W•I•S•Y•? / What is the SEEYOUTH project?

SOLUTIONS FOR ENGAGING AND EMPOWERING YOUTH WITH TRANS-ATLANTIC MIRRORING - exploring how social innovation through participatory art and design empowers youth at the margins.


SEEYOUTH is a 24-month long project (2020-2022), funded as part of the Trans-Atlantic Platform - a collaborative partnership developed to enhance dialogue and innovation among humanities and social science researchers in South America, North America and Europe.

Our project’s academic network is made up of researchers from Finland (University of Lapland), Brazil (University of São Paolo and São Paolo State University, Canada (University of Montréal) and the UK (University of Leeds).

Central to the project is our close collaboration with partner organisations in Brazil, Canada and Finland - through which we work with youth in marginalised contexts that are unique to each country and in ways that meet the needs of these communities.


Our Trans-Atlantic Mirroring approach is a unique attempt to cross the geographical distances and lived experiences which separate our teams, their partners and the youth we’re working with in each of the project’s cases.

Ideas of mirroring suggest many ways that our work can both reflect and connect - on a very practical and pragmatic level; perhaps with a sense or intention of either only showing a thing either partially or in its entirety; and also in the ways that mirroring (or being mirrored) allows for meaningful reflection upon yourself, as well as how it presents opportunities to view or engage with others and their lives.  

The disruptions and challenges presented by the many facets and impacts of COVID-19 have, of course, changed the SEEYOUTH project in ways we hadn’t expected either when preparing the project bid, or in the first months of it’s life.

Such events have meant unfortunate but necessary readjustments, the need for new plans and for some reorganisation - both in terms of everyone’s lives and in how we manage our work in light of the situation we’re all living through.

We do feel, however, that events such as this pandemic make our research all the more important - that we are having to demonstrate the value for participatory art and design research in a context that’s (a)live and constantly changing, and where the need for social innovation for youth and young people have, perhaps, never been more pressing or vital.


The SEEYOUTH team consists of four teams from four countries.

Brazil team - Funder: FAPESP.
PI: Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos, University of São Paulo

Canada team - Funders: SSHRC and FRQSC.
PI: Anne Marchand, Université de Montréal

Finland team - Funder: AKA.
PI: Satu Miettinen, University of Lapland

United Kingdom team - Funder: ESRC.
PI: Paul Wilson, University of Leeds

Our call

More details about the Trans-Atlantic Platform and the Social Innovation call.

‘A total of approximately €4,966,000 million was awarded to ten international teams to investigate collaborative research projects which will add to understandings of social innovation and deliver social innovations through new research. 

Each of the funded teams include principal investigators and partners from a minimum of three countries, with participation on both sides of the Atlantic. These teams will be pursuing interdisciplinary research on a diverse range of topics related to social innovation, including the arts, environment, sustainable development, history, healthcare, education, youth, housing, social activism and Indigenous research.’

From: https://esrc.ukri.org/news-events-and-publications/news/news-items/t-ap-social-innovation-call-awards-announced/

Why here

Why we’ve chosen SUBSTACK?

It lets us publish easily - what and when we want, as a way to update and communicate, to think aloud / out-loud, and to ask questions without necessarily wanting or needing an answer.

The last 12 months have changed how and what we thought the project was going to become and by using a platform that’s focused on writing in all it’s forms, we think (and hope, and plan) that this will become a key channel in how the project lives, breathes and talks over the next year.

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SEEYouth - a project exploring social innovation through participatory art and design with Youth at the Margins.


Researcher, designer, writer. School of Design, University of Leeds, UK.