The world around us is rapidly changing. We are surrounded by both smaller-scale domestic developments and global megatrends (such as population aging, digitalization, and climate change). In this study, we analyzed the impact of these developments on Estonian youth and how the youth sector must adapt in this context to meet the needs of young people as effectively as possible. The study takes a future-oriented approach, aiming to map the effects of these trends by 2030.
In the study, we utilized a participatory research approach, focusing on actively involving the target groups most directly impacted by the research topic in a deep and meaningful way throughout the research process.. For the purpose of involving young people in this study, we formed a young co-researchers’ group at the beginning of the project. The participatory approach was also reflected in how we developed the future scenarios – through a co-creation workshop, where participants (youth, professionals working with youth, and researchers in relevant fields) formulated the narratives of the four future scenarios.
For more details on the methodology and results of the study, please refer to the English summary of the final report.
The study yielded the following future scenarios for the Estonian youth sector:
Estonia’s Castle in the Sky – Low impact of regional inequality; adequate number of qualified professionals working with youth
Young People Thrive on Drive – High impact of regional inequality; adequate number of qualified professionals working with youth
Invisible Young People – High impact of regional inequality; inadequate number of qualified professionals working with youth
Oho-aha – Low impact of regional inequality; inadequate number of professionals working with youth
According to the study, the most significant risks for Estonian youth that could materialize by 2030 are:
- Deepening shortage of qualified education and youth sector professionals.
- Increasing regional inequality.
- Alienation of youth from politics. Polarization, and violent radicalization.
- Intensifying skills gap.
- Worsening mental health