Generation 2012: what have the Olympics ever done for us?

4 March 2010

The youth of London have an urgent message for the world about life in the capital and what the Olympic Games and its legacy will really mean for those living in its shadow. Generation 2012, an event which is part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, is a community digital storytelling project that gives them the opportunity to 'tell it like it is'. At the same time the event will be launching a debate about the role of sport in mediating notions of identity within multicultural societies.

Generation 2012 involves a group of young Londoners whose migratory roots and routes span the globe and reflect the rich diversity of the next Olympic host city. They all have stories to tell about what it means to be coming of age in today's cosmopolitan London and the hopes and dreams that the London Olympics have inspired. With the help of the BBC World Service and The Open University, they will become London's citizen journalists communicating their experiences and stories to millions around the world.

Generation 2012 will visit the Olympic site to meet representatives of the Olympic Delivery Authority, to review progress on the construction of the sporting venues and stadia, and to discuss the impact of the coming Olympics on their local communities. At the BBC World Service these young Londoners will then explore their own sense of place and identity within the context of London's Cultural Olympiad and the commitment to a sustained Olympic legacy for generations to come.

The resulting series of digital stories will form the basis of reports broadcast by the World Service in its flagship daily current affairs magazine programme Outlook, as well as online content hosted by the BBC and the Open University. This will include continuing debates around Olympic Themes such as the challenges of bringing sport and culture together, how to represent the cultural diversity and internationalism of the Games and their host city, and supporting the personal development of young people.

The voice of Generation 2012 offers a unique insight into the attitudes and aspirations of young Londoners as the Olympics approach. It also reflects the concerns of a generation that will have to manage the long term consequences of this global event well after the media spotlight has moved on. It is a voice that deserves to be heard.

For further information contact

Open University:

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. G2012: second generation
    • Organiser: Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), Open University
    • Date: 12 March 10:00 - 16:00
    • Venue: BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London. WC2B 4PH
    • Audience: for school children and college students
  2. The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 12 to 21 March 2010, alongside National Science and Engineering Week. Events from some of the country's leading social scientists the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. The Festival of Social Science provides insight into research in a variety of formats; from traditional lectures and exhibitions to theatrical performances, film screenings and topical debates. The Festival of Social Science is aimed at a range of different audiences, including policymakers, business, the media, the general public and students of all ages.
  3. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
  4. You can now follow updates from the ESRC on Twitter, including new funding calls as they are posted, press releases, events and more.