Co-Lab Sweden: improving the lives of unaccompanied minors

Co-Lab Sweden is a cross-sectoral innovation lab for user-centered co-creation of solutions that address complex societal challenges in Sweden. Initially, Co-Lab’s work will focus on improving the daily lives of unaccompanied minors in Sweden, as new structures need to be put in place to address their needs. 16 organisations, who work with unaccompanied minors, are currently involved in this project.  

Since the autumn of 2015, approximately 50,000 unaccompanied minors have come to Sweden as refugees, 35,000 of which came solely in autumn 2015. These young people are confronted with numerous public and private organisations that do not communicate effectively with each other. There is an urgent need for new forms of communication between these organisations to better, and more efficiently, address the needs of this particularly vulnerable group.

The Swedish Government entrusted the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities (SALAR) and the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation (SVID) with this task. Co-Lab Sweden has initiated the development of a joint platform, while promoting increased understanding of the daily challenges of unaccompanied minors. The co-creation process has already produced valuable ideas which are currently being tested. The ideas address the empowerment of minors and the cooperation between different types of stakeholders and organisations with the aim of communicating more effectively on the other.