Together - Design concepts for improving youth participation in decision-making processes in Helsinki

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Location:
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2019 Alkan
Date
2019
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
New Media Design and Production
Language
en
Pages
79+6
Series
Abstract
Current democratic practises remain insufficient to equally involve citizens from different socio-economic backgrounds in the decision-making processes. In direct and representative democracy models, the practises may not protect minorities or give citizens enough opportunities to build a political intellect. Therefore, along with these models, conceptual framework of this thesis embraces deliberative democracy and Habermasian public sphere to improve young citizen’s participation and political intellect in decision-making processes in Helsinki. The research is based on human-centred and participatory design methods with systems thinking approach. Throughout the research, 6 stakeholders are interviewed to explore existing practices and systemic problems in the field. The interview findings show that stakeholders struggle to provide political education and incentives to participate especially to the ethnic youth. Consequently, 3 design concepts are developed, and then validated in a participatory workshop with 4 young people aged between 14-19. The results indicate that young people could be educated about politics by attracting their attention to the subjects they care such as, student discounts and age limits. Additionally, social media tools could be utilized to help them creatively express themselves. These expressions could be the source of input for decision-makers. Lastly, young people do not prefer participating in face-to-face discussions due to the fear of peer judgement. Therefore, these discussions could be moved to judgement-free cyberspaces. All in all, the research results could be developed further to provide political awareness and unconventional ways of youth participation. Moreover, interview findings could be utilized to enhance stakeholder relationships and overall efficacy of the field.
Description
Supervisor
Leinonen, Teemu
Thesis advisor
Leinonen, Teemu
Keywords
political participation, youth participation, equality (values), participatory design, human-centred design, systems thinking, concept design
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Citation