European conference - Connecting You(th)

The P&V Foundation has postponed its European conference "Connecting You (th)" from 12 May  to 28 October 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

28 October 2020, Brussels

The P&V Foundation has started its new large multi-year project "Connecting You(th). Overcoming divisions in society" which aims to bridge the gap between people with a high level of education and a low level of education. To gain a deeper insight into this topic, the Foundation launched a call for articles during spring 2019.  The articles had to be able to elucidate (1) the great divisions in our society, especially around education, the evolution of these divisions, the causes of this evolution, and their consequences; and/or (2) emerging meeting spaces and people who can form a "bridge" between different groups of youngsters; and/or (3) "good practices" that succeed in breaking down the divisions among young.

The articles written in English were evaluated by three reviewers, with great expertise in the subject. The jury selected, among the highest ranked articles in the first round, the five winning articles. These articles will be rewarded with a prize of EUR 2,000 each. The reading committee was chaired by dr. Olivier Servais, Professor of sociology at UCLouvain and dr. Jessy Siongers, senior reseacher at UGent and VUB.

The five winners of this call for articles will be announced during a European conference that will be held on 28 October 2020 in Brussels. The laureates will be invited to present their work and to debate with field experts, practitioners, fellow researchers and policy makers.

Furthermore, we have the honour of hosting as keynote speaker Paul Collier, Professor of Economics at Oxford University and laureate of the Citizenship Prize of the Foundation P&V in 2017. Paul Collier will present some conclusions from his latest book "The Future Of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties", in which he tries, among other things, to find solutions to the three major divisions in our current societies: urban versus provincial areas, educated versus non-educated population groups and rich versus poor.

Beate Volker, Professor of Sociology at the University of Utrecht, will be also present and will discuss some results based on her research on social networks, inequality in social capital and social cohesion, with a focus on differences between social groups such as higher and lower educated persons.

Marco Oberti, professor of sociology at Sciences Po Paris confirmed his participation. In his most recent works, he studies social classes, urban and educational inequalities and segregation


The Foundation P&V fights against social exclusion of young people. Today's society appears to be divided in two groups (of young people) living side by side. These groups seem to crystallize around education. People with a low level of education and people with a high level of education do not meet often.

Although the Educational Gap is not a recent discovery, some researchers suggest that this gap has deepened or worsened in recent years, and in particular concerning the less educated who tend to have more difficulties to build a comfortable life for themselves. There is also a growing awareness of the consequences of the education gap on social cohesion and the possibility of building a society with which everyone can identify.

Accordingly, the Foundation P&V has launched a new multi-year Research/Action program, to be implemented from 2019 to 2022 and covering various stages:

1. The grouping of the most relevant scientific knowledge and ideas on the subject.
2. Nourish and deepen the reflection, based on this united expertise, with the aim of identifying and supporting forms of policy and projects that can contribute concretely to solving the identified problems.
3. The promotion of these policies and sharing of the initiatives and projects thus established.

The conclusions of this conference will determine the sequel of this multi-annual project.


The program is subject to changes due to the particular health situation. We invite you to pre-register in order to be sure that you can attend. More information about the final programme will follow soon. Stay tuned !