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Youth Lab Saint-Ouen : the new innovation place to train, build and share

The Youth Lab Team in Paris shares with us about their new place in Saint-Ouen and the coming projects to develop innovative solutions towards Youth inclusion.

Jeanne Vigouroux, Saint-Ouen, France

Since 2019, the Youth Lab Paris has been located in the Cité des Tilleuls, in Le Blanc Mesnil (93). A great opportunity for the team to be at the heart of the exclusion and make a diagnostic, understand inclusion related issues for the Youth in Seine-Saint-Denis and launch the project.

Nevertheless, we were looking for a larger spot to make it a real Catalysts’ living and working place, and an open space for welcoming our training and events.

Thanks to Société Générale, we found the perfect location : in a previous bank agency, closed and vacant for a few years. The place is accessible by the Paris metro, in Saint-Ouen, one of the cities of Seine-Saint-Denis. For the year to come and hopefully more, we benefit from it for free!

The plan is to permanently establish the Youth Lab there, and find local grants to develop the project on the long-term.

Renovating, painting, furnishing … It was a challenging undertaking. Arriving in August 2021, 4 catalysts started to take on this challenge. With the support of a few heroes, the Youth Lab team was ready to welcome fresh catalysts two months later in a beautiful, professional and warm environment. Some of you already visited us and can testify of the fruitfulness this community place enables.

Seine-Saint-Denis has one of the 10 highest unemployment rates among French metropolitan departments. It mainly affects Youth : 28% of people aged from 18 to 24 years old are unemployed and do not have any qualification there. Yet, there is a lot of job creation, more than the national average. Inadequate qualifications, unserved neighborhoods, lack of public transportation, lack of “soft skills”, self-censorship, discriminations … are identified causes that do not enable the department's dynamism to benefit its inhabitants.

Furthermore, there is a large social ecosystem, but if the impact is low, we can wonder if the cooperation between them is enough.

Center for the development of innovative solutions to support the professional and social integration of excluded Youth : we aim at filling this gap.

One of the main missions of the Lab is capacity building: organizing events to connect local actors and share good practices about Youth social and professional inclusion.

The objective is to encourage dialogue and meetings between various local inclusion stakeholders, and work together on the development of innovative solutions. More than ever, nonprofits, policy-makers, corporates have to collaborate for change. We must capitalize on good practices put in place by each of us at the local level. So that tomorrow, each innovative method can be replicated and inspire new practices to foster the inclusion of young adults living in the 93. The next in-person roundtable gathering local inclusion stakeholders will happen on November 17th.

As we are overall a sending organization, a series of inclusion training is coming : the what’s now event to accompany the catalysts back from the field in December, the inception training in January and the welcome weeks in February for the fresh catalysts on the departure.

The 2021-2022 capacity building and training events calendar is planned : you will be able to discover it on our fresh new website very soon, stay tuned !

 Befores and Afters - (Kitchen, dormitory & training room) 


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