A Future where Young People Thrive
Imagine this; Young people in Denmark are doing better than ever before. Even with the historic challenges facing this generation, they have never had greater influence or more opportunities to shape their own future. Collectively, we have taken responsibility for providing a framework for young people to thrive
This project is a part of our theme
This vision might seem utopian at first, considering that the statistics for young people experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression have never been higher. At DDC – Danish Design Center, we believe that the shelf life for the current, dominant approach to mental health has passed and that it is time to not only review but to reframe and redesign frameworks to support well-being – especially for our young people and the generations to come. That’s why we have launched a mission which:
- Makes mental well-being a shared, not an individual, responsibility
- Ensures access for a more diverse group of people to participate in and shape the conversation around mental health and well-being
- Takes young people and their role in shaping their future seriously
- Sets a strategic, tangible, and inclusive direction for a future where young people can thrive.
Mental well-being and thriving cannot be dealt with in isolation. Neither in a clinic nor in a classroom. Well-being is contextual and influenced by everything and everyone surrounding us. The consequences of a well-being crisis among young people are not only affecting the individual in distress. They intersect with multiple generations and create wide-reaching, long-term implications for all of us and the welfare society. We have fostered systems in which young people experience poor well-being collectively, and we owe it to future generations to change course. Setting a new direction starts with reimagining the future and making it desirable.
"Through the workshops, I’ve realized that there is a solid foundation for changing the system. The hands-on tools have demonstrated how rapidly we can turn what seems impossible into something real. Clearly, this shows that we have the capacity to devise a new system for thriving youth"
COO & Co-founder, Avilius (participant from Imagine if we…)
In March 2022, we at DDC committed ourselves to address the complex, systemic, and growing problem of unhappiness among young people in our society. We wanted to challenge the dominant, and at times alarmist, narrative about young people in distress and create a new, unifying, visionary narrative where young people thrive. We invited more than 150 stakeholders to reimagine the problem and set a new direction with us. Using futures and scenario design we co-created the scenario ressource Vorby, a tactile and sensorial manifestation of what a city, in which young people thrive, could look like in 2050.
The city’s philosophy is based on a number of principles that present an alternative to our current approach to wellbeing, including new strategies for working, learning, growing a family, and forming communities. Vorby surfaces an alternative way of thinking about thriving as a phenomenon and presents alternative strategies for how to enable communities where people thrive. Here you can meet Marna, who talks about her everyday life as a citizen in Vorby.
"Our system is off track right now. (...) To get young people's lives on the right track, we need to turn our system upside down and not just keep doing the same thing"
Program Director, Frontløbernetværket (participant from Imagine if we…)
Explore and shape the conversation
Through dialogues with organizations, foundations, and professionals within the broad field of mental well-being, it has become clear that many demand a common ambitious, and meaningful direction that challenges the existing and gives new perspectives: What must we succeed in, and what will it look like when we reach the finish line? A lack of direction limits our actions, pace, and ability to collaborate.
These interviews are a series of conversations where we’ll explore key themes, new ideas, and perspectives on mental health and well-being among young people.
Join the mission
On our mission to create new or complementary systems where young people thrive, we recognize the importance of being humble and not believing we have all the answers and capacity to change the systems ourselves.
We depend on a whole lot of people. Both to further develop and qualify the desired future we are working towards, to adopt new co-created purposes, and take part in the development of new solutions.
At DDC, we have committed ourselves to this mission, and you are invited to join forces with us. Reach out and help us explore how to reinvent our systems and create new tangible interventions and experiments to shape a society where young people thrive.
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