On the 25th of January, Future Lifes with Oceans and Waters (FLOW), funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme, has been kicked off in Brussels. FLOW is a two years long project that is coordinated by Radboud University, the Institute for Science in Society and Centre for Connecting Humans with Nature. Partners from Norway and Germany, respectively, Arctic University of Norway and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI attended the kick-off meeting together with the coordinator partner from the Netherlands and Volonteurope at Mundo J. Volonteurope is the civil society partner in this horizon project.

The main objective of FLOW is to co-create actionable, scalable and reflexive stewardship assemblages that are designed on the basis of research, evidence and foresight on human-waters relations and connect the young generations with sea and waters. This will empower the young generations to directly interact with marine and freshwater stakeholders from the fields of policy, blue economy and innovation and research.

Human-water relations have been in constant change in the last decades, if not hundreds of years, and by looking at them through the inFLOW lens, FLOW aims to increase understanding of the connection young generations have with oceans, seas and waters. More, by combining transdisciplinary methods -horizon scanning, ethnographic fieldwork, and experiential futures workshop-in an innovative way, FLOW engages young generations in intergenerational just and transdisciplinary research. Bringing young people together in seven different regions across Europe will give us the opportunity to see how young generations connect themselves to oceans and waters.

Throughout the project, we, as project partners, aim to:

  • frame a theoretical framework based on a review of scientific research on e.g. human-nature relations, socio-ecological systems and future studies;
  • increase understanding of human-water relations of the young generations based on contemporary streams of youth culture;
  • study pioneering projects where youngsters are already engaged in acting for oceans and water;
  • organise future workshops throughout Europe to co-create future perspectives on young peoples’ relations to sea and waters;
  • set out blueprints for stewardship assemblages based on an international co-creation event.

We would like to thank, Elisa Vargas Amelin, Project Officer at CINEA, for being with us the whole time and delivering insights about the research and the grant programme.

FLOW has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 101093928.