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Make4Change

  • European Union
    European Social Fund

Project description

Oulu area is an attractive growth center in which the region's high youth unemployment rate has been a long-standing issue, and the number of immigrants outside the labor market is also increasing. The Make4Change project aims to strengthen the employability of unemployed, young people and immigrants outside the labor market through digital fabrication and making. Making philosophy is seen as beneficial to the development of thinking and design skills. Making also supports the takeover of technologies, thus preventing the digital divide and helping to cope in a the increasingly digital world, especially when it comes to study and work.
 
The project will include three series of 6-8 workshops with unemployed, youth and immigrants from Oulu area. In addition to learning digital skills, participants will engage in societal discourse concerning different topics (e.g their community, technology) through various making-projects supporting the association involved, their community or regional charities. Projects carried out in cooperation with others will take over business aspects of the designed product and user needs, entrepreneurial spirit in the FabLab, 2D design and laser cutting, 3D design and printing as well as programming and electronics.  We offer participants the opportunity to participate in all workshops, but the participation is entirely voluntary. Participants do not have to commit to the whole workshop series, but can, if they so wish, try out only for example, 3D design.
 
The aim of the project is to prepare participants to become  skilled and innovative workforce in the future and to ensure that they have equal opportunities to avoid inequality and exclusion. All in all, this project addresses a significant and timely challenge that we must respond to immediately. Our work contributes to closing the digital divide and developing the skills and competences needed to help populations at risk of exclusion and manage the future in an increasingly digital world. It will also strengthen their participation in Finnish society, support their employment and help prevent a culture of unemployment - in Northern Ostrobothnia and elsewhere.
 
The project is coordinated by the following units of the University of Oulu: UBICOMP, INTERACT and FabLab Oulu. The workshops and activities are carried out in cooperation with representatives of different organizations in Oulu region that work in their day-to-day with unemployed, youth and immigrants. At current project state, Business Oulu, the Oulu Youth Workshop and Auta lasta Ry have agreed to work with us, but we will be actively seeking out also other organizations to collaborate with during the project.

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Research groups

  • INTERACT
  • Center for Ubiquitous Computing
  • Fab Lab