider that more needs to be done to improve the situation within and between all levels of governance but particularly national and local levels.
We recommend:
• Moving to a greater alignment of deadlines between DGs for applications for EU projects & programmes; (EU Level)
• Increasing the level of collaboration across departments or directorates with a shared interest in young people so that different funding streams can be more closely aligned to tackle the same priorities; (EU, national and local levels)
• Aligning more closely national objectives and types of intervention with those of both EU and local levels for the application of EU funding programmes e.g. Youth Guarantee and ESF; (National level)
• Devolving powers to local level to enable those closest to the sites of intervention to harmonise application criteria across complementary programmes at EU and national levels.
Improving continuity of policies and programmes for assisting the most marginalised:
Building trust and developing individual social competences of young people who have low levels of educational attainment and limited social and cultural capital takes time and needs a consistency of intervention.
We recommend:
• Ensuring greater consistency of grant priorities and criteria for applications over different budget cycles to avoid applicants having to waste time and resources ‘tweaking’ their work programmes to meet shifts in requirements e.g. change of target group, area or outputs
• Retaining a percentage of grant money available to extend ‘new’ or short-term projects aimed at supporting vulnerable young people which can demonstrate success (see measurement and evaluation section). This could be further assisted by not requiring such projects to go through a fresh application process which takes time and may leave a project without resources to continue in the interim period between grants.
Introducing greater flexibility within existing funding programmes and publicising them more widely to enable small-scale organisations to access support
We recommend:
• Simplifying the eligibility criteria for accessing funding programmes for small social enterprises or self-employed social entrepreneurs or organisations recently created and thus with limited ‘track records’
• Minimising the level of reporting required including the monitoring and evaluation data required
• Reducing the match funding requirements for small-scale organisations
• Publicising and providing easy access to advice on programmes such as EaSI.
Broadening the scope of policies and programmes for young people facing inequalities to include those furthest from the mainstream
Policies and funding regimes focused on employment e.g Youth Guarantee Scheme do not currently meet the needs of those who are furthest from the mainstream with low levels of educational attainment and limited social and cultural capital.
We recommend:
• Introducing a requirement for youth policies to include the principles of empowerment and partnership
• Making provision for support for services that are tailor-made and suitable to the ambitions and abilities of participants rather than one size fits all
• Giving priority to projects and interventions which combine employment and/or education objectives with the development of individual and social competences
• Preparing specific youth employment policies, or ensuring that a certain percentage of funding stream be allocated to better tailored programmes and ESF projects aimed specifically at supporting the most disadvantaged target groups of young people

Supporting the start-up, development and transfer of socially innovative practices
Social innovations often arise from the vision of an individual or small group of like-minded people and frequently struggle for resources in the early stages of development e.g. the social innovators fund the activities initially from their own pocket because they cannot pass the necessary credit checks to access private finance. Public grant schemes also have eligibility tests which preclude individual social innovators or start-up companies from applying. If they do succeed in securing financial support, the money is usually for specific time-limited projects, and subject to evaluation on the basis of quantitative targets.
We recommend:
• Creating a dedicated ‘social innovation-youth’ programme for application at the local level to pilot new approaches by young people to tackling disadvantaged young people’s inequalities; (EU level)
• Involving existing young social innovators (e.g. those identified by networks such as the SIX network or the CITSPYCE consortium) in a consultative panel to advise on the shaping of such a programme
• Giving greater discretion at local level for the use of ESF or other Youth Programmes under DG Education and Training to test how such innovations are able to support alternative employment pathways and approaches (e.g. arts-based experiences) to assist young people in personal development, acquiring of social competences and skills, networking and increasing employability (EU, national and local levels). This may mean revising the conditions which regulate member states’ access to and use of ESF.
• Dedicating a percentage of any funds available for social innovations to support innovative practices which are by young people for young people
Our pilot projects have demonstrated that it is possible to transfer innovative social practices from one national context to another. It requires the sensitive application of the philosophy, general goals and approaches in a different context and a respect for local conditions in terms of the tools and methods used.
• Supporting the transfer of social innovations through transnational networks such as Eurocities and the use of Erasmus+ programmes for knowledge transfer
• Fostering openness to new ways of working through supporting ‘go and see’/ ‘look and learn’ exchanges between local officials in municipalities or practitioners in NGOs or social entrepreneurs
• Raising greater awareness of Erasmus+ by the European Commission and its national representations with young social innovators by incentivising EU funding specialists in universities and municipalities to share their expertise.
Such innovative practices are scaled up and disseminated mainly thanks to NGOs. During our research, it became clear, however, that private organisations, public administration bodies or universities can also act as players. Be that as it may, what is a very crucial condition of success is the development of broader coalitions of partners: public, non-profit, for-profit partnerships. Single citizens, civic committees, young people, informal groups need support to become part of them. Municipalities are well placed to act as catalysts for bringing such coalitions together but only if they are prepared to facilitate rather than control.
We recommend:
• Collaborating with private and not-for-profit partners across the city and at area level to draw on the funds, expertise and connections to young people and other citizens’ groups who are aware of innovative social practices with potential to be scaled-up

Conclusion
From the outset, our intentions have been to connect our research with those who are responsible for the development and implementation of policies and practice which affect the lives and opportunities of marginalized young people in cities across Europe. Through the dialogues we have had with different stakeholders regarding our findings and their responses, we have prompted reflection and review of the impact of current policies on the symptoms and causes of inequality. We have created spaces for connecting young people who have developed new ways of navigating inequalities with those who have the ability to shape future policies and practice.
Throughout the project a consistent message has been that when designing and implementing projects, policy makers and practitioners should take into account the different needs of young people and the fact that some may be (more or less) resilient and (more or less) competent and/or motivated. Therefore, proposed solutions to inequalities facing young people need to be more targeted and more responsive to their specific needs and perceptions of the problem. Further, in a climate of shrinking public resources it seems like a quick win, then, to involve young people in the design of solutions for them. The piloting and transfer of social innovations that was a key part of the action research activities of the CITISPYCE project reveals one way this can be done. By enabling young people to share their innovations with peers across the EU, it is possible to have the effect of empowering others to addressing their experiences of a number of inequalities facing them. Furthermore, through encouraging a sense of collective empowerment, this may contribute to tackling the splintering and retreat of young people into individualisation.
Having mapped a wide range of causes and manifestations of inequality in cities across Europe, we have identified, via interviewing policy makers and young people, a range of social innovations. Finally, we have started the important work of identifying where and how such social innovations address the causes. In doing this, we have found two very important findings which must be the legacy of our work. Firstly, it is indispensable that we take advantage of the experiences, stories and reflections of young people. Previous research has not always had young people at the centre of their work as we have. Secondly, we need to ensure that the recommendations emerging from this project can be adopted by the policy makers and practitioners. Many of the social innovations we uncovered may contribute to alleviating the symptoms of inequalities and may make small incremental changes to the causes of the new forms of social inequalities affecting the lives of young people, but this cannot be enough. It is vital that we do not just “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic”, or reproduce old ways of working.

Potential Impact:
The potential socio-economic and societal impacts of CITISPYCE
Impact on policy and policy-makers at local, national and European levels
In the course of the CITISPYCE project, we have mapped a wide range of causes and manifestations of inequality in cities across Europe. We have also found, via interviewing policy makers, practitioners and young people, evidence of innovative social practices initiated by young people themselves, as well as by institutions and third sector organisations. Finally, by analysing the data through the lenses of different disciplines within the consortium, we have identified aspects of social innovations which have the potential to address not only symptoms but the underlying causes of inequalities facing young people.
This has helped to refine our thinking on the role that social innovations developed by and for young people could play in “assisting policy-makers to tackle the challenge of growing and changing social inequalities.” Whilst we acknowledge the intrinsic complexity of these inequalities, we consider that our findings, even though based mostly on small-scale local practices, offer valuable learning points for policymakers at all levels.
Above everything else, we stress the importance of changing the prevailing discourses around policies relating to young people if real progress is to be made in mitigating social inequalities experienced by young people across Europe. Our findings call for significant changes in the way policy-makers and practitioners regard young people. It is vital that we take advantage of the experiences, stories and reflections of young people to help shape future policies to combat their inequalities. This implies a shift in the paradigm that frames our responses to disadvantaged young people. We must move away from treating young people as a problem to one which acknowledges and harnesses young people’s potentials, and away from seeing them as a category to be worked on towards one that can be worked with. This in turn should force us to look again at the underlying philosophies and mechanisms in policy making over the past few decades.
The change of paradigm, approach and philosophy represents a systemic change which will be hard to achieve. Such a change presupposes a change in mind-sets and ways of working of policy-makers at all levels, based on more appropriate knowledge and understanding of the causes of inequalities and social exclusion of disadvantaged young people. Obtaining this knowledge requires listening to young people and giving them a voice and participation in policy making. This aspect is included in several ways in the following set of recommendations because it is so central to this issue.
The other way, in which a paradigmatic change may happen is through the incremental implementation of socially innovative practices and their scaling up, leading to the adoption of their principles in mainstream policies. In this way the new approaches may become more widespread practice. Moreover, the young people’s feedback on such policies and their positive impacts on young people and more general social benefits can work in favour of these practices

New understandings of social inequalities and how they manifest in different contexts
Our base-line studies not only reviewed equalities policy and practice across 10 countries but highlighted the crucial importance of distinguishing between symptoms and causes of inequalities when considering the impact of economic crisis on inequalities, in particular those affecting young people. This was then supported by the examination at the meso-level of the current policies and practices in relation to disadvantaged young people and the lived experiences and perceptions of their inequalities of these young people in deprived neighbourhoods in ten cities in ten countries. Interviews with young people, focus groups and participant observation revealed a mismatch of perceptions about the nature and causes of young people’s inequalities between policy makers and young people themselves.


Improved understanding of current policies and practices on tackling inequalities and challenges for city governments across Europe

Adding to the knowledge base on the changing nature of inequalities at macro, meso and micro levels has enabled us to assist policy-makers to a better understanding of social inequalities facing young people, especially the distinctions between symptoms and causes of inequalities. In addition, the identification of exclusionary tendencies and piecemeal policies which effectively exclude young people have highlighted that policy-makers’ own approaches to policies and practices may themselves become causes of young people’s inequalities; notably, their mind sets and ways of working ie a paternalistic approach which seems to treat young people as a problem to be solved rather than seeing them as having potentials which could be unlocked.

Adding to the knowledge base on the causes of social inequalities from the perspective of young people should enable policy-makers to reflect on their current approaches and look through different lenses at issues such as the availability, nature and use of city spaces, the planning of facilities in deprived neighbourhoods and access to more ‘holistic’ support for disadvantaged young people.


Impact on improving policy-makers’ communications with citizens – particularly young people
This can be achieved through the example of social innovations which do things with young people and not to them. They are able to build trust and mutual respect of young citizens and can act as ‘bridges’ to policy-makers if the latter are willing to collaborate with them. Such practices are often based on performing arts e.g. music, theatre, dance and spoken word which are routes into building social competences and self esteem. These in turn build self confidence amongst young people to encourage their participation in civil society. (This was evidenced by the confidence shown by young people involved in such social innovations to participate in discussions with policymakers and academics in workshops in Krakow and in the Final Conference).
Citispyce has also identified the value of Knowledge Alliances (as illustrated by a social innovation in Malmo) in which policy-makers can harness the knowledge and experiences of NGOs and young people in combating social inequalities. In this way, young people can be part of the inside rather than remaining on the outside. They can
The knowledge gained from this project is available to policy-makers and practitioners across Europe and beyond thanks to the creation of a CITISPYCE Cascading network, the maintenance of the project website beyond the life of the project and the relationship with key European networks e. g. Eurocities, EU-CoE Youth Partnership.

Impact of uncovering and analysing socially innovative practices of and for young people
Many young people that we interviewed experience a growing sense of uncertainty, isolation and powerlessness, fatalism and frustration about their life chances. In this sense policy-makers have been looking at young people as victims of social exclusion – a problem that needs to be addressed. However, there is also hope. Firstly, because they still enjoy music, sports, media and socialising with their friends. They may, therefore, be attracted to arts or sports based activities as a way to developing social competences and community building. Secondly, not everyone is affected in the same way by exclusionary tendencies, as we found differences in resilience, and different strategies to deal with their situations.
We have added to the knowledge base on social innovation through mapping and piloting innovative strategies and analyzing their potential to mitigate societal and/or individual inequalities. These involve, inter alia, creating new spaces and possibilities for economic, cultural and civic engagement, new ways of fostering self-reliance leading to freelance or entrepreneurial activity and the application of new technologies to empower young people.
We undertook 21 detailed Case Studies of socially innovative practices and piloted nine to assess success factors and potential for addressing inequalities. We found three common elements in our pilots and case studies that link to previous findings on causes and symptoms of social inequality to the views of professionals working in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and to views and experiences of young people themselves:
• building trust:
o an emphasis on self-confidence, creativity, empowerment, sociability, trust and engagement, to counter low aspirations and disengagement;
o an individually tailored approach with mutual recognition, involvement, cooperation and empowerment, not only focused on the needs of participants, but also on their potentials, to counter a deficit-oriented (self)conception;
o an integrated, holistic approach, to counter piecemeal policies;
o an emphasis on the process of engaging young people through a partnership-principle: involvement, cooperation, co-determination.
• ‘communing’
o build and strengthen supportive social networks, by bringing people with similar experiences or outlooks together, to motivate, to help, to learn from each other and to build a new collective identity. In most cases this involves the use of empty spaces in neighbourhoods and/or the appropriation of public spaces.
• Bridging & offering opportunities
o familiarise young people with a normality they do not know, by involving people from outside (for example employers, teachers, civil servants) and/or taking them outside their familiar spaces (for example to a library, sporting club, youth organisation and so on).
o Creating opportunities for young people that they normally lack because of discrimination. Practices in Brno and Sofia have developed an employer-approach specific for ‘hard to place’ and discriminated target groups (young people from Roma communities).
o Linking young people involved in arts-based activities to potential customers by facilitating and organising exhibitions.
It is clear, however, that some policy makers not only isolate young people from the rest of society when designing initiatives, but there is also a tendency among practitioners to cluster young people either as ‘marginalised’ or as ‘competent’ (for example, employable or non-employable because of competence, motivation or opportunity). Nevertheless, we have identified new models of peer-to-peer learning and gained insights into what motivates and drives young social entrepreneurs. Our recommendations offer guidance to city administrations and policy-makers on how they might harness young people’s creativity and innovation to tackle inequalities more effectively. Some NGOs and socially innovative practices with which we worked offered important insights into schemes which might help certain young people. These are based on skill levels that could then be used in innovative strategies to engage other young people through peer-to-peer interventions. Although such practices may not tackle in a direct way the causes of social inequalities (often linked to issues of un/under-employment and a lack of access to adequate education and/or training), they contribute to the acquisition of transferable skills that may be applicable in those fields.
Transferring social innovations
Our action research involving the piloting of social innovations in nine out of the ten cities in the project allows us to draw key lessons for policy-makers and practitioners. Thanks to a detailed assessment of the success factors, we are able to conclude that it is possible to transfer innovative practices (or better, the innovative ideas and approaches) from one national context to another. The role of the context needs to be respected in terms of the tools and methods which should correspond to local conditions. The philosophy, general goals and approaches are, however, transferable, taking into consideration the needs of the local contexts and the local target group.
In a climate of shrinking public resources it seems like a quick win, then, to involve young people in the design of solutions for them. The piloting and transfer of social innovations that was a key part of the action research activities of the CITISPYCE project reveals one way this can be done. By enabling young people to share their innovations with peers across the EU, it is possible to have the effect of empowering others to addressing their experiences of a number of inequalities facing them. Furthermore, through encouraging a sense of collective empowerment, this may contribute to tackling the splintering and retreat of young people into individualisation.

Unlocking young people’s potential
One of the most significant societal impacts of this project is the attention we have called to the way in which policies aimed at tackling young people’s inequalities have been underpinned by a view of young people as a problem (blaming the victim) and the importance of changing their mindset to one which acknowledges their potential.
Some policy makers not only isolate young people from the rest of society when designing initiatives, but there is also a tendency among practitioners to cluster young people either as ‘marginalised’ or as ‘competent’ (for example, employable or non-employable because of competence, motivation or opportunity). Our stakeholders helped us to raise important questions with policy makers about the logic employed to demarcate constituencies of young people, and address them differently or in relation to each other. Some NGOs and social enterprises with which we worked offered important insights into schemes which might help certain young people. These are based on skill levels that could then be used in innovative strategies to engage other young people through peer-to-peer interventions.
We have made recommendations on how policies and funding programmes could be made more effective in enabling young people to realise their potential. These could have a significant impact on the life chances of young people, but particularly the most disadvantaged through:
facilitating the development, transfer and upscaling of social innovations capable of mitigating causes of inequalities such as low levels of educational attainment and skills, poor social competences and low self-esteem. They could also facilitate positive alternative pathways into self-sufficiency or entrepreneurship and encourage young people to become ’critical’ citizens with confidence to participate in civil society. This has to be a major societal impact at a time when there are serious concerns about the ‘lost generation’ of young people who face complex inequalities and are disengaged and distanced from civil and political engagement.

Addressing the problem of the ‘lost generation’: CITISPYCE’s added value to the EU
Our research has underlined the increased distancing of young people facing inequalities from the norms of civil society as well as its governance structures. Young people report being politically disengaged and disempowered. This affects how young people perceive hierarchies, power and how they relate to them. “We are the present!” (not so much we are the future!) is a slogan young people narrated to us in this regard. Furthermore, recognition of young people’s needs and capabilities in wanting to develop themselves is also insufficiently addressed.
Our findings offer insights into the reasons for this alienation and young people’s growing mistrust of those in authority whether at local, national or EU level. They also highlight the importance of identifying and addressing the causes of inequalities and not simply how they manifest in superdiverse cities in Europe. By understanding more about the inter-relationship of structural and individual causes, we have been able to see where and how it might be possible to succeed (all be it only incrementally) in not simply navigating but combating the causes of inequality facing young people.
As pointed out above, socially innovative practices which build social competences and skills – notably those which use informal learning methods and the arts to engage disadvantaged young people – can and do foster greater engagement and participation in civil society. The detailed Case Studies offer examples of social innovations which could be coopted by policy-makers and scaled up or transferred to meet similar needs in a different context. Our recommendations suggest ways in which EU policies and funding mechanisms might be modified in order to take advantage of these innovative practices, especially in reaching those furthest way from the labour market and most excluded from civil society.
In conclusion
Overwhelmingly, different stakeholders have recognised the added value of researchers being involved in generating knowledge about and solutions to tackle the causes of inequalities. Through the dialogues we have had with them regarding our findings and their responses, we have prompted reflection and review of the impact of current policies at all levels on the symptoms and causes of inequality. We have created spaces for connecting young people who have developed new ways of navigating inequalities with those who have the ability to shape future policies and practice. Throughout the project, however, a consistent message has been that when designing and implementing projects, policy makers and practitioners should take into account the different needs of young people and the fact that some may be (more or less) resilient and (more or less) competent and/or motivated. Therefore, proposed solutions to inequalities facing young people need to be more targeted and more responsive to their specific needs and perceptions of the problem. Further, in a climate of shrinking public resources it seems like a quick win, then, to involve young people in the design of solutions for them. The piloting and transfer of social innovations that was a key part of the action research activities of the CITISPYCE project reveals one way this can be done. By enabling young people to share their innovations with peers across the EU, it is possible to have the effect of empowering others to addressing their experiences of a number of inequalities facing them. Furthermore, through encouraging a sense of collective empowerment, this may contribute to tackling the splintering and retreat of young people into individualisation.

Dissemination
Messages from the CITISPYCE project have reached a wide range of audiences at a number of levels and across numerous sectors of society. These include formal events in academia. Partners have presented papers at several international conferences e.g.
• SGEM International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conferences on Social Sciences and Arts, Sofia July 2014, (joint paper Masaryk University, Brno and researchers formerly of IMIR from Sofia) on Life prospects of Young Roma)
• International Conference on Public Policy Milan July 2015 Youth Guarantee measures in employment strategies of disadvantaged youth in European cities. (Papers from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Masaryk University, Brno and Krakow University of Economics (proceedings still awaited)
• International Europeanists Conference, Paris July 2015 (papers from university partners in Birmingham, Barcelona, Hamburg and Venice) proceedings still to be published.
• EuroMemo Conference, Roskilde September 2015 (Malmo University paper on Prospects for combatting causes of inequalities).
Partners have also participated in seminars, presentations and lectures to academic audiences including fellow academics and undergraduate and postgraduate students over the three year course of the project e.g.
• Joint symposium Malmo University and University College, London Nov 2015
• Seminar organized by Aston Centre for Europe, Birmingham Feb 2015
They have shared information about CITISPYCE and its findings formally and informally with other networks such as Eurocities representing 130 of Europe's largest cities and 40 partner cities across 35 countries in Europe, the EU – CoE Youth Partnership, the Seismic network in UK, SIX (Social Innovation Exchange), and contacts within other European and nationally funded research projects e.g. MyPlace, WILCO, Partispace.
Other dissemination activities targeted at policy-makers at European, national and local levels have ranged from:
European level:
• City of Malmo, Birmingham City Council and Aston University presentations and participation in Eurocities meetings and workshops;
• Presentation at Nordic Big City Conference, Malmo Sept 2015 by Malmo University
National level:
• Aston University’s participation in the Kerslake Review of Birmingham City Council with senior UK government civil servant;
• Input to a meeting of the City of Rotterdam with 4 ministries of the Dutch government by PlusConfidence drawing on Fieldwork at the micro level on disadvantaged young people’s life worlds and perceptions of inequalities
• Lecture to audience of policy-makers and practitioners by Malmo University at Conference on Developing a Social innovation infrastructure in Sweden Jan 2014
Local level:
• Presentation on CITISPYCE to civil servants, practitioners and civil society by Malmo University April 2014
• Conference “Arrival City” Dec 2015 for local policy-makers and NGOs by Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
• Meeting with local social workers and policy-makers by Ca Foscari University, Venice
• Plus Confidence’s involvement in knowledge networks and policy working groups with the city of Rotterdam re: policies for disadvantaged young people.
Civil society engagement has included informal ‘drop in’ sessions as well as organized meetings with young people in neighbourhoods and progress updates with local and national stakeholders and interest groups (politicians, members of the business community, NGOs including housing, health and employment associations/foundations).
Given that one of the overarching recommendations is to listen to the voices and life experiences of young people facing inequalities, our objective has been to maintain and develop opportunities for dialogue with young people and ensure that their opinions are heard. Thus, we have brought together policy-makers with young people who are actively engaged in socially innovative practices against inequalities in various fora of CITISPYCE. The two main events have been the Interim Workshop in Krakow in September 2014 and the Final Conference in Birmingham in December 2015. In the former, policy-makers and young people exchanged views on their preferences for pilot projects in terms of their methodology and the nature of the inequalities they felt should be addressed. In the latter, young social innovators shared the platform with policy-makers and academics.
Other examples of dissemination actions with young people at the local level have included:
• Presentation of CITISPYCE to young people from local colleges by Malmo University September 2013
• Aston University participation in events run by young social innovators with and for young people in deprived neighbourhoods in Birmingham
We have also actively sought the engagement of young people (such as Immy Kaur – co-founder of the Impact Hub in Birmingham - and Beatfreeks, one of the socially innovative practices identified during the project) to play a key role in our dissemination activities. A web design company started by a young person created a dedicated website for young people to stimulate interest in and encourage the exchange of ideas and opinions about our project activities (www.citispycevoices.eu) and is now being maintained by another.
The socially innovative practices created by young people and used as Case Studies have been informal channels for dissemination about CITISPYCE to their own social networks both virtual and physical. We have used young people to help facilitate project events including the Final Conference, where they facilitated, chaired and participated in panel and workshop sessions. This has demonstrated how young people can become critical agents for change in an economic climate that is increasingly hostile to them. We have also engaged with young people and policy-stakeholders beyond the conference through the use of social media, including the use of live streaming of the conference and twitter, again facilitated by young social entrepreneurs. This was a two way process in that those engaging via twitter could vote and submit questions/comments to the chair of the conference panels and thus participate in the debate.

Exploitation of results
We seek to exploit the results of our research in a number of ways:
Proposed Academic publications (books)
• Anthology based on the findings of the meso-level research in deprived neighbourhoods to inform academic research and to further the understanding of policy-makers on how inequalities manifest in social infrastructures that are in place to serve young people. Our conversations with policy makers and practitioners at the city and neighbourhood level also revealed how these infrastructures work to re-inforce inequalities too.
• Anthology based on ethnographic findings from the micro-level research into young people’s lived experiences of inequalities to inform academic research and aid policy-makers in their understanding of how young people perceive their inequalities and their relationships to hierarchies and power.
• Book based on the detailed Case Studies of socially innovative practices of and for young people to enable policy-makers and practitioners gain a better understanding of the drivers behind their design and implementation.
• Book exploring the reconceptualising of social innovation against young people’s inequalities
• Book on CITISPYCE research in Rotterdam for publication in The Netherlands
Articles/papers published and proposed
• Paper in Conference Proceedings from SGEM Conference in Sofia 2104 Masaryk University published
• Article in La Rivista di servizio sociale – Ca Foscari University, Venice published
• Papers in proceedings from International Conference on Public Policy, Milan 2015 Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and Ca Foscari University, Venice to be published
• Planned submission of comparative paper on values and attitudes of Greek and Polish youth Krakow University of Economics
• Papers in proceedings of Conference of Europeanists, Paris July 2015 by University of Barcelona, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham and Ca Foscari University, Venice to be published
• Article based on Birmingham Case Studies by Aston University for Polish Journal of Social Economy planned
Policy recommendations
CITISPYCE has produced a set of detailed Strategic Recommendations for the attention of policy-makers and practitioners at city, national and European level. These have been influenced by feedback from policy-makers themselves, including European Commission officials and senior policy officers responsible for social cohesion, employment and young people’s issues. They will be widely circulated, particularly via the Eurocities network within the EU and the CITISPYCE Cascading Network which links the project to academics and policy-makers outside the EU.
Certain of the socially innovative practices involved in CITISPYCE will test existing EU programmes for assisting transferability of know how and scaling up of social innovations and feedback will be provided to the relevant DG to demonstrate what works well and what problems exist.
Developing relationships between researchers and policy-makers and with young people at city level
During the course of CITISPYCE, researchers and policy makers and practitioners have come to know each other through collaborating on provision of access to data, identification of potential interviewees, participation in the piloting phase and feedback on policy recommendations. This has shown the value of research informed policy and practice and the working examples of current relationships will be highlighted as examples of ‘good practice’ on our websites and in specialist press.
Throughout the project we have sought to put young people at the heart of our research and to underline to policy-makers and practitioners the importance of LISTENING to young people’s voices. Across the consortium, partners have created and developed new connections with young people. This has enabled them to open up new channels and forms of communication with young people based on mutual trust.



In conclusion
From the outset, our intentions have been to connect our research with those who are responsible for the development and implementation of policies and practice which affect the lives and opportunities of marginalized young people in cities across Europe. Through the dialogues we have had with different stakeholders regarding our findings and their responses, we have prompted reflection and review of the impact of current policies on the symptoms and causes of inequality. We have created spaces for connecting young people who have developed new ways of navigating inequalities with those who have the ability to shape future policies and practice. The project has developed a dialogue with the pan-European network of major cities and city regions, Eurocities, in order to reach city-level decision makers and practitioners. It will continue to disseminate findings through this network and associated organizations and, at the time of writing this report, four proposals for publications have been accepted and further publishing opportunities are currently under consideration. In addition, we have set up an international Cascading Network for the sharing not only of the CITISPYCE findings and activities but related research and project activity by cities and NGOs as well as academic institutions within and beyond Europe.


List of Websites:
Citispyce website: http://www.citispyce.eu