My Future, Our Society : A Call for Action

                                                                


Following our study on young adults’ expectations of the future and the publication of the book “Beyond the narrative of Decline” in 2015, the P&V Foundation organised a conference and debate which took place in  May in Brussels on the subject of “declinism” and political alienation of youngsters in our society.

The success of this first edition encouraged us to organise a new conference and debate on the 23rd May 2017 at 6 pm in studio 1 in Flagey in Brussels. This year, we have chosen to address an issue which is also related to the study lead by the Foundation P&V: the political alieanation (of  youngsters) and the need to revitalise collective action.

Just 16% of young adults believe they can rely on the political system to help them solve their problems or achieve their dreams. For the most part, they rely on themselves, their family and a bit of luck. Yet politics loses its meaning if people do not realise that having a good job, a comfortable home, a nice neighbourhood, safe streets and decent healthcare are strongly tied to collective conditions.

For this reason the Foundation P&V launched a call for projects in 2016, aimed at organisations that work for and with young people, who together want to create a project in order to find solutions for their problems and to realise their dreams, especially concerning work, health, housing, mobility, education,...Our objective is to make youngsters aware of the fact that they can, through collective action and also in dialogue with other actors such as (local) authorities and public institutions, solve their problems and realise their wishes. Then, we would like to challenge political institutions so that they can play their role as best as possible towards the problems and wishes of younsters.

The laureates of this call for projects were announced on the 23rd of May ! Then, Belgian and international inspiring speakers, specialised in various subjects such as democracy, collective action, and individualism, took the floor and started a discussion.  

 

The speakers

 We had the honour of welcoming Agathe Cagé, Paul Dekker and Raphaël Glucksmann. These speakers were preceded by Olivier Servais, Professor of Anthropology and President of the Foundation, who introduced this new edition.

Agathe Cagé graduated from Ecole normale supérieure and Ecole nationale d'administration. She begon her career within the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. Then, she became the deputy director of the Minister of Education. She has a passion for education that she summarizes in one sentence: «Fabriquer de l’égalité autrement que dans les textes.». In early 2017, she becomes the Secretary General of the presidential campaign of Benoît Hamon. In 2008, she created with her twin sister Julia Cagé a think tank called Cartes sur table, in order to make innovative proposal without being tied to a political party. It brings together young people aged between 20 and 35  from different backgrounds. The aim of this think tank is to empower young people to become major actors of the public debate.

 

Paul Dekker studied Political Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen and at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is the leader of the research sector Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving (Partciptation, Culture and Environment) at the SCP (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau/ Social and Cultural Planning Office) in the Netherlands. He is also Professor of Civil Society at the University of Tilburg. His research focuses on public opinion, political and social attitudes, and on participation. He regularly appears in the media through his numerous articles, including  " Democracy always comes first " : Adolescents’ views on decision-making in everyday life and political democracy (with H.Nieuwelink, F. Geijsel and G. ten Dam), Activism and civil society: Broadening political participation (with R.A. Feenstra), andTocqueville did not write about soccer clubs: Participation in voluntary associations and political involvement.


Raphaël Glucksmann, graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Poltiques de Paris, is an essayist and documentary filmmaker who wants to offer an alternative for, according to him, the current 'reactionary discourse'  in France and Europe. In 2015, he publishes Génération gueule de bois, his call to resume the ideological battle against dominant values which threaten democracy. His last book is  Notre France, Dire et aimer ce que nous sommes (Allary Éditions, 2016) or the forgotten history of the humanistic and cosmopolitan France.

 

 

Participants of the discussion

We also invited some Belgian specialists such as Tine De Moor, Dries Gysels and Philippe Van Parijs, to react to the speaker's presentations and to stimulate debate.

  • Philippe Van Parijs : This Belgian philosopher teaches at the UCL, where he is the Chairman of the Chair Hoover d'éthique économique et sociale, as well as at the university of Oxford. He became known as promoter of the basic income. As such, he founded, in 1986, the Basic Income Earth Network. Along with Paul De Grauwe, he is also the coordinator of Re-Bel (Re-thinking Belgium's institutions in the European Context), which  offers innovative thinking about the functionning of our State. In 2001, he received the Price Francqui, the most prestigious Belgian academic award. In 2011, he received the Price l'Arche de la Parole Libre. He is also very active within the social sector. He was, a few yars ago, one of the initiators of Pic-nicThe Streets, a citizen action, whose objective is to make our cities more liveable.

 

  • Dries Gysels : Founder and coordinator of Lab van Troje. The Lab van Troje is a public organisation which establishes links between companies and authorities. Lab van Troje proposes concrete actions on the ground, with the aim of proving that today structural changes can be achieved in our cities. Through an experiment such as for example www.leefstraat.be, the organisation shows today what a tomorrow's sustainable city could look like. He is currently leading two ongoing projects in Rotterdm about sustainable mobility of the future. He also launched the first Belgian edition of burgermeesteracademie, a tailored training encouraging public officials to bring about sustainable changes through co-creativity and participation. He is a member of Generation T, an intiative launched by Act4Change and The Shift , centred on the reinforcement of a strong network for young people, who are working for a sustainable society.

 

  • Tine De Moor : She is Professor of Social and Economic History at the University of Utrecht. Her research on Institutions For Collective Actions fits perfectly with the current debate about the rise of the so-called citizen collectives: forms of self-organisation, such as energy and health care sectors, and linked with the debate about State's withdrawal and the failure of the free market. According to her, adding a historical perspective enriches discussion, while showing her commitment towards science. As a historian and ecologist, she sees interdisciplinarity as one of the strengths of her scientific approach. She is also a member of the Dutch Jonge Akademie,  a dynamic and innovative platform aimed at young scientists and centred on scientific policy and science. The Jonge Akademie organises inspiring activities for various target groups, around interdisciplinarity, scientific policy and science and society.

A few key questions:

  • Can we still, in a society becoming more and more individualistic, pronounce the word "us"?

 

  • How can young people still try to achieve their common dreams and goals?

 

  • How can we reconcile dreams/ individual needs with collective action?

 

  • What are the possibilities for society today, for a better "live together" ? How can we encourage unity in this society, a shared feeling of community, of shared destiny?

 

  • How can political parties, social movements and actors work to encourage people and especially young people to believe in collective action?

 

Press Review

Discover here all the articles published and talking about our conference!

Pictures and videos

Discover the pictures of our conference here.

Dicover the videos of the conference here.

With the kind support of the

Final event “My Future, Our Society”


On 8 May 2019, the P&V Foundation organised a conference at 10 am in Brussels to conclude its extensive research and action programme on collective action of young people.

Program

In the morning, several inspiring speakers shared their practical experiences with the audience.

In the afternoon, the eight laureates of our call to projects and several partner organisations presented their results in various workshops.

For more information about the workshops, clic here.

After an intermezzo of The Troubadours and the possibility to visit the Next Generation, Please! exhibition in Bozar, a debate on the revitalisation of collective action among young people took place.

Discover the complete program of our final event.

Discover the video about the event.

 

The Speakers

Pepijn Kennis, Toestand

Coordinator and driving force behind the non-profit Toestand, which aims to reactivate forgotten or abandoned buildings and (public) spaces by means of dialogue, creation, autonomy and action from local (young) residents. Toestand recently received the Ultima for social cultural work

Click here for the powerpoint presentation.

​​​​​​Julie Foulon, MolenGeek, Girleek

Founder of Girleek, a platform to inspire women and empower them into the ICT sector, and MolenGeek, a coworking space and a coding school created in Molenbeek. She recently received the Gender Award and the Global Citizenship Award for MolenGeek.

 

Victoria Anderica, Madrid City Council

Director of the Transparency Project in the Madrid City Council, which launched “Decide Madrid”, an online platform to facilitate direct, individual participation in the city's public affairs. Expert in access to public information, freedom of information and expression, and citizen participation.

Click here for the powerpoint presentation.

 

​​​​​Michel Pradolini, City Pirates

Successful and socially committed entrepreneur, and founder and chairman of City Pirates, a broadly supported social project and football club. He received the Citizenship Award from the P&V Foundation in 2018.

Click here to watch the video of City Pirates.

 

Anne Muxel, Sciences Po Paris

Professor and Research Director at the CEVIPOF (Center for Political Research at Sciences Po Paris). She coordinated various national and international projects and publications on youngsters and politics, political participation and intergenerational transmission of attitudes and practices.

 

Gary Pollock, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor and Head of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has been involved in (European) research for over twenty years and is interested in using survey data to examine young people in society in terms of their social and political outlook, as well as their employment and family trajectories.

Click here for the powerpoint presentation.

 

​​​​​​​Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, VU University of Amsterdam

Professor of social change and conflict at the VU University in Amsterdam. Her research interests are social movements, collective action, online and offline participation and mobilization, and motives for engaging in protest activities.

Click here for the powerpoint presentation.

 

Discover the complete biographies of our speakers.

Context


Only 16% of young adults believe they can rely on the political system to help them solve their problems or achieve their dreams. This feeling of political alienation was clearly present among the 2,000 young adults interviewed for the book "Beyond the Narrative of Decline" of Mark Elchardus (2015). For the most part, they rely on themselves, their family and a bit of luck.

Yet politics loses its meaning if people do not realise that having a good job, a comfortable home, a nice neighbourhood, safe streets and decent healthcare are strongly tied to collective conditions.

Therefore, the Foundation P&V launched a multi-annual project to reconcile young people with social engagement and the political system in general. The first phase was a call to organisations in the broadest sense of the word (non-profits, schools, de facto associations, …) that work with and for young people and are able to coordinate a project that brings young people together to find a solution to a problem they are experiencing or to realise a dream within the areas of work, housing, health, sport, etc.

Our general aim: make young people aware that through collective action and starting dialogues with (local) authorities and public institutions, they can solve personal problems or achieve their dreams. We also hope to encourage political institutions to be more responsive to young people's problems and dreams.

By October 2016 we had received 137 candidatures. A jury of experts selected eight laureates which received a grant and were monitored for one year and a half. Four projects come from Flanders (J100, Cachet, EW32 and Vrienden van de Put), two from Brussels (Scouts des Marolles and Ades) and two from Wallonia (Couleur Café asbl and Maison de Jeunes de Jalhay-Sart).

Since the start of our project, various conferences and debates have been organised, projects have been supported and progress has been made. To conclude “My Future, Our Society” we will bring together the different laureates of the call to organisations, invite several inspiring speakers – each specialised in a particular field regarding collective action – and organize multiple workshops.

With this final event we wanted to present the experiences of the 8 best practices and our whole project, as well as bring together researchers, experts, field practitioners, youngsters and politicians and the broader public, from Belgium and abroad, to discuss and to identify policies that could help in the fight against political alienation of youngsters and the revitalisation of collective action in our society.

Discover the videos from the winning projects!


Workshops Presentations (PowerPoint)

Workshop 1 : " Youth (re)making the neighbourhood"


 

Workshop 2: "Youth influencing local policy making"


 

Workshop 3 : "Ways to give youngsters a voice and ressurces to take action"


 

Press Review

 

Our Partners

    
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My Future, Our Society : A Call for Action

                                                                


Following our study on young adults’ expectations of the future and the publication of the book “Beyond the narrative of Decline” in 2015, the P&V Foundation organised a conference and debate which took place in  May in Brussels on the subject of “declinism” and political alienation of youngsters in our society.

The success of this first edition encouraged us to organise a new conference and debate on the 23rd May 2017 at 6 pm in studio 1 in Flagey in Brussels. This year, we have chosen to address an issue which is also related to the study lead by the Foundation P&V: the political alieanation (of  youngsters) and the need to revitalise collective action.

Just 16% of young adults believe they can rely on the political system to help them solve their problems or achieve their dreams. For the most part, they rely on themselves, their family and a bit of luck. Yet politics loses its meaning if people do not realise that having a good job, a comfortable home, a nice neighbourhood, safe streets and decent healthcare are strongly tied to collective conditions.

For this reason the Foundation P&V launched a call for projects in 2016, aimed at organisations that work for and with young people, who together want to create a project in order to find solutions for their problems and to realise their dreams, especially concerning work, health, housing, mobility, education,...Our objective is to make youngsters aware of the fact that they can, through collective action and also in dialogue with other actors such as (local) authorities and public institutions, solve their problems and realise their wishes. Then, we would like to challenge political institutions so that they can play their role as best as possible towards the problems and wishes of younsters.

The laureates of this call for projects were announced on the 23rd of May ! Then, Belgian and international inspiring speakers, specialised in various subjects such as democracy, collective action, and individualism, took the floor and started a discussion.  

 

The speakers

 We had the honour of welcoming Agathe Cagé, Paul Dekker and Raphaël Glucksmann. These speakers were preceded by Olivier Servais, Professor of Anthropology and President of the Foundation, who introduced this new edition.

Agathe Cagé graduated from Ecole normale supérieure and Ecole nationale d'administration. She begon her career within the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. Then, she became the deputy director of the Minister of Education. She has a passion for education that she summarizes in one sentence: «Fabriquer de l’égalité autrement que dans les textes.». In early 2017, she becomes the Secretary General of the presidential campaign of Benoît Hamon. In 2008, she created with her twin sister Julia Cagé a think tank called Cartes sur table, in order to make innovative proposal without being tied to a political party. It brings together young people aged between 20 and 35  from different backgrounds. The aim of this think tank is to empower young people to become major actors of the public debate.

 

Paul Dekker studied Political Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen and at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is the leader of the research sector Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving (Partciptation, Culture and Environment) at the SCP (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau/ Social and Cultural Planning Office) in the Netherlands. He is also Professor of Civil Society at the University of Tilburg. His research focuses on public opinion, political and social attitudes, and on participation. He regularly appears in the media through his numerous articles, including  " Democracy always comes first " : Adolescents’ views on decision-making in everyday life and political democracy (with H.Nieuwelink, F. Geijsel and G. ten Dam), Activism and civil society: Broadening political participation (with R.A. Feenstra), andTocqueville did not write about soccer clubs: Participation in voluntary associations and political involvement.


Raphaël Glucksmann, graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Poltiques de Paris, is an essayist and documentary filmmaker who wants to offer an alternative for, according to him, the current 'reactionary discourse'  in France and Europe. In 2015, he publishes Génération gueule de bois, his call to resume the ideological battle against dominant values which threaten democracy. His last book is  Notre France, Dire et aimer ce que nous sommes (Allary Éditions, 2016) or the forgotten history of the humanistic and cosmopolitan France.

 

 

Participants of the discussion

We also invited some Belgian specialists such as Tine De Moor, Dries Gysels and Philippe Van Parijs, to react to the speaker's presentations and to stimulate debate.

  • Philippe Van Parijs : This Belgian philosopher teaches at the UCL, where he is the Chairman of the Chair Hoover d'éthique économique et sociale, as well as at the university of Oxford. He became known as promoter of the basic income. As such, he founded, in 1986, the Basic Income Earth Network. Along with Paul De Grauwe, he is also the coordinator of Re-Bel (Re-thinking Belgium's institutions in the European Context), which  offers innovative thinking about the functionning of our State. In 2001, he received the Price Francqui, the most prestigious Belgian academic award. In 2011, he received the Price l'Arche de la Parole Libre. He is also very active within the social sector. He was, a few yars ago, one of the initiators of Pic-nicThe Streets, a citizen action, whose objective is to make our cities more liveable.

 

  • Dries Gysels : Founder and coordinator of Lab van Troje. The Lab van Troje is a public organisation which establishes links between companies and authorities. Lab van Troje proposes concrete actions on the ground, with the aim of proving that today structural changes can be achieved in our cities. Through an experiment such as for example www.leefstraat.be, the organisation shows today what a tomorrow's sustainable city could look like. He is currently leading two ongoing projects in Rotterdm about sustainable mobility of the future. He also launched the first Belgian edition of burgermeesteracademie, a tailored training encouraging public officials to bring about sustainable changes through co-creativity and participation. He is a member of Generation T, an intiative launched by Act4Change and The Shift , centred on the reinforcement of a strong network for young people, who are working for a sustainable society.

 

  • Tine De Moor : She is Professor of Social and Economic History at the University of Utrecht. Her research on Institutions For Collective Actions fits perfectly with the current debate about the rise of the so-called citizen collectives: forms of self-organisation, such as energy and health care sectors, and linked with the debate about State's withdrawal and the failure of the free market. According to her, adding a historical perspective enriches discussion, while showing her commitment towards science. As a historian and ecologist, she sees interdisciplinarity as one of the strengths of her scientific approach. She is also a member of the Dutch Jonge Akademie,  a dynamic and innovative platform aimed at young scientists and centred on scientific policy and science. The Jonge Akademie organises inspiring activities for various target groups, around interdisciplinarity, scientific policy and science and society.

A few key questions:

  • Can we still, in a society becoming more and more individualistic, pronounce the word "us"?

 

  • How can young people still try to achieve their common dreams and goals?

 

  • How can we reconcile dreams/ individual needs with collective action?

 

  • What are the possibilities for society today, for a better "live together" ? How can we encourage unity in this society, a shared feeling of community, of shared destiny?

 

  • How can political parties, social movements and actors work to encourage people and especially young people to believe in collective action?

 

Press Review

Discover here all the articles published and talking about our conference!

Pictures and videos

Discover the pictures of our conference here.

Dicover the videos of the conference here.

With the kind support of the