The Living On The Edge conference: Facilitating the transition of youth to an independent active life

Edgeryders community and European policy-makers altogether will meet to share and discuss results of the augmented ethnographic study of European youth carried out from November 2011 to June 2012. The main result of this conference will be a structure of the Transition Handbook: remember that this Handbook is the final output of our study and concentrates all the expertise from the Edgeryders community; also, it will  be consistent with a shared, negotiated vision of transition today, as it is depicted by our experts.

Guess what: you are the expert!

In the next couple months the community on our on-line,  interactive platform is making efforts to create even better content for policy design. Join the ranks of Edgeryders and make your story known! Get to know fellow young people, engage in conversation on what you do to overcome transition hurdles; by doing so, you are putting forward a unique vision of public policy. Plus, you may just be the one sitting at the conference and leading discussions with our European policy-makers!

DATE: June 14th - 15th, 2012, followed by an unconference on 16th-17th 

VENUE: Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France

ABOUT THE EVENT: All sessions are free and open to everyone wishing to attend. There will also be a two day, peer-to-peer open format unconference immediately following the event. The Council of Europe welcomes participation from local governments and other public institutions, third sector and business organisations, citizen groups and individuals. For details please contact Alberto Cottica at

HIGHLIGHTS: Below is a provisional programme, note that it may change!

MORE INFO ABOUT PROJECT: see executive summary or better yet, join Edgeryders!   


DAY 1 - June 14th

14.00-14.20 Opening session.

Gianni Pittella (Vice president of the European Parliament)

14.20-16.00 Meet the policy maker. 

Policy makers from institutions such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Parliament, national, regional or local governments discuss with the Edgeryders community the emergent world young Europeans are building. The focus is on interdependency: how institutions and young citizens can improve co-operation in the future. The session is framed as an open debate. Community members each have a concrete proposal to advocate.

The questions to be addressed:

  • Network-based solutions: network  as tools to access employment, generate income and facilitate mobility
  • Sharing-based approaches: collaborative production of goods, services, infrastructure and knowledge
  • Interactive-based action: building pertinent tools for civic, political and community participation
  • Commons-based innovation: reaffirming social protection, health care and functional services through the provision of public and common goods


  • Gilda Farrell - Council of Europe, Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division
  • Emma Toledano - European Commission, DG Employment
  • Marietje Schaake - Member of the European Parliament
  • Nawel Rafak-Elmrini - Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg
  • Participants in each session are community members. You can be one of them!

Host: Alberto Masetti-Zannini (The Hub Network)

16.00-16.30 Concluding remarks.

We close the session with Michael Connarty (Chair of the sub-committee on Education, Youth and Sport of the PACE)

16.30 -17.00 Coffee Break

17.00-18.30 Europe: a future history.

A “respectful listening” session, in which the most significant experiences in the Edgeryders community are presented by their protagonists and discussed with the help of youth policy researchers (7, presented in 10 minutes each).

DAY 2 - June 15th

9.30-12.00 Breakout sessions.

Six parallel workshops led by Edgeryders community members on issues perceived by Europe’s youth as important and what young entrepreneurs, activists and innovators are doing to tackle them. Each session starts with two testimonies, then calls upon the participants to bring their own experience and agree on what European young people are doing in that particular domain. Enabling/hindering factors are identified, and enabling possible public policies discussed.

Making a living - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Valentina Cuzzocrea (University of Cagliari)

We, the people - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Magnus Eriksson (University of Göteborg)

Caring for Commons - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Rebecca Collins (University College London)

Living Together - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Sladjana Petkovic (PEYR network)

Learning - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Siyka Kovacheva (New Europe Centre for Regional Studies)

Resilience - Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community Discussant: Dunja Potocnik (Institute for Social Research)

12.00-12.30 Dynamic reporting of the workshops: the Edgeryders community suggestions for policy makers. 

Every workshop will present the suggestions made by the participants to improve policies and support youth in transition

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.45 Building the Transition Handbook: a research agenda.

Research team and community discuss the structure and the most important content of Edgeryders’ final report, to be completed during summer 2012. The session is framed as an open debate.

Chair: Gilda Farrell (Council of Europe - Social Cohesion Research & Early Warning Division)

Invited speakers: Rebecca Collins (University College London) Alberto Cottica (Council of Europe - Social Cohesion Research & Early Warning Division) Valentina Cuzzocrea (University of Cagliari) Magnus Eriksson (University of Göteborg) Sladjana Petkovic (PEYR network) Dunja Potocnik (Institute for Social Research)

16.45-17.30 Final conclusions and perspectives with the Director General of Democracy at the Council of Europe, a member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, the Chair of the European Committee on Social Cohesion, a representative of the European Youth Forum, and a member of the Edgeryders community

DAY 3 & 4  Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of June 2012, the EdgeRyders Unconference

Join the EdgeRyders team, and participants from all over Europe in a two day peer-to-peer open format unconference where people will present their own projects, find collaborators and friends, and get a chance to meet and spend time with all the people they have met during the EdgeRyders activities. The unconference format features many short presentations (5 to 15 minutes) and in-depth miniworkshops on areas of mutual interest.

Considering my area of work, count on me -as needed- for: DAY 1 – June 14th - Meet the policy makers: - Discusion on “Interactive-based action: building pertinent tools for civic, political and community participation” DAY 2 – June 15th -9.30-12.00 Breakout sessions. Session “We, the people – Led by You! Or another member of the Edgeryders community” Kind regards!

Pedro, hi!

Thanks for volunteering, actually we’re just putting up a conference website with a section dedicated to Volunteers, where the community can pick whichever role seems more appropriate for them at the conference. not just as speakers or facilitators in the programme, but also in documenting the event and making sure things run smoothly.

We’ll keep you on the offer, especially for the breakout sessions still not covered! I’ll let you know when the site is up, so you can go in there and put down your name :slight_smile: I’m sure you’ll do a great job!