Empower Youth Project (Innoviris) Conference

Friday 03 December 2021, 09:30 to 16:30

In the Brussels region there are many institutions, organisations and associations whose goal it is to develop the "societal participation" of young people (14-30 years old). However, few of them succeed in reaching the most excluded, who are particularly represented in disadvantaged urban areas. Based on the experience of youths from these areas, as well as on the experience of field actors, the main objective of the "Empower Youth" project, financed by Innoviris, was to identify the factors and processes that stimulate or hinder the use of and access to these organisations.

The conference is divided in two parts. In the morning the researchers will present their findings on the social participation of a segment of Brussels' youth that is rarely investigated in scientific work. These findings, which are the result of a long-term field work in some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods of Brussels, shed new light on the early school leaving, but also on the relationships that young people develop with Brussels institutions, and on the alternative paths and strategies they put in place to get around the various obstacles they encounter. In the afternoon, the findings will be discussed during three round tables along with a set of recommendations to improve public policy in the Brussels Region. The aim is to identify the obstacles and the good practices that contribute to building bridges with the most remote youth and, from there, to rebuild social links.

Following the decision of the VUB to not allow any physical events to take place, the seminar will take place in an online format: please register here to participate.


The link is valid all day, so you can hop in and out of sessions whenever you wish.



9h-12h15: Presentation of results

  • Géraldine André, GIRSEF - Université Catholique de Louvain
  • Alejandra Alarcon Henriquez, GERME - Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Andrew Crosby, GIRSEF - Université Catholique de Louvain and Brussels School of Governance - VUB

12h15 - 13h30: Networking lunch

13h30-16H30 Part 2: Summary of recommendations, round tables and feedback from the floor

Round tables with the participation of:

  • Fatima Zibouh, Cedem/Actiris
  • Jacinthe Mazzocchetti, Université Catholique de Louvain
  • Mathias Millet, Université de Tours
  • Pierre Artois, Métices - UlB
  • Pascal Debruyne, Odisee University College
  • Elke Plovie, UC Leuven-Limburg
  • Khadija Senhadji
  • Andrea Rea, Germe-ULB
  • Salim Haouach, Ras-el-Hanout
  • Ahmed Belhadi
  • Eva Trogh, KANS
  • Tomas de Kerpel, Abrusco
  • Cathérine Sztencel, Odyssée asbl
  • Bilal Chuitar, Foyer des Jeunes des Marolles


With the support of