How can volunteering contribute to a more inclusive city?
Volunteering is an important part of our society. But the threshold to participate in volunteer work is high, especially for young adults. Loneliness is at the same time an increasing public health issue among young adults. This is challenging and expensive for our society. Volunteering is an activity that people do to help others, nevertheless statistics show that one of the main reasons for many to do volunteer work is to become part of a community. Through participating in an activity you can get new friends, and together develop a culture that you feel ownership to. We want to bring this social phenomenon that happens during volunteering through the setting when you are first recruited. This is called social recruitment.
“It was a very long process to register.” - Workshop participant
“I am scared to go alone. I do not know anyone.”- Research participant
As we state in the manifesto The Inclusive Digital City is a city where people feel that they belong. This feeling can be made through a collective experience such as volunteering.
We are therefore doing experiments on how to get people to do volunteer work. Social recruitment will be our method. The experiments will investigate how social recruitment can increase the engagement and lower the threshold to become a volunteer.