Employment Research Institute

We can empower you to make better decisions. The Employment Research Institute offers you solid evidence on all aspects of employability, based on the best scientific techniques. We carry out contract and academic research into many issues concerning employment.

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Social Innovation - Empowering the Young for the Common Good (SocIEtY)

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Duration: 01/01/2013 -

Social Innovation - Empowering the Young for the Common Good (SocIEtY)


Funding: European Commission 7th Framework

Duration: January 2013 -December 2015

Participating Countries


Germany, UK, France, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Romania, Austria, Switzerland

Participating Institutions


  • Bielefeld University (Germany)
  • Edinburgh Napier University (UK)
  • Center for Research on Qualifications (France)
  • Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • University of Pavia (Italy)
  • University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • University of Ghent (Belgium)
  • Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Valencia (Spain)
  • University of Bucharest (Romania)
  • BBJ Consult AG (Belgium)
  • Working Life Research Centre (Austria)
  • Johannes Kepler University (Austria)
  • University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (Switzerland)




The aim of SocIEtY is to explore how young people aged 15-24 live in different European countries today; and examine what can be done to create social and institutional opportunities which will better enable them to live lives they have reason to value. Using Amartya Sen's Capability Approach as a framework, the project will seek to develop a broad knowledge base to foster socially innovative policymaking. Employing quantitative and qualitative methods SocIEtY will build knowledge on how existing policies and social practices of networks of social support tackle the problems faced by disadvantaged young people; how far, and in what ways, young people's ideas, experiences, aspirations and voices can be included in policymaking; and how social innovation can link these two issues, leading to social inclusion and to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.


Project News


March 2013 - Project kick off meeting


The project 'kick off' meeting was held in March 2013 at Bielefeld University (Germany).


May 2013 - The Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University hosts the second partner project meeting


In May 2013 a seminar on "Inequality, innovation and the Informational basis of judgments of justice" and a workshop on the common framework for policy and secondary analysis was held at Edinburgh Napier University. The meeting was attended by the project partners.

Dr Valerie Egdell and Professor Ronald McQuaid presented a paper on youth unemployment and the policy measures in the UK and Scotland that tackle this issue. This paper was written in preparation for the next steps in the project. They also presented a paper on ideas of how they will design future research tasks around the analysis of local social support networks and participatory research.


Presentations are available at: www.society-youth.eu/publications


February 2014 - Methodology Workshop, Ghent University


Dr Valerie Egdell presented papers on the socio-economic political context for addressing youth unemployment in Scotland and the analysis of social support networks and policies and strategies of local actors in Edinburgh.  Professor Robert Raeside presented a paper on the initial findings of research currently being undertaken using EU-SILC data on education and capabilities.  The meeting was attended by the project partners.


Presentations are available at: www.society-youth.eu/publications


March 2014 - Careers Guidance and Development Research Symposium


Professor Robert Raeside presented a paper on the Capability Approach and Employment at the Careers Guidance and Development Research Symposium that took place at Edinburgh Napier University on Friday 28 March 2014.  The symposium was attended by around 60 people from Skills Development Scotland and students studying for the qualification in Careers Guidance.




The project newsletters are available at:


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