The INsPIrE project is the first of its kind in Europe. Amidst divisive politics seeking to drive wedges between people along cultural and religious lines, INsPIrE is bringing people together. Focused on youth in cities, the project is creating concrete actions at the local level.

From countering radicalisation, increasing pluralism of information, developing critical thinking to enhancing the voices of young people, the project’s goals are tangible. In six European cities (Brussels, Barcelona, ClujNapoca, London, Mechelen and Tübingen), higher education institutions in journalism have created partnerships with non-formal educational programmes working with young people from disadvantaged areas and/or at risk of social exclusion. Youth (students and young people) have worked in tandem and coproduced journalistic pieces, combining citizens’ free expression and journalistic ethics, with a mutual peer-to-peer training approach.

The resulting content has been broadcast on six local online media and a common media platform: By integrating this experience gained in INsPIrE within higher education curricula and by creating new synergies with non-formal education, the project aimed at training a new generation of journalists to do participatory journalism. By giving a voice to young people who are usually under-represented in mainstream media, it also sought to promote media pluralism in Europe.

As a result of the INsPIrE project, we elaborated 9 recommendations to decision-makers, in order to better support youth empowerment and civic engagement. They aim at tackling four main challenges of such European projects: ensuring a common understanding between partners, encouraging higher education institutions’ involvement in communities, stimulating exchanges and meetings between formal and non-formal education, and ensuring sustainability.