Develop Toolkit


A toolkit designed to build bridges between research and practice.

Our intention with the Develop Toolkit is to make it possible for everyone who works professionally with young people to draw relevant insights from research into the brain and behaviour and apply them to their interaction with young people.


The youth phase is a special time, where life is experienced more intensely, boundaries are tested and our development as people takes place at a dizzying pace. It provides appreciable scope for designing experiences and communities intended to support the positive development of young people. You can use the toolkit to expand your understanding of young people, place it in perspective and develop new ideas for specific activities and input founded on research-based knowledge.



The ROCKWOOL Foundation Interventions Unit works systematically with the application of research-based knowledge as a key input in the development of new initiatives. There is appreciable potential here for developing initiatives that are based more firmly on knowledge about the natural development all young people undergo. In practice, however, research-based knowledge can be difficult to access – and challenging to apply.


In recent years, research into the brain and behaviour has contributed a new understanding of how young people develop. According to UNICEF it is not only the early childhood years that play a key role in our development. The “youth period”, which stretches from the onset of puberty to the mid-20s has just as important an impact.

It is during this part of our lives, from around age 10 to around age 25, that we typically begin to shape our identity and our image of who we want to be. This is also the time when we start learning how to make decisions, navigate complex emotions and enter into social relationships. Ideally, we should also develop our capacity to set meaningful goals, convert plans into practice and reflect on our experiences.


This is far from accidental. In the same way as early childhood is a crucial period for the development of fundamental skills such as the ability to talk, the “youth period” is particularly sensitive when it comes to our development of advanced social and cognitive abilities. New experiences and emotions play an important role with regard to shaping and developing the brain, which means that we have a fundamental need to explore the world around us in relation to ourselves as people.


How to use the design tool

The Develop Toolkit has been developed with input from NGOs, practicians and researchers. It is designed to guide you through an idea development workshop comprising four steps presented over the course of two hours. No special preconditions are required to use the toolkit, and there is no need for a facilitator. We suggest that you use the Develop Toolkit in small groups of up to six people.


The toolkit is available in an interactive digital version and in a hard-copy version.

Would you like to know more?

If you want to know more about the initiative or are interested in collaborating with us, please contact


What’s next?


The toolkit has been published and the project is no longer under development. Read more about the toolkit below.