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Home / Resources / News / How to make a living

How to make a living

These infographics by @auralab show how young people cope with making a living in 2020 through the eyes of our imaginary characters – Invisible Citizens, Zombie Generation, Militant Optimists & Lifestyle Hackers.

These scenarios are based on the research by European Alternatives who’ve travelled from community centres to skyscraper boardrooms, from country parks to street markets to uncover how young people are coping with the crisis in creative ways – from a rickshaw driver turned MBA student to a dustbin man turned serial entrepreneur, from social markets in Transylvania to cooperative villages in Andalucia.

Come and see these at the Transeuropa Festival and have inspired the design of urban games and a designathon where you can put yourself in the shoes of these imaginary characters to try and make a living a day in 2020…without any money.

Making a Living

Across our transnational cooperative which brings young designers, makers & campaigners from cities across Europe – we were witnessing how different people were coping with the crisis. For many in the Mediterranean or Balkans like Barcelona, Rome or Belgrade, it was virtually impossible to find a job. In cities like London, Amsterdam or Berlin, it was the opposite, people couldn’t catch a breadth as they were juggling several “mini-jobs” at a time. But at the same time, they were sharing stories of how their neighbourhoods were creating ways out of their situation.

Zombie Generation or Lifestyle Hackers? Future Scenarios from Europe in 2020

So we decided we’d go and find out how young people across Europe cope with trying to make a living. We’ve travelled from community centres to skyscraper boardrooms to local festivals across the continent to uncover how young people are coping with the crisis in creative ways – from a rickshaw driver turned MBA student to a dustbin man turned serial entrepreneur. We’ve interviewed young people from urban parks to street markets.

Building on the insights we’ve uncovered, we’ve designed scenarios on how people will make a living in 2020 through the eyes of our imaginary characters – Invisible Citizens, Zombie Generation, Militant Optimists and Lifestyle Hackers.

Because we wanted to show that young people cope emotionally in different ways – from being scared about what to do next to seeking advice from anyone who will listen. We also wanted to highlight that through the process of coping, young people are “rehearsing” what they want the future to look like and in the process, help others imagine different ways of living in society.

From gaming techniques to help people develop their portfolio to documentaries to provoke social change via getting children to make market stalls, we’ve been inspired by the methods young entrepreneurs use to help people find meaning.

As Catherine Greig from Make Good highlights in our interview with her “Physically making something, whether it’s repairing a wall or painting is really powerful. Sometimes it’s a totally tangential activity that allows you get deeper in the conversation and get different perspectives – the time it takes to make a jumper or build a wall.”

We’ve helped young people to design their own festival. That’s why people will be able to play urban games at our festival with people from other cities across Europe imagining they had to make a living in 2020 and…survive for a day. They will also be able take part in our designathon to develop creative solutions to help people find work. 

Using creative methods, we’ve used young people’s insights and ideas to develop a guide on how, through coping with the crisis, young people are creating new ways of making a living. From the bomeurs on the Spanish underground to French single mothers joining occupations via English graduates travelling Europe to discover alternatives.

From social marketsin Romania to “cooperativas integral” in Spain via commoningin New Cross, young people are already exchanging their resources to help each other. This is why we’re collaborating with Trade School to develop a pop-up skills exchange where people can learn how to develop coops to facilitating consensus to mapping opportunities to develop new projects. It’s why we’re hosting our festivals at two makerspaces at Lime Wharf and Makerversity.

It’s why we’re partnering with Borders to Crossto showcase practical experiments that push public, civic, and market organizations to rethink the ways they relate to each other.

Many people mock Generation Y as being more like Generation Why – a generation without a purpose. But many young people are creating new ways of making a living, which start from making sense of the world around them to “making” their way out of the crisis.

From urban games to a designathon, from an exhibition on future scenarios to workshops on creative resistance, the Transeuropa Festival is happening in 13 cities across Europe to imagine, demand & create new ways of living. See for the London programme.