Meet the team: Gilda

We begin our series of “Meet the team!” posts with the person who was the first one to embrace the Youth in Transition idea. Mrs. Gilda Farrell is the Head of the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division, Directorate of Democracy at the Council of Europe and she is the number one responsible for having the Council and the European Commission on board. I managed to catch Mrs Farrell  in the hallway and ask her a few questions  about Edgeryders…

Noemi: Hi Gilda, I’m curious as to why you personally decided to take up this project and why you are so engaged in it?

Gilda: Noemi. There are two main reasons for my interest in this project. Firstly,  I view the conventional wisdom on the transition of the young as a mechanical one: they are supposed to finish their studies, after that have a career perspective and eventually become citizens. In my opinion this transition is not smooth and moving from one status to another and through different statuses is much more complex. Educational institutions are neither providing young people with the key to enter the labour market, nor are they nurturing the citizenship exercise. It was the need for me to make explicit for the policy makers the processes of transition and their obstacles, but as well the way young people are looking into the future. How do they want to be part of the society? Nobody is asking them “what type of society do you want to live in? On which basis do you want to become linked in the community?”. I think this is the aim of our project. The second reason why I was interested is that when you look at the NEETS statistics it looks like a black hole. Apparently the young are not doing anything: they don’t have a job, but they are not in education or training either. We don’t have the parameters to look at these statistics and ask ourselves: what are they doing? If we condemn them and say that this is a lost generation I think there is no hope. We need them! And I think they are generous and offer various alternatives of how to become citizens. So I want to offer ourselves the opportunity to build hope by changing our perception of young people! And lastly, there is a personal reason for my involvement. I am a mother. I have a son who is an engineer and I found myself having to encourage and support him when going through tough selective processes to become employed after graduation. Rather than encouraging him, the first experiences destroyed his self-confidence. Employers were requiring abstract leading and cooperation skills while his technical knowledge was not valued.  And now that he’s eventually succeeded, he told me that he would’ve wanted, whilst in university, to be trained in managing human relations and in dealing with hierarchical positions and communication at the workplace. He had to learn all of these through experience.

Noemi: Thanks Gilda!

Edgeryders in a nutshell:

Team members: Gilda, Alberto, Nadia, Noemi, Alberto MZ, Vinay, Ivan, Carlo

Network so far: our members come from Italy, UK , Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Romania, Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands, India, Morocco, Poland, Canada, Greece, Denmark

Launch: end of October 2011

Place: on-line

Info: stay updated on

Glad to meet you Gilda. Excellent initiative to present each member of the team! I like the emphasis on the ‘human side’ that readers and members can feel in every blog post.

Peu de femmes occupant des postes professionnels parlent de leur expérience de maternité. Edgeryders se distingue par une forte volonté de reconnaître les qualités et contributions de chaque individu, en plus de chercher à miser sur l’ensemble des expériences personnelles et professionnelles des membres de l’équipe.