Wednesday, October 9

09:30 Arrival, registration and breakfast

11:00 Lunch

12:00 Official opening of the conference by Mayor of Social Services Mia Nyegaard

12:15 Keynote: Noemi Katznelson (DK)

Current trends in youth life
The field around young people change constantly. We see the appearance of new performance cultures, communities, vulnerabilities, resources, and orientations on the labor market and in the education system. We see new forms of individualization and the perception of knowledge and facts is changing. In the statistics we see a new vulnerability thrive. The aspiration may no longer be to prolong youth but rather to shape it in new ways. The presentation will draw the outlines of the current tendencies and the future perspectives for young people. (Language: English)

Noemi Katznelson is a professor at Aalborg University, Denmark and one of the most acknowledged youth researchers in Denmark. She is the head of Center for Youth Research, Aalborg University. She is the author of several books on youth culture and educational research, among others on the topics of motivation, youth life and educational trust.

13:45 Coffee break

14:15 Keynote: Aksel Tjora (N)

The nuances of community and inclusion
Community as concept may be understood in various ways. Communities are sometimes large, visible, and continued, at other times small, subtle, and passing. Based on his studies of both physical and online communities over the course of 25 years, Aksel Tjora wrote the book “Hva er fellesskap” (2018), where he introduces a new take on community and communal forms. Here community is understood through the lenses of solidarity, integration, interaction, identificati- on, communication, presence, and work. In his presentation Aksel Tjora will use various research-based examples to illustrate how nuances of community on the one hand complicates the idea of ‘designing inclusion’, but on the other hand invites everyone to create and experience ‘moments of belonging’ through various oc- casions. The notion that community is communally created is a challenge and at the same time an opportunity. (Language: English)

Aksel Tjora is a professor of Sociology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He is the head of `Sosiologisk Poliklinikk´, a working community of sociologists. His work focuses on interaction studies in organizations and in public spaces, often in connection with technological changes. He has written more than 20 books, amongst others about neighbourhoods, cafés, urban sociology, and community.

15:45 Coffee break

16:00 Conversation Salons by Nadja Pass

Method inspiration, increased outcome, and establishing a common thread
How do we get the most out of our time together at the conference? To ensure valuable outcomes for every participant and strengthen the co-creation across the countries, we asked the creator of Conversation Salons, Nadja Pass, to spin a common thread throughout the conference. This will happen in structured conversations that ensures that we get to share afterthoughts and learn from each other’s experiences during the conference. This can also serve as inspiration for our future work, because the method can easily be copied and used in our own practice, e.g. in educational contexts for young people, citizen involvement initiatives, and in meetings. (Language: Danish)

Nadja Pass is the principal of Samtidens Akademi (The Contemporary Academy) and she is, among other things, the creator of Conversation Salons, which was originally created as a part of Samfundslaboratoriet Borgerlyst (The Society Laboratory for Civic Desire). The Salons were developed as a new way of raising commitment, creating communities, and strengthen active citizenship. Afterwards the idea of Conversation Salons has spread across Denmark and is used today e.g. for developing student democracy in youth educations. Nadja Pass has used Conversation Salons in a large variety of contexts – in public meetings, innovation workshops, and conferences.

17:00 Time on your own

18:00 Transport to reception in Copenhagen

18:30 Reception

21:00 Transport to Crowne Plaza

Thursday, October 10

08:45 Welcome

09:00 Keynote Bart Brandsma (NL)

Finding professional ways in the dynamic of Us- versus-Them

How does us-versus-them thinking affect your work field and your daily concerns? The range of us-versus-them themes is huge; Minorities versus ‘the rest’, youth versus the elderly, Muslim versus non-Muslim, ‘elite’ versus ‘the people’, the capital versus the country side, professionals versus volunteers etc. All examples show the same dynamic and as professionals we can learn to address them, whether we are policymakers or practitioners. We must be aware of the basic rules of polarisation, the roles we play, and the game changers that will help us to implement a depolarisation strategy. Brandsma will provide key insights to this issue drawing on his experience as a consultant and illustrate this with practical examples. (Language: English)

Bart Brandsma is a practical-minded Dutch philosopher. His book Polarisation: Understanding the dynamics of us versus them is the product of many years of experience with consultancy of professionals and research into polarisation. His company Inside Polarisation offers advice and training throughout Europe and he has worked for ministries, universities, prisons, municipalities etc. His book can be purchased at: www.

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Workshops: 1st round

All workshops run twice: 1st round at 11:00 and at 2nd round at 13:15. This means that you must select two different workshops. The only exception is the Master Class with Bart Brandsma, which runs at both time-slots. You choose your workshops when you register for the conference.

Workshop: Bart Brandsma (NL)

Master class on polarisation and depolarisation strategies
There is a limited number of seats in this master class. It takes place over both rounds of works- hops, so you only need to register in one workshop when you sign up for the conference, if you want to attend this master class. All participants are expected to read the book ‘Polarisation: Understanding the dynamics of us versus them´ which can be purchased through the website below.

In his master class Bart Brandsma will zoom in on the details of the Polarisation Framework. First participants will get a chance to further familiarize with it. Then we will look in two directions. One direction is: What are my personal characteristics (skills, values and norms) and what roles do I see for myself as a professional? The other direction is: What kinds of polarisation do I come across and what is needed? In this masterclass we will address both sides and set out for the first steps to develop a (de)polarisation strategy for your own purpose. As this is a tight program, an extra trainer will be part of the workshop to make sure your demands are met. Participants are asked to read the book Polarisation: Understanding the dynamics of us versus them in advance. (Language: English)

Bart Brandsma is a practical-minded Dutch philosopher. His book Polarisation: Understanding the dynamics of us versus them is the product of many years of experience with consultancy of professionals and research into polarisation. His company Inside Polarisation offers advice and training throughout Europe and he has worked for ministries, universities, prisons, municipalities etc. His book can be purchased at:

Workshop: Tekla Canger (DK)

Young people’s communities and their attachment to school and youth clubs
What is the significance of young people’s social communities for their attachment to school and youth clubs? In this workshop Tekla Canger presents a research project about the social communities of young people and their importance. The young people in the project live in a disadvantaged residential area and attend the local school. The project shows that young people’s attachment to the school depends, among other things, on their ability to create coherence between school and the residential area and that it can be difficult for young people to transfer what they learn in their life out-side school to the life inside school. Therefore, it is also difficult for teachers and educators to discover the resources that young people build outside school. In the workshop the participants will have the opportunity to work with tools from a resource site that was developed as part of the research project. (Language: The workshop language is English. The applied resource site is in Danish)

Tekla Canger is Associate Professor, Ph.D. at UCC, (University College Copenhagen), where she, among other things, teaches at the teacher education and is part of a research environment that deals with pedagogy and urbanity in a practice-related perspective. Her research is about young people’s social communities, marginalized young people and education, gender and ethnicity as identity markers, and social categories.

Workshop: Stein Saks Papir (N)

Strong communities for children. About an expert committee consisting of citizens, practitioners and researchers.
Stein Saks Papir was created when the administration and specialists in the municipality of Trondheim found themselves in a situation where they were unable to answer a request from the political level. Thus, they decided to seek help from practitioners, researchers and citizens. By the means of an add they recruited participants for an expert committee consisting of children, parents, practitioners, researchers and others interested in creating strong communities for children. The purpose of this is to fight bullying and digital and sexual harassment. The expert committee can influence decisions in the children’s and youth field, and to meet key researchers, strategic management and employees in Trondheim Municipality. At the workshop you will hear about the thoughts behind the creation of the expert committee and the ongoing work. The workshop also includes reflection exercises etc. (Language: Norwegian)

Ingvild Dahl is project manager and advisor in the administration for Upbringing and Education in Trondheim Municipality. Ingvild Dahl has worked with vulnerable children, young people and their families as a family therapist, child protection consultant and as head of the child welfare institution Link.

Camilla Nereid is the director of the administration for Upbringing and Education in Trondheim Municipality. Camilla Nereid has a PhD in Islam and Democracy and has been Dean of the Faculty of Teacher Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Workshop: Nazem Tahvilzadeh (S)

New room for participation: When young people can decide for themselves
Encouraging youth participation in politics is one of the pressing issues of democracy. The support for democracy as an idea and model of government is getting weaker among younger generations. This endangers processes of democratization, especially among social groups that are the foremost losers in a time of growing inequalities. In this workshop different political attitudes towards how to encourage youth participation is presented and discussed. How can we understand measures on the local level and what do we know of the results? How can we further sharpen the work with strengthening youth participation on the terms set by young citizens, starting from alternative visions and practices? The workshop will start off with a broad democracy-theory approach and deepen the understanding of the concepts developed through examples and processes from youth participation in marginalized areas in Stockholm city. The discussion will be relevant for youth participation in all European cities. (Language: 1st round: English, 2nd round: Swedish)

Nazem Tahvilzadeh holds a PhD in Public Administration and studies Politics and Issues of democracy in Swedish cities, focusing on themes such as citizens participation, the organization of civil society, youth activism and social change given the trend of growing inequalities and segregation. He is a researcher and teaches at the Division of Urban and Regional Studies, at the School of Archi- tecture and the Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH in Stock- holm, Sweden.

Workshop: Gert Tinggaard Svendsen (DK)

Trust: The Nordic X-factor
Why are we generally wealthy and happy with well-functioning institutions in the Nordic countries? The world’s leading social scientists are looking towards the Nordic countries to understand why things are going so well for us. In the workshop Gert Tinggaard explains how the special thing about the Nordic region is our trust and relationships between people, it is our x-factor. The Nordic Region is the world champion in trust! Trust-relationships between people can be a refuge in the big city from loneliness, daily trials, and hardships for young people. It can help them cope with challenges, provide very important social support when they need it and build a sense of purpose and belonging. With our busy way of living in the big cities we may not always find the time to use trust actively and connect with people around us in a meaningful and happy way. (Language: English)

Gert Tinggaard Svendsen is a professor, PhD, at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark. Main research areas are social capital and trust, corruption, the welfare state, lobbying, climate policy, and collective problems of action. A current example of relevant research dissemination is the book ”Trust” in the series Reflections from Aarhus University Press. Awarded the Dannebrog Order in 2016 for scientific efforts.

Workshop: Søren Østergaard (DK)

Loneliness and motivation for attending leisure time activities
Kids used to attend leisure time activities to be with their friends, but things have changed with the introduction of the smartphone – a new context where they can spend time together without being together IRL. This means that the large and important group of so-called “secondary adults” in youth clubs etc. are no longer part of the lives of most young people. At the same time statistics show a growing number of lonely young people: 12 pct. of young people age 19 state that they do not have any close friends. We also see changes when it comes to the motivation for attending leisure time activities – ten years ago the main motivation was to spend time with their friends, in 2019 the main motivation is to improve their skills. In this workshop we will address the changed context that youth clubs are facing and how they can address them in a relevant way. What kind of communities and activities attract young people and what are their expectations when it comes to adults? (Language: English).

Søren Østergaard, Ph.D., director of “Centre for Youth Studies” in Copenhagen and author of several books dealing with youth and youth culture in a so-called performance culture. He has been involved in quite a few development projects with the aim of rethinking youth clubs.

12:30 Lunch

13:15 Workshops 2nd round: Same workshops as in the 1st round

All workshops run twice: 1st round at 11:00 and at 2nd round at 13:15. This means that you must select two different workshops. The only exception is the Master Class with Bart Brandsma, which runs at both time-slots. You choose your workshops when you register for the conference.

14:45 Coffee break

15:15 Young people share their experiences: From member to volunteer in RCYN (DK)

Young people share their experiences: From member to volunteer in RCYN
Young people from ghettos at Ydre Nørrebro, Copenhagen share their experiences in going from a member to a volunteer in Resource Center Ydre Nørrebro (RCYN). It is young people with a minority background who feel excluded and stigmatized by the surrounding society. In RCYN they are recognized as resources for the local community and it is expected that they contribute as volunteers in the center’s activities. RCYN offers a community based on participation, voluntarism and positive communities. The key word is involvement. In RCYN you participate with a responsibility to make things happen – whether you are young, volunteer or employed.
Get an insight into the approach and methods of RCYN through the stories of the young people. (Language: Danish)

15:45 Coffee break

16:15 Neighbour to neighbour - Take part in solving one of the issues below

Structured problemsolving and inspiration across the cities

Neighbour to neighbour is a new concept that activates the joint knowledge of the participants. Seven cities have put forward current topics, that they want the participants to assist with. You select an issue, that you find interesting, have experience in or want to resolve. Together with other participants you seek to find solutions and perspectives on the given topic. The goal is sharing knowledge and inspiration.

Read the descriptions of the issues put forward by the seven cities 
• Choose one of the issues
• Sign up for your chosen issue when you sign up for the conference


Helsinki: How do we ensure young people's involvement in youth councils?

Helsinki has a youth council, just as many other cities in the Nordic region. They work in different ways, but they all aim to represent the city’s youth. But do the youth councils represent all young people, or do they just represent the resourceful ones who have energy to engage in such a council? In Helsinki, the election to the Youth Council was made in collaboration with the schools to give the pupils the opportunity to vote during school hours or during a break. It increased the voting rate from 13% to 40%. However, most of the voters had no idea what the candidates represented, and they did not know about the candidate’s key issues. The youth councils should ideally represent all the young people in the city, and that is why it is crucial to find the best way to ensure this.

We need input for the following issues:
• How do we make youth councils representative for everybody?
• How can we ensure that the candidates have the possibility of expressing their messages?
(Language: Swedish)

Bergen: How do we get in touch with young people who “go under the radar”?

Today, a group of young people exist who the authorities struggles to help and get in touch with. They sit alone in their rooms and on the internet. Some suffer from social anxiety and other kinds of psychological challenges. To some extent they have given up on the challenges in life and they do not have a sense of belonging. Their contact with other people primarily takes place in the digital world and they are not part of any local, analog communities. Their parents and other relatives are becoming increasingly worried, and the contact with the authorities often makes things worse for the parents, the young person, their schooling, and social life. These young people are at risk of exclusion, mental illness, dropping out of school, and obtaining fewer life skills if their challenges are not met.

We need input for the following issues:
• How can we prevent this earlier in their childhood?
• How can we make our offers more accessible and relevant to young people?
(Language: Norwegian)

Aalborg: How can we strengthen the efforts towards homeless young people and young people at risk of becoming homeless?

In Denmark, the number of homeless young people has increased significantly in recent years. This development reflects, among other things, that there is a shortage of cheap housing, but it also shows that there is a group of young people who are in a very disadvantaged and vulnerable position. The target group often have a weak or non-existing network, abuse, psychological difficulties etc., and many of them are not in education or employment. Many feels excluded by the community. The complexity of the issues of this target group means that they are in need of intensive efforts with a holistic approach. The latest study of young homeless people in the Nordic countries shows that Denmark has the largest increase among all the countries. In Denmark, there are 263 young homeless people per 100,000 inhabitants. In Norway, the number is 135, and there has been a decrease in recent years. Finland has experienced a 13% decline, and Sweden is experiencing a slowdown in their numbers.

We need input for the following issue:
• How can we in Denmark be inspired by the development experienced in the other Nordic countries?
• What measures are most effective in combating homelessness?
(Language: Danish)

Oslo: How do we earn the trust of the young people?

We have the impression that young people, to a lesser extent than before, communicate with adults about incidents, conflicts, and other experiences in their own environment. It is not new that young people try to hide things from adults, e.g. if they commit a crime. This has always been the case. In Oslo, we talk about a “culture of silence”, where young people do not want to appear as a “snitch” or a tattletale and consequently hide things from the adult world – parents, teachers, social workers, police etc. We find that the phenomenon is becoming increasingly conspicuous, that it stretches to many areas of life, and that it includes ever-younger age groups. This development may be seen as a consequence of the increased use of digital media.

We need input for the following issues:
• How do we open a dialogue about loyalty and snitching without it appearing instructive?
• How do you explain the difference between “snitching” and “the duty to tell” when young people have a different understanding of loyalty?
(Language: Norwegian)

Copenhagen: What can we do with the wild girls who meet up at public spaces to fight?

In Copenhagen we experience a trend among young girls at risk, where they meet up in larger groups in public open spaces, e.g. in large shopping centers or at S-train stations, where they have an agitating behavior. Some of the girls display violent behavior and are angry with society. Occasionally they get into fights with other girls as a culmination of conflicts that often originate on social media. It is often difficult to establish contact with the girls who commit violence. They are marginalized and have different psychosocial problems, e.g. abuse, negative self-perception, poor adult contact, housing problems, and criminal offences. They have a challenging behavior towards boys, both of the same age and older. Sometimes they use their sexuality to get the attention and affirmation they do not get at home.

We need input for the following issues:
• How can we help these girls deal with their anger and find more constructive solutions to the challenges they face in life?
• How do we help and support the girls develop a greater independence and better social relations?
(Language: Danish)

Reykjavik: How do we ensure social inclusion of immigrants in local communities?

In Reykjavik, we are experiencing increasing immigration from other countries, which has led to more multicultural districts. It creates a new composition of citizens in the city, which can pose new social and cultural challenges. It is important that the new citizens are well integrated so that they become part of the civil society, get a job, and can live an independent life. Failure to do so may result in increased welfare costs, less successful communities, and inferior opportunities for the children. The change in Reykjavik and Iceland is relatively new when comparing with other countries in the Nordic region. You have more experience in integrating new citizens into the society, and therefore we would like to hear about your experiences.

We need input for the following issue:
• How do we best include the new citizens in the local communities?
• How do we ensure the cohesive energy of the neighborhoods that receive new residents?
(Languages: English)

Aarhus: How do we deal with the young people who are labelled "not ready for education"?

In Denmark, students in the 8th and 9th grade are evaluated for their educational readiness. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure better transitions between school and youth education. Instead of helping young people on their way to a youth education, the evaluation of educational readiness often increases the youth’s uncertainty and experience of stigmatization. The latest survey from Aarhus 2019 shows that 29.5% of the pupils in the 8th grade were assessed as “not ready for education”. The number is roughly equivalent to the national average. The group of young people outside of education and employment have often had challenges in elementary school and throughout their adolescence. With the assessment “not ready for education”, this group of young people is given another label that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and in the long run increase the risk of inequality. In many years Danish municipalities have included more children in general education, but the proportion of children who are referred to a special offer is now increasing.

We need input for the following issue:
• What do these conditions mean for the young people in Denmark?
• What opportunities do we have to reverse this negative development?
(Language: Danish)

17:15 Coffee break

19:00 Dinner with entertainment at Crowne Plaza

Friday, October 11

08:30 Prevention of youth crime by the police and municipalities

National Police Commissioner Jens Henrik Højbjerg (DK)
The role of the police in crime prevention work

The police’s crime prevention efforts take place in a closely coordinated cooperation with municipal actors, housing organizations, volunteers, businesses and other relevant actors. We have a special focus on ensuring that all young people have an option to say no to crime – both for those who have grown up in a rural area and when you are raised in a big city. The police are also particularly attentive on children and young people who grown up and move in the periphery of the gang environment
and to prevent recruitment to criminal networks. (Language: English)

Tommy Holst, SSP Odense (DK)
A good life for all young people – Strong communities for everyone

Children and young people with criminal risk behavior often have difficulties in gaining the basic skills to contribute positively and actively in society. The challenges are often seen in the early years and this can affect their schooling, education, and social skills. This may lead to difficulties with maintaining education and/or jobs. Criminal risk behavior also affects the opportunity to participate in positive communities which is a powerful means of keeping children and young people from seeking towards criminality and gangs. A collaboration that has a positive effect on these issues is” The good youth – Strong communities for all”. In this presentation SSP Odense (a crime prevention co-operation between the municipality and the police) and UngOdense will give concrete examples of how crime prevention efforts can be prioritized and organized efficiently based on ongoing data monitoring. The collaboration is an example of how to create good and equal collaborations between the municipality, the police, and civil society. (Language: English)

09:45 Coffee break

10:15 Keynote: Aydin Soei (DK)

Counter-citizenship, risk behavior and negative expectations
Why do many young men feel that the society at large peceives them as counter-citizens? What expectations do we have for young people from the so called ” ghetto”? What risk factors contribute to youth crime, gang membership, and opposition to the society? The Danish sociologist Aydin Soei will answer these questions in this keynote speech where he will draw on his books and studies about young men, school, and risk behavior in disadvantaged areas that are often called ghettos. A main question in Aydin Soei’s writing is how we can invite young men from Europe’s old working-classes to participate in the broader community to create more equal life opportunities. (Language: English)

Aydin Soei is an acknowledged lecturer on the topics of citizenship, radicaliza- tion, community, integration, and anti-school culture. Soei is the author of four books on young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

11:15 Coffee break

11:30 Meeting between young people, practitioners and politicians

Visions, observations and dilemmas

In September 2019 the conference Youth City Future Lab – A Conference for Young Nordic Visionaries will be held in Copenhagen. Here young people from youth councils in the Nordic cities work to create ideas and solutions for the development of a youth friendly city. The Youth Conference was developed as a counterpart to Heart and pain of the big City to give young people a voice when it comes to the development of the future of youth life.

What ideas, dilemmas, observations, and visions have the young people come up with? What do the politicians think when they hear them? And what solutions, dilemmas, and observations from this conference is it important to pass on?

Young people and practitioners from the two conferences share their visions, observations, and dilemmas with politicians from the involved cities.

12: 30 Summary of main points Closing of conference by Mayor for Children and Youth Jesper Christensen

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Goodbye - see you next time