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I-LINC - Platform for ICT learning and inclusion for youth employability and entrepreneurship

01/01/2015 - 12/31/2017

The project will create a European stakeholder platform with resources and networking for anyone working in the field of inclusion, young people, education and jobs with a focus on ICT (for) learning.

EU logo on red background

The project was funded by: European Union - Horizon 2020

The main objective of the project is to create a sustainable, cross-cutting platform for ICT (for) learning and inclusion, focused on promoting youth employability. Beyond the technical meaning of "platform" (in the sense of an online environment for networking, participation, and learning), it refers here primarily to the proposal's goal of consolidating an engaged and active community of stakeholders working in the field of ICT (for) learning and inclusion to promote youth employability. The addition of "for" in parentheses attempts to capture the diversity and richness of "ICT for learning and inclusion," which can refer to (but is not limited to) technology-enhanced learning (including MOOCs); digital literacy; digital competencies and e-skills training; e-inclusion (understood as digital training and empowerment, as well as the active socio-economic participation of socially disadvantaged people enhanced by ICT); or ICT platforms created by public/private/third-party organizations for youth employability.

Employability, in turn, includes the most common modalities that can lead to young people's active participation in the economy: Work contracts, internships, apprenticeships, volunteering, self-employment, and entrepreneurial activities. This is only possible if end users (i.e., young people) are actively involved in the entire process - from identifying their needs to developing appropriate solutions.

The Social Research Center (sfs) of the Technical University of Dortmund will link this project to existing networks and activities in the field of social innovation - such as the consortia of the currently running FP7 projects "SI-DRIVE" and "SIMPACT" as well as EUWIN, the European Workplace Innovation Network.

Specific objective 1) To build a broad, rich and active community of stakeholders representing different target groups of young people at risk of exclusion, with the aim of becoming in the long term the largest European ICT (for) learning and inclusion community working to improve the employability of young people.

Specific objective 2) Link existing ICT (for) learning and inclusion stakeholder activities and bring them together to increase their impact both at the level of policy makers and end users.

Specific Objective 3) Contribute to the improvement of existing platforms by creating a common off- and online space for open dialogues and meetings, and promoting active mutual exchange and peer learning activities.

Specific Objective 4) Establish guidelines to improve tools and services for 1) modernizing education and training, 2) youth employability, and 3) addressing the risk of digital and socio-economic exclusion (i.e. e-Inclusion).

Specific objective 5) Contribute to the policy debate on promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship through the development of e-skills, digital inclusion and volunteering, and entrepreneurial skills.

The I-LINC project will start with a quantitative inventory of stakeholder platforms that exist in the field of learning and inclusion for ICT in terms of youth employability and entrepreneurship. Other approaches used in the project are qualitative in nature, such as for identifying best practice case studies. For a participatory needs assessment and solution design process, the I-LINC project will use the design thinking method to find a wide range of new options for social innovation in lifelong learning and eInclusion. With a focus on listening, empathy, holistic thinking, collaboration, and experimentation, the Design Thinking process offers a complementary approach to existing formal prototyping. It will open a new path to innovation and collaboration by moving through different phases - empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, testing - that will be used to develop a user-friendly, impactful, and high-quality platform.

Location & approach

Exit 13 (Kreuz Dortmund Nord-Ost), direction Derne/Schwerte (B236), 1st exit direction Dortmund-Eving, next traffic lights turn right (Kemminghauser Str.), after 2.7km turn left (Evinger Str./B 54), after 1.1km traffic lights turn left (Deutsche Straße), after 500m on the left is the Evinger Platz.

From the Bundesstraße 1 (extension A40 or A44) to the intersection B1/B236 direction Lünen, 3rd exit direction Dortmund-Eving.

Exit Dortmund Hafen, turn left until the intersection Münsterstraße (B54), direction Eving, after about three kilometers turn into Deutsche Straße.

You can download an enlarged general map here

From Dortmund Airport, it takes just about 20 minutes to get to Dortmund Central Station by AirportExpress and from there to the university by subway (U-Bahn) 41. The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station. From there, you can get directly to Dortmund Central Station.

From Dortmund Central Station, take the U 41 light rail (direction Brambauer / Brechten). The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". The Minister Stein Center is located on the right in the direction of travel of the streetcar.

You can find an overview map here.