Young and Resilient Research Centre

Young and Resilient (Y&R), incorporating the Intergener8 Living Lab, uses an integrated mode of research and design to collaboratively investigate, develop, test and trial technology-based products, services and policies that strengthen the resilience of young people and their communities, enabling them to live well and participate fully in social and economic life.

Research shows that the drivers of resilience are complex and thus require holistic, socio-ecological responses. Underpinned by interdisciplinary approaches, the Y&R research agenda brings social and cultural research processes and insights into dialogue with the digital humanities, health sciences, computing, software and platform development, psychology, business, law and innovation science. While our research targets young people, we take an intergenerational approach to strengthening individual and community resilience. Our research embeds youth-centred, participatory co-research and co-design to ensure the translation of findings into policy and practice outcomes that benefit young people.

Research programs

Y&R has four key research programs, underpinned by a cross-cutting Living Lab research program (Intergener8):


This program investigates emergent cultures of work and learning in the digital age. It will explore how to support young people’s resilience in the transitions through education and training to work/careers. It will consider how educational institutions and workplaces need to transform to respond to young people’s diversity, needs and aspirations in the context of trends towards automation, un- and underemployment, and employment uncertainty/mobility. This program pays particular attention to the (digital) skills and literacies that must be nurtured in young people in order to strengthen Australia’s capacity for innovation in the short- to mid-term. It will establish a longitudinal study entitled ‘Growing Up Digital’, which will form the basis of a Resilience Data Cooperative in the Intergener8 Living Lab. Resulting data will inform the design, trial and testing of intergenerational and peer-based strategies that embed young people’s exploration of and skills development in digital technologies. 

Guided by a rights-based approach to young people’s digital practices, this program will explore the changing nature of participation and engagement in the digital age. It will investigate how youth-serving organisations and institutions need to transform in order to leverage digital media to creatively and sustainably engage young people in co-researching, defining and implementing policy and practice relating to resilience and wellbeing. It will develop technology-based strategies for young people’s participation and engagement: for example, trialling and testing innovative applications of the RErights online consultation platform in a variety of settings (e.g., via the Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s youth participation strategy). This program will enable young people in GWS and beyond to contribute to policy making and the development of practice initiatives relating to resilience.

Digital technologies have potentially powerful implications for researching, monitoring and supporting health and wellbeing, as evidenced by the health sector’s investment in a range of platforms, applications and technology-based public health campaigns. However, the rapidly evolving digital health landscape –characterised by, for example, the digitisation of research and service data, integration of medical algorithms, the Internet of Things, personal devices, and eHealth systems – raises a host of ethical issues, not least the potential for digital technologies to compound existing health inequalities. This program investigates the relationship between health, social justice and sustainability. The program will develop strategies to centre difference and disadvantage in the design of technology-based interventions, propose ethical digital health frameworks for minors, and develop technology-based interventions to mitigate existing health inequities. 

Acknowledging the important role that ‘places’ – both online and offline – play in structuring wellbeing, this program investigates how to leverage diverse spaces and their interrelationships to support intergenerational resilience. The program considers how, in an increasingly globally oriented society, ‘the local’ shapes young people’s sense of identity, belonging and resilience; how the architectures of digital platforms both delimit and expand the conditions for generating resilience; and how the interface between physical and virtual spaces can best be leveraged in strategies to promote young people’s resilience. At the same time, this platform will consider the dynamics and ethics of digital space in relation to emergent trends in mobile media, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and automation; including how they might be implicated in forms of disadvantage. Working closely with teams across the Y&R, this program will devise frameworks, research tools and platforms to facilitate co-research and design on the relationship between place and resilience.

A cross-cutting Living Lab platform is a key component of the Y&R research and engagement strategy. It embeds open innovation at the centre of all of our work; engages partner organisations and young people themselves in the co-research and design process; ensures intersection between the research areas; and develops the necessary tools, methods and processes to ensure projects respond to the complexity that shapes children’s and young people’s lives and can impact at scale. The Living Lab will propose, research, develop, trial and test cutting edge methods for conducting research about the relationship between young people, resilience and technology and translating it into policy and practice. It will produce the first collaborative data generation and activation platform – the Resilience Data Cooperative – internationally. This work will feed into efforts by the Australian Living Labs Innovation Network and the European Network of Living Labs to develop bespoke research tools and processes in open innovation settings.

Our team

Led out of the Institute for Culture and Society in partnership with the Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), Young and Resilient (Y&R) seeks to nurture interdisciplinary collaboration, capacity-building and leadership across the university. With involvement of researchers from six Schools and two Institutes, the Y&R team have a broad range of expertise in engaged research, co-research and design, translation of research into policy and practice, and qualitative and quantitative methods.

Current projects

  • Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, ‘Child Centred Indicators for Violence Prevention: A Living Lab’
  • Invisible City
  • Intergener8 Living Lab Foundation Project 
  • Marina de Valencia, ‘Marina de Valencia Living Lab: An Activation Project’
  • NHMRC, ‘Centre for Research Excellence in Adolescent Health: Making Health Services Work for Adolescents in a Digital Age’. The Young and Resilient program of work will use a Living Labs approach to investigate:

    - Politics of Engagement
    - Cultures of Care
    - Health Equity and Technology

  • UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, ‘General Comment on Children and the Digital Environment: Children’s Consultation’
  • UNICEF New York, ‘UNICEF State of the World’s Children 2019 Consultation with Children’
  • UNICEF Gulf Area Office, ‘Children and Social Media in the Gulf Area: A Living Lab to identify and explore children’s uses, and the possible risks and opportunities’