Buzz finds a supportive network

A supportive network and preparations for departure

This morning the group came together for to connect ahead of the programme week. MarCus welcomed the participants, gave a short introduction and introduced members of the seminar team who will be facilitating, documenting and supporting with technical requirements.

Yuliya introduces the programmeYuliya introduces the programme

Yuliya introduces the programme

Yuliya then shared the three objectives for the seminar which are…

  • Strengthening the capacities of trainers
  • Deal with bias and failures
  • Inspiration from the business and psychology world

The format and timings of the programme for the week were then introduced including times for the expert inputs, failure conference and the Guild’s Annual General Meeting.

Step into the circle if

To get familiar with each others names and learn a little about each other the participants formed a circle and were asked a series of questions. When they answered yes to any of the questions they took a step forward into the circle and said their name and gave a short piece of information about why they had answered yes.

The questions included things such as ‘who has delivered two trainings this year?’, ‘who is from Ireland?’, ‘who is a member of the Guild?’ and ‘who think their country makes the best coffee?’. The activity helped the participants learn more about one another and, importantly, get to know everyone’s names.

Buzz finds a supportive network

Buzz finds a supportive network

Forming a supporting network

Buzz led the group with an activity to map the connections between the participants in the room. The participants were given a length of rope and had to connect every person in the room using it based on the connections that they have with each other.

As more connections were made the rope created a web across the room between the participants. At the end of the activity Buzz explained that one of the purposes of the Guild is to create a network which can support trainers – and as you can see, the participants had done just that.

Time for departure

Time for departure

Preparing for departure

Next Buzz invited the participants to prepare to depart onto their Youth Trainers Reboot journey. This activity took on the style of an security check at the airport as prepared for the programme. First participants were invited to free themselves of things they don’t need during the programme, negative feelings etc etc etc were all to be thrown in the bin and let go of.

Restricted items

Restricted items

They were also asked to complete their Youth Trainers Reboot boarding pass with the destination they wanted to travel to – the outcomes and impact that they wanted to have by the end of the week.

Youth Trainers Reboot boarding pass

Youth Trainers Reboot boarding pass

Then the participants had to place their essentials for the week in a clear plastic bag, these were the vital items that would be needed to ensure that the seminar was successful for everyone. Finally, the participants packed their luggage with the right attitudes and behaviours that would be needed to get the best results from the week.

Check back this evening for the next instalment of the Youth Trainers Reboot blog.


Youth Trainers Reboot

The International Youth Work Trainers Guild are coming together for the next five days in Payerbach (Austria) for Youth Trainers Reboot. This new seminar is multi-purpose and brings together participants from 16 partner countries, funded through Erasmus+ and hosted by coobra – cooperativa braccianti.

Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number

The expert seminar aims to gather international youth work trainers together in order to discuss and find new ways of responding to the needs of youth work and young people under the current realities and trends in Europe. We will also seek to critically reflect our practices considering the actual impact (and lack thereof) of non-formal education, unconscious bias in our work, and dealing with failures. Further inputs will be provided by external experts from the business sector and psychology.

Attached to the seminar will be the Annual General Meeting of the International Youth Work Trainers Guild and findings from the initial expert inputs will have an impact and be reflected in the work plan of the Guild for 2017/18.

Yesterday evening participants for the seminar were arriving in Payerbach with some still to step off the train into the beautiful surroundings of the Austrian mountains later today. Last night the participants began to learn about one another with a short exercise finding out three unique things about other participants (because three is the magic number) which will be revisited throughout the seminar week.

Finding the unique

Finding the unique

Today’s programme will see the participants introduced to the programme, get to know one another some more and then begin with the sessions. The topics for day one will be about mapping reality in the context of young people, non-formal education, youth trainers and building the community of trainers.

Return to the blog later today to follow the journey that the participants go on this week.

Survey results: how do trainers review their performance?

118 trainers from 38 countries

During January 2017, we have conducted an online survey among trainers to identify practices, needs and interests of how trainers review their performance and assess their competences.

The survey gathered 118 answers from trainers coming from more than 38 countries. You can download slides which summarise the main findings based on the survey responses.


Based on the analysis of the survey data, the Guild has furthermore proposed a two-year project called “AppRaiser”, aiming at developing a standardized web-based competence and performance appraisal service for trainers, which will include both 360° external reviews as well as self-assessment tools. Apart from conducting the survey, the concept for this appraisal service has been consulted with a wide range of stakeholders in the international youth work training sector and is developed in line with the European Training Strategy’s competence model for trainers.

The overall aspiration of the project is to raise the quality and impact of youth work by improving and supporting the assessment and development of trainer competences, which is one of the Guild’s main missions.

Should you have more questions or ideas, please do not hesitate contacting us:

We are thankful to the international community of youth work trainers for your contribution!

infogrphic summary of survey results


Discussing the 360

Doing a 360

Revisiting expectations

Beginning the day the participants were asked to split into pairs and revisit their “how successfully did I?” expectations that they created in day one. Each person in the pair took their partner’s expectations and asked a series of questions designed to find out how their partner was progressing against their expectations. This was repeated for each person in the pair with seven minutes given for each.

Following the discussions in pairs Jonathan asked the group to think about what was good about the way their partner questioned and engaged them.

How to build the perfect trio

Next the group were asked to consider the 360 trios where their individual feedback could be discussed and reflected upon. The participants needed to consider what different things should be used as criteria to form a trio but at this stage not to make any specific decisions on what the criteria should be.

The group felt that level of training experience, personal preference, needs of individuals, common trainings or experience together and knowing each other might be criteria for formation. There was also discussion around whether trios could take place online or face to face and whether this might be a factor in formation of them.

It was suggested that there could be a simple matching system, possible using nominations for individuals who you would like to have in your trio, or the opportunity to opt out of the trio you have been assigned.

There was also discussion about the length of time that a trio would form for, would it continue over a year or for some other amount of time. Full members would be asked to volunteer time to take part in trios – and maybe you could be in more than one if you wanted to. Some suggested that one person who knows about the guild and 360 method should be within the trio to ensure that newcomers can easily understand and take part in the system.

Everyone agreed that today should be used as an opportunity to prototype, pilot and then refine both the formation of the trios and the 360 process.

What is feedback?

Next the participants were asked to consider what feedback is for and how this should be thought about in the context of the trios and the 360 process.

They decided that feedback is an opportunity to evaluate, raise awareness, get different perspectives  and make progress and improvement. It can also be a time to challenge your inner critic and your inner laziness.

Jonathan shared the definition that he found for feedback…

Feedback is to raise awareness and to inspire or promote action.

The 360 Process

The 360 Process

The 360 process

Jonathan went on to explain that the 360 process was about getting a range of perspectives from a variety of people who you interact with through your trainings. He broke these down into four categories:

  • Colleagues
  • Consumers
  • Contractors –
  • Collaborators

At this stage the 360 process which is being used does not breakdown those giving feedback into these categories but in the future this is something that could be developed. If this did happen it would be important to get the right amount of people responding in each of these categories, this would need to be four or five of each. Having a high enough number of respondents would enable there to be a meaningful collection of feedback from each category.

Jonathan went on to explain that all of the feedback is totally confidential to the person receiving it and that no third party would see it without that individual choosing to share it. The group discussed the timescales for collecting the 360 feedback, if some is collected at the start of the year and other parts much later some of the competences or techniques used by the trainer may have changed. This could lead to feedback through the process being very varied and not giving a clear picture.

Jumping into a 360 trio

Finally before lunch the participants formed themselves into groups of three and went away to start testing the 360 trio process, sharing and discussing the feedback they have received. When they returned to the group they shared with the whole group how they felt about the experience.

The group felt that it was a very positive experience which was an illuminating way to unpack their feedback. The conversation both helped to consider the feedback which was received but also about techniques about how to positive receive feedback as well. It was observed that while working in the trios it is important that relevant questions are important so maybe there could be some preparatory sessions or a guide to be given to people in advance.

A 360 Trio

A 360 Trio

Unpacking how 360 trios worked

Overall the group felt that the 360 trios were really positive and a good space to have conversations about the feedback they had received. Most people agreed that there was not enough time but it was a good opportunity to start unpacking their feedback.

It was suggested that ahead of the trio time there could be some prep time for participants to help them consider what relevant questions could be and how to dig deeper into feedback.

There was a conversation about getting the balance right for the guild to ensure that the 360 process worked for professional development whilst also remaining a safe community space. While many felt it was comforting to receive positive comments they also recognised that there needs to be challenge within the process.

The group also recognised that there was a need to get a good number of responses to make the process worthwhile. Sometimes people experienced having comments at two opposite ends of the spectrum (one very positive and the other negative) and without other feedback to compare, it is difficult to decide which is more accurate.

All in all the group felt that the trio discussions had helped to bring the 360 feedback to life and dig deeper into it, in order to ask questions of yourself. It was felt that the feedback and the trios should be seen as a good way of raising awareness of things to think about rather than a magic solution to personal development.

Exploring competences

Ahead of the start of the 360 appraisal process the group began to explore competences and how those relate to trainers and the guild.

What is a competence

The participants split into five groups and were asked to explore competences. Each participant was asked to run a short ice breaker activity for their group and afterwards have a group discussion about what competences were needed to facilitate the activity. They then came back together and were asked to put the competences they had identified into six categories…

  • Skills

  • Knowledge

  • Attitudes

  • Experience

  • Values & principles

  • Behaviours

Jonathan also shared with the group one definition of competences with them, acknowledging that this might not be everyone’s definition…

Competence profile comprises everything which characterises the type and content of our professional action and conduct.

What makes a great trainer?

What makes a great trainer?

What makes a great trainer?

The participants began to think about what competences that three types of stakeholder would expect from a good or a great trainer. Jonathan divided participants into three groups and gave them each a stakeholder to think about. These were…

The participants came back together and shared their findings with the whole group. There were a number of competences that the group felt that all of the stakeholders would expect from a great trainer, but some that were specific to one particular stakeholder. Additionally the group explored which competences they felt would be realistic or not.

The group are keen to hear from you about your views on what competences make a great trainer. Leave your comments below to share what you think is important with the group.

Walking and talking with junior and senior

Before lunch the group headed out for a walk and talk, their topic was the question of junior and senior trainers and what the difference might be in relation to the guild. The participants split into smaller groups to walk and talk about the topic.

On returning to the main group they fed back that maybe the terms ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ trainers were not the best and created a sense of division which isn’t helpful. There were also concerns that ‘junior’ trainers might not be able to achieve membership status as they may not have delivered enough trainings to receive references as part of the process to join.

There was a suggestion that ‘junior’ trainers should be able to become associates of the guild and be supported with development by full members in a circular process but further thought needed to be given to how exactly this would work.

Input, process and output

Input, process and output

Simple systems

Next the group moved on to explore simple systems and the inputs, process and outputs that are expected as part of delivering a training. Jonathan first asked the participants to say what the felt the outcomes from a successful training would be, then the inputs and finally the process that would convert the inputs into outputs.

Finally the group discussed that the process part is where the competences are and that all of the words in this section were verbs – indicating that they are active things that trainers need to do in order to get the outputs they are hoping for.

Creating the guild competences

The participants split into three groups to start exploring what the competences for the guild might be. Jonathan shared with them a variety of other competence lists including ETS and Trace which could be used as a basis for defining their own for the guild.

Competences for guild trainers

Competences for guild trainers

After a period of discussion the group came back together to present what they had found with most agreeing on a set developed by one of the group. During the evening a small group refined this and incorporated feedback in order to agree a draft set of competences. These are…

  1. Ability to facilitate individual and group learning processes.
  2. Promoting the values of learning to learn.
  3. Ability to design educational programmes.
  4. Ability to effectively cooperate with a variety of people related to training.
  5. Ability to purposefully facilitate meaningful communication with and between others.
  6. Ability to embrace and promote diversity, sensitivity, social justice and inclusion.
  7. Experience and/or specialism in working with young people.
  8. Curiosity and ability to understand yourself and a desire to actively pursue your personal/professional development.

It was agreed that these competences should be underpinned by the guild code of ethics which is still to be developed and that within each there may be a series of subsections which would include additional information. You can comment on the proposed competences on the Google document here.

If that is the competence then what is the question?

Finally the group spent some time considering what the most appropriate questions and measure would be for each of the competences. Jonathan asked the participants to suggest a measure for a competence of their choice and then give an example of what the question might be. This exercise was designed to explore what questions might be asked as part of a new 360 appraisal based on the guild trainer competences developed in the previous session.

If that is the competence then what is the question?

If that is the competence then what is the question?

Some of the questions and answers included…

  • Q: How effectively are you aware of people’s personal space?
    A: 1-6 seconds hugging with a partner
  • Q: When was the last time you asked for help from a colleague?
    A: Place yourself on a relative scale, one end is the start of your career and the other end is now
  • Q: How much did [name] seem interested in your life interests?
    A: Open question
  • Q: Could you name two or three moments when [name] has tried to understand you?
    A: Open question
  • Q: To what extend is [name] curious to understand his/herself and what is your evidence to support that?
    A: Open question
  • Q: How authentic is [name] in relation to the guild values?
    A: Open question

Following on from the exercise the group discussed the 360 in more detail thinking about how the learning trios could explore more personal questions and unpack feedback in more detail. It was agreed that this would need to be a safe space where members felt comfortable and that their 360 feedback would only be shared with the recipient unless they chose to share it in the learning trios.

It was also acknowledged that the 360 should be promoted as a benefit and a tool for personal development, not a requirement. It should be an encouraging space which fosters a sense of trust and opens up critical dialogue. It also shouldn’t affect a person’s membership of the guild but rather give direction to their own personal development priorities.

Next the group will pilot the 360 process with the learning trios. Don’t forget to follow the blog to continue on the IYWT journey and leave comments with your views so they can be fed back to the group here.

East Clare Golf Village

Reconnecting, culture and the learning path

On Thursday evening participants arrived in Ireland from twenty two countries for the next stage of the IYWT guild process. This week’s seminar is focusing on the piloting of the 360 appraisal system which was decided on at the Budapest meeting back in 2014. Also built in the programme is some time for ‘guild business’ which will take place at the end of the seminar, in order to continue to push the development of the guild along.

This participants are joined this time by Jonathan Bowyer who will facilitate the seminar and the 360 process and me [Duncan Hodgson] who will be digitally reporting on the process through the blog.

The participants

The participants

Revisiting the culture

To begin the seminar yesterday morning the participants came together to discuss what kind of culture they want within the guild. Even though this is a subject which has been discussed at length at previous meetings it was felt that it was important to spend time revisiting it in order that those new to the guild process would be as comfortable as the participants who had been involved in previous seminars. There was also a recognition that the culture of the guild would need to be refined continually until it is in a place that is suitable to be fixed.

The participants felt that…

The guild should have a culture of inclusivity, honesty and trust, where sharing and helping is the norm, giving a space for people to grow. It should be a supportive, learning space where it is safe to fail. A community which cares, like a family of collaborators – ‘partners in crime’ some might say.  The guild would be joyful and fun, where everyone is equal and members are empowered and united. It should be meeting need, with the power to make change including professional, dynamic, inspirational and diverse people.

The guild is growing roots, becoming visible and improving all the time. Over time it will develop a reputation for quality, advocacy and strong communication – and it will be relevant to the profession. It might be [EU] funded and it will be recognised.

Following the discussion Jonathan shared a quote from Peter Drucker relevant to the conversation, and stressed the importance of developing a strong sense of culture within the guild at this stage:

Culture eats strategy for breakfast every day.

How close are you?

How close are you?

How close are you?

Next the group began to explore how close to the guild they felt. Jonathan put a vase of flowers in the centre of the room representing the guild and asked the participants to position themselves nearer to the vase if they felt very connected to the guild and further away if they didn’t.

Participants who had attended the previous meetings in Ireland and Budapest tended to be very close to the vase, with newcomers further away. The group then formed small groups with a mixture of those who felt close to the guild and those who didn’t. They had small discussions about the history of the guild to date and explored and questions that they had about it, sharing information to bring everyone to the same place.

Finally the group split into two larger groups, one made up of people who felt close to the guild and one of those that didn’t. In the groups each participant shared one piece of learning that they had discovered in their small group discussions.

In conversation

In conversation

You can read the learning that the group who felt close to the guild here.

How successfully did I…?

Next the participants spent some time thinking about their expectations for this week’s seminar. Each person wrote a serious a points to follow “how successfully did I” and discuss with another member of the group to help everyone get an understanding of each others measures of success. The group then stuck them up on the wall and were invited to browse them and ask each other questions if they wanted to know more.

Creating the path

Creating the path

The path to becoming a trainer

After lunch Jonathan asked the participants to think about their path which brought them to where they are today as a trainer. Thinking about pivotal moments, people or experiences that have influenced their journeys in the past.

Each participant created their our trainer path visually and then split into small groups to share their stories with each other. Finally the group came back together and shared some of the common themes which ran through.

The group agreed that often they began as a youth, progressed to youth worker and finally youth work trainer – as though paying it forward for an experience they have had themselves. Through their lives there may have been triggers which ignited a passion for working with young people, with an ideology, where the more you work on it the more it grows. It can be to do with a feeling of fighting for social justice and a way of changing things that are happening to create a better future. Many of the participants have worked in different roles (formal, non formal etc) and that has enriched them for the better. Some had a feeling of being unsatisfied serving an institution, but there is also a recognition that it can be lonely being a freelancer. They don’t just do it because it is a profession and there is importance in teamwork and chemistry between colleagues.

Experiential learning

Jonathan referenced Kolb’s Learning Cycle and explained that all the things that have taken place through the participants paths to becoming a trainer. All of these events and experiences are examples of experiential and observational learning which has influenced them becoming the trainer that they are today.

Next the group will begin to explore competences – follow the blog to find out more.

Launch of the Guild!

«One day to go and 2015 will be over! What a busy year, never flew so many miles before … But definitely, among the many new experiences, good and bad ones, what will mark 2015 as a special year is recent history, very recent: I’m talking of the official (and colorful) launch of  episode VII of Star Wars the IYWT Guild on the 10th of December, during the Tool Fair X (henceforth “TFX”) in Budapest. 


proudly presenting the Guild’s market stall

Sure, since then almost 3 weeks have gone by, but I really had time to fully ponder on the scope of the event only during these recent days off, in a remote valley of the South Tyrol’s Alps, where the total absence of snow leaves me with enough time to relax and reflect. The TFX felt special since even before it started: so many of us “guildsmen” had booked their participation, and expectations were pretty high. Posts in the facebook page of the IYWT reflected the thirst for new developments in the path to a fully operational guild and the electricity was visible among our friends in the hallways of the European Youth Center Budapest, the venue of the TFX. I was not so directly involved in preparing the launch, unfortunately, taken that I was in my double role of Tool Fair webmaster and facilitator of a wonderful team of young photographers from the Creative Facilitation Training linked to the TFX. But it was impossible not to notice the excitement among the IYWT people and the long IYWT preparation meetings taking place in Buzz’s room on the third floor (until rather late at night). And all these fruits and vegetables, and “guild” notes to spend … it all felt as a strange mix of marketing and secret flash-mob planning!


attracting customers, uh, we mean of course “members”

Everybody at the TFX knew something was going to happen and it surely lead to even greater expectations and curiosity. The choice to launch our Guild at the “marketplace” of the Tool Fair has been a definitely winning one: lots of friends and colleagues from all over Europe and beyond; a perfect metaphorical setting; the real look and feel of a true market fruit&vegetables stall; the enthusiasm of the team that planned it all… People finally started to formally enroll in the Guild and as a present from “above” we even got (few hours later) our “360°” project in Ireland approved for better welcoming all the new members.


the fruits and vegetables of action!

It finally seemed that the puzzle pieces of our long walk were all fitting together to build the right picture! Well, almost all pieces… Running here and there I missed the final sparkling toast, but I must say that I already love the feeling of belonging to a group filled with solidarity: a glass of brut was kept aside also for me! Now it’s only up to us to fulfill all the amazing expectations arousing from such a special day, but from the looks of the TFX marketplace launch, I think optimism is definitely the right attitude! Have an happy new year, dear trainers, and may 2016 be the first of many great years for our Guild! (Oops, I was almost wishing “may the Force be with us!”)»

Jan Lai



happy birthday!


Newly established core group

Formation of the core group

Following the two checkpoint sessions it was identified that the core group should be established to be responsible for co-ordinating the next steps for the network following this meeting. Several participants put their names forward and all the participants had the opportunity to vote to agree the core group nominations as a whole. Twenty of the participants voted to accept the nominations and one abstained from voting.

The newly formed core group is made up of…

  • Sabrina Apitz
  • Buzz Bury
  • Zora Csalagovits
  • Mieke Nevan
  • Natalia Nikitina
  • Yuliya Stankevich
  • Marcus Vrecer

As previously stated the core group may not necessarily be responsible for implementing all of the actions but will act as a co-ordinating body to keep the network moving towards it’s goals.

It was also clear that the members of the core group may change as has been agreed in the organisational structure group through elections at the annual assembly meeting.

The group are now working to identify actions for the task specific working groups and establish who will be responsible for working on them.

Jigsaw working groups – check in two

At the end of yesterday the participants came back together for their second check point to share their discussions with the wider group. Further ideas had developed since the first check point with some groups having firmer outcomes from their discussions.

Naming the network

The communications and marketing group had created a number of suggestions for the name for the network. They shared their first thoughts with the group and asked for other ideas from the wider group. The shortlist of names included…

  • IYWT (International Youth Work Trainers)
  • Fortuna Network (Named after the boat that the group is staying on)
  • TNT14 (Trainers Network for Trainers)
  • Carrot (Community of Active Responsible Reliable Optimistic Trainers)

The group agreed that they would ask the wider group and the virtual group for more thoughts on the name of the network and voting to decide would take place today.

Communicating at the checkpoint

Communicating at the checkpoint

Communications and marketing

The group had worked further on the definition and had two final statements that were agreed to define who ‘we’ are and what we do.

Who ‘we’ are…

An independent supportive community of trainers in the youth work sector that advocates on behalf of and contributes to each other’s professional development.

What we do…

Members aim to ensure defined quality standards in delivery of training activities. The network endeavors to have a positive impact on Youth Policy and non-formal education as part of life-long learning at all levels within Europe and neighboring regions. It will do this  by communicating recommendations to decision makers and advocating on behalf of its members.

They had also done some stakeholder mapping to establish who needs to communicated to both internally and externally. There was a lot of discussion about the consultation process following on from this week’s session in Budapest. It was agreed by the wider group after the discussion that after decisions have been made here thee should be some targeted consultation with specific stakeholders and participants from the Ireland session.

In discussion on membership

In discussion on membership

Membership & values

The membership had worked a lot on the process for becoming a member and lots of discussion had taken place on how to balance the need for quality and transparency, plus keep the process practical. The group had formed two levels to the membership process…

  1. Entry level / joining the network – there should be a short questionnaire completed by new members which would be based on the members passion pledge. This would be a self assessment in which you share your learning pathway to how you became a trainer and would ask for two references related to trainings that have been delivered.
  2. Maintenance level / continuous development – all members should take part in a 360 assessment with a trio of peers. This would take place either at the annual meeting of the network or virtually if the member cannot attend in person. The 360 assessment would be designed to promote quality and encourage professional development. The group were not yet clear on what would happen if someone didn’t meet the criteria.

It was stressed by the membership group that the levels and assessment system were designed to encourage professional development and learning rather than to be intrusive. Members should join with this in mind and this would signal their commitment to challenge their practise and be challenged by others. The group felt it was important that the system is open and progressive, supporting people’s learning processes.

It was proposed by the membership group that the process for membership should be refined and all participants in the Budapest and Ireland meetings should go through the process. This would give an opportunity to test and refine the membership process and ensure quality for the formation of the network.

Organisational structure

Organisational structure

Organisational structure

The group had decided that a core group was necessary but that it should not be made up of members from sub groups and rather by focused on keeping the network moving and not being distracted by specific theme specific tasks. The group proposed that the core group be made up of seven members who are rotated on a regular (annually and bi-annually), there would also be the possibility to have external experts who can be consulted at special meetings. In addition to this there was a suggestion that two external experts should be engaged to act as critical friend to the core group.

Sub groups should be able to be formed as required and will be driven by need or want to investigate a particular topic or area of work. Members have the option to form a sub group if they have a passion for something in particular, they can propose it to the network and see if other members are interested, giving the chance to create grassroots initiatives from within.

The group had also created an extensive task list for the core group to complete in order to form the network. This was divided into sections and would need to delegate to sub groups as appropriate to avoid becoming overloaded. The core group should be formed before the end of the Budapest sessions and should bear in mind what has gone before in Ireland and try to keep the expertise already available.

Events and activities

Events and activities

Events and activities

The group had been working in consultation with the sustainability, communication and structure team groups throughout the process. They felt that there should be a meeting for the core group and an annual meeting or assembly next year, this would require thought to be given to funding these activities.

In addition to this there could be two specific trainings next year on particular topics, these would not be the responsibility of the core group to organise but may be handled by a sub group. Again there will need to be grants sourced to fund these activities and it is not essential that these take place.

There were also a number of questions which still need to be answered around the events and activities programme for the network. These discussions would carry on tomorrow and would bear in mind the results of the short questionnaire created by this group to consult on the events and activities programme.

Talking sustainability

Talking sustainability


The sustainability group felt that there were a number of immediate priorities which need to be covered including opening a bank account, creating a list of funding which could be sought, Crowdfunding internally and creation of the website. The group suggested that everyone here in Budapest could donate 10 Euros to the network to put some cash in the pot initially which could be used for things such as creating the website.

The group shared a draft strategy for grants including the two key actions from Erasmus+. These would need applications to be submitted in early 2015 so work would need to begin on these soon. Council of Europe and European Youth Foundation may also have funds which could support the network. Additionally there should be a list of other foundations who may have funds which could be applied for.

There was also a suggestion that there could be participation fees for trainings or meetings, or alternatively a contribution towards travel costs. The wider group did feel strongly that cost should not exclude anyone so there was a discussion about voluntary contributions to participate. It was clear that further discussion around this would be required to reach consensus.

Feed in your views

As always the group here in Budapest are keen to hear from the wider virtual group so please comment with your views or post in the Facebook group.

Jigsaw groups

Jigsaw working groups – check in one

The working groups came back together after lunch to feedback on their discussions to the whole group. Some had made more progress than others with initial ideas beginning to form and some concrete outputs and statements.

Values and membership

The group had had some early thoughts about values but felt that these would be a thing that continues to form. General themes emerging were around quality standards, a willingness to grow (to get challenged and receive feedback), passion, commitment, transparency and an aim to achieve long term effects.

Values & membership

Values & membership

The group had created “members passion pledge” which is…

  • promote the value and defend the practise of youth work
  • to be a champion of innovation and non formal education
  • deliver quality in personal, social and civic development of young people through training
  • promote professional development of those who work with young people
  • to grow the professional practise and identity of international youth work trainers

This afternoon the group intend to look at narrowing the values list to create a membership profile, establishing the conditions of joining and membership of the network.

Organisational structure

The group working on organisational structure had agreed that a core group should be established with sub groups that would be flexible and could be established or removed dependant on the needs of the network. Representatives from each sub group would make up the core group and there may also be others specifically responsible for administration in a voluntary capacity.

They also explained that there was a task list for the core group being developed which would set out clear actions for the future. It was also felt that the word network was the right term but in the future that could change.

Events & activities

Events & activities

Events & activities

The group had revisited the questionnaire which was completed by the wider group and also the needs flip chart produced in Ireland earlier in the year. They felt that there should be a clear commitment to establishing a website by the end of the year. There was also an immediate need to apply for a further grant to meet again in the near future, maybe early 2015.

They suggested that there should be at least one large meeting per year in the same style as the meeting in Ireland and this one in Budapest. There was also the possibility of regional meetings which could have a thematic element to cover specific topics which are identified by the needs of network members. An action plan should be produced to forward plan events and activities which could work across three levels…

  1. Local / Regional Level (Physical)
  2. Internal (Physical)
  3. Virtual / Online Meetings

A small questionnaire has also been created by the group to gather views on event topics which should be considered as part of the forward planned programme. It should be completed by 3pm (Hungarian time) today so be quick if you would like to feed your views into the process.

The group also stressed importance of sharing knowledge internally within the network to build skills to the benefit of the network. This could be through funded or unfunded work. The network will also promote training and events from other other organisations or networks internally.

There should also be an annual survey of needs to identify future developments and following the results a stakeholder event should be held to share findings and move forward.

There was also a suggestion from the wider group that “swarms” of network members could take place in advance of other trainings or events taking place elsewhere which members were attending. This would give an opportunity for members to meet without the need for specific and/or funded events.

Communications & marketing

Communications & marketing

Communications & marketing

The group had revisited the definition which was created in Ireland earlier in the year and refined it following the discussions yesterday. Following further consultation with the group here in Budapest it will be shared tonight for comment from the wider virtual group.

They had also established a number of unique selling points which would set the network apart from others (eg: SALTO etc)…

  • independent (financially in the long term)
  • the network can be a home for trainers (providing space and time to meet and discuss)
  • creating a identity for trainers
  • bigger than other networks
  • providing a voice for the sector
  • mapping the sector
  • space to discuss tools and feedback on creation of new tools
  • focusing on trainers and trainers issues

The group had agreed that the website should be simple including static information and a news page. They felt that communication should be inclusive not just limited to Facebook and that a monthly newsletter could be an option. This did however need to be participatory and the possibility of members being able to include their own content should be a possibility. There needed to be further discussion and clarity around who would be responsible for co-ordinating this.

Two documents also were identified as needing to be produced which were a list of members and the concrete benefits of membership (led by the identified needs).


The group working on sustainability had focused on several areas within that would be required to support the longevity of the network…

  1. Grant funding
  2. Additional fundraising and monetization
  3. Human resources – number of members, co-ordinators and external experts (such as website specialists etc)
  4. Evolution of the network – it shouldn’t be static and should be responsive to members needs
  5. Outcomes – websites, resources etc
  6. Connections with decision makers and stakeholders
Timeline to the network

Timeline to the network

Initially the group had decided to focus on the money elements of the areas for sustainability. They felt that in the short term there would not be financial independence and that at least two grants per year should be aimed for, one to fund a network meeting and the other to be a more content based event. The need to look a diverse funding sources was mentioned so that there are not limitations such as those through Erasmus+.

Other income sources to compliment the grants could include…

  • Membership fees – the group felt it was good idea to have fees but were looking to the other groups to establish process around fees. There was also a need to be clear on what the offer and benefits for members are before the network can ask for fees.
  • Crowdfunding – this can be both offline and online.
  • Produce online workshops or training packages. Make it a private area of the website so that you have to pay additionally for it to generate income.
  • Social entrepreneurship – the network could produce t-shirts, postcards and other merchandise.
  • Contributions from training funding – members who submit applications to run trainings could contribute a small amount to the network out of the grant.

The group were still in the process of discussing whether there should be paid or voluntary roles to co-ordinate the network. There was also a need to establish what the minimum requirements are for the network and then it can grow as required.

Contribution of voluntary working hours is essential, especially in the next two years. It is also important to have informal time to strengthen relationships between network members within whatever programme is designed. The group also spent some time talking about motivation and how to continue to keep the core team engaged. It was clear that people need to know what they are contributing their time for.

The group went on to say that they would be spending the afternoon looking at a draft budget for the network for the next year bearing in mind the discussions in the other groups.

Feed in your views

As always the group here in Budapest are keen to hear from the wider virtual group so please comment with your views or post in the Facebook group.

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