Our Lives, Our Futures: exploring pressing issues for young people today

Our Lives, Our Futures: exploring pressing issues for young people today
Image by Sophia, from Oxford High School

A new research network at Oxford Brookes University is launching with a focus on children and young people, aiming to improve their opportunities, experiences and futures.

The Children and Young People research network at the University brings together around 100 experts from across all faculties in Oxford Brookes. Chair of the network, Dr Patrick Alexander, said: “There’s an urgent need to understand the lives of young people from multiple perspectives.

“In today’s era of rapid social, cultural, technological and environmental change there are deep-rooted inequalities. Climate change, the pandemic, racism and gender inequalities, conflict, migration, violence, economic instability and the gig economy all powerfully affect children’s and young people’s lives and wellbeing.

“Bringing together academics from all disciplines and working across the University and beyond, our aim is to explore and identify ways to support children and young people as they negotiate the challenges of living in uncertain times. We also want to champion the voices of children and young people where they are speaking out and leading positive change.”

Ten days of free online events

The research network launches with ten days of free online events, bringing together young people, educators, researchers and organisations to explore pressing issues for children and young people today.

It begins with an online exhibition of art, created by over 200 children in Oxfordshire and curated by Oxford Brookes students. A series of talks and panel events on topical issues follows, featuring some of the ground-breaking research taking place at Oxford Brookes.

Events include:

  • Monday 22 November, 5pm - Our Futures, Our Lives: Rethinking schooling for a post-pandemic world - Dr Patrick Alexander, School of Education, Oxford Brookes University

  • Wednesday 24 November, 4.15pm - a live panel discussion on Why does art matter in the lives of children and young people?

  • Tuesday 30 November, 12pm, The work of Oxfordshire Community Foundation - a talk by Suzy Donald of Oxfordshire Community Foundation

  • Wednesday 1 December, 10.30am - 12pm: Brookes Showcase with talks from researchers about storytelling, early childhood development, transitions to adulthood and more

  • Wednesday 1 December, 1pm - 2.55pm: Brookes Showcase continues with talks on the effect of diet on health outcomes, colour vision deficiency and using technology to help children with cancer

For more details, full event listings and to register for online events visit the Our Lives, Our Futures website.