Design Engineering
Showcase

Citizens in the Making

Student
Eva Oosterlaken
Course
Global Innovation Design
Supervisor
Dr Vali Lalioti
Theme
Breaking Barriers

Citizens in the Making is a digital tool for young change-makers. It was developed over the course of four months to address the lack of youth civic participation in the UK. That is the perceived lack. Although official stats like youth party membership are notoriously low, there is also a palpable energy today for creating, organising, and participating in activities that can create social change.

So what’s holding young people back? At the root, there is a lack of self-efficacy: the belief in your own ability to be able to make a difference. We all feel this. But the truth is, there is no one way to change the world - there are millions, and anyone can do it! All you need is imagination, energy, and a willingness to grow.

Citizens in the Making showcases nine unique 'types' of citizens and the variety of ways they can make the most of their skills to make a difference. Young people can start to learn about their type through a playful personality test, after which they can discover matching activities as well as local opportunities. More than just a practical tool however, Citizens in the Making asks us to reimagine what significance citizenship has in our lives. Which citizen in the making are you?

 — Citizens in the Making
Most people dream of changing the world, but how do you start? Citizens in the Making is an accessible, playful and relevant tool for young adults to discover what kind of citizen they could become and how best to use their personality, skills, and passions for good.

Process

By studying the topic of youth civic participation through the lenses of government reports, sociology, and young people themselves, I learned that meaningful participation cannot be subjected. If true participation is intrinsically motivated, how could top-down policies ever be enough to increase civic participation? My design question became:

How might we empower a generation of future citizens to participate meaningfully in society?

I addressed this question through a citizen-centered design process. What does that look like? It means designing with young people. Through co-creation and iterative design and testing, I was able to place young people at the center of my work. This ethos is reflected in the design of the tool - both in its functionality as well as in its aesthetic.

Outcomes

Citizens in the Making is an accessible, playful, and relevant tool for young adults to discover what kind of citizen they could become and how best to use their personality, skills, and passions for good. The tool includes a playful personality test that matches you with a citizen type based on your personality, passions, and skills. After identifying with a type, you can discover civic activities (such as attending a local meeting or participating in an Instagram campaign) and local opportunities (such as volunteering at your local food bank). In the future, the platform could include the opportunity for young people to connect with mentors and share their experiences.

Want to find out your type and how you can change the world? Stay tuned, because Citizens in the Making beta will go live July 15th. Register your interest at citizensinthemaking.com.

Want to learn more or would you like to see this tool become a reality? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 — Citizens in the Making
Find out from July 15th at citizensinthemaking.com.

Comments

What a great approach for supporting young people in their search for making a difference. It should be promoted by schools, local governments which I would be keen to do from my rol as Aldermen of a dutch municipallity. Can't wait to see it work

Hans Wijnants

Eva, congratulations! this looks amazing and can't wait to see the citizensinthemaking website soon too!

Vali Lalioti

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