How can we keep track of young people who don’t have a job, receive no benefits and also don’t go to school? The Centre for BOLD Cities, a collaborative network between Leiden, Delft and Erasmus University, is conducting research into this issue.

BOLD Cities received funding for the research from ‘Startimpuls’ in the theme programme ‘JOIN – Young people in a resilient society’ from the Dutch National Research Agenda, for which a total of 2.5 million euro is available.

The project researches whether Big Data technologies can better identify ‘ghost youth’. Statistics Netherlands estimates that there are around 66,000 ‘ghost youth’ in the Netherlands. They have no job, receive no benefits and don’t go to school.

Sensors and social media

Social Glass Source:

The Social Glass data platform (see video), which has been developed by the Delft data scientists in the research team, is key to the project, enabling structured urban data to be combined with unstructured, dynamic data originating from sensors and social media.

BOLD Cities will use this platform to investigate whether it is possible to get these young people back on the radar. The research team comprises data scientists, social scientists and cultural scientists. EUR Professor Liesbet van Zoonen is leading the project.