The final day of the International Youth Work Trainers group meeting saw the morning taken up with planting the seed for the network and thinking about who ‘we’ as a group are with some fantastic results. During the afternoon the group continued with their parallel sessions to begin shaping the collective vision and culture for the network.
A collective vision for support and quality
One of the parallel groups after much discussion came up with a short summary to summarise their shared vision for the network…
A supportive community of trainers in [the] youth work [sector] whose members contribute to each others’ professional development. The members fulfil the quality standards set by the network and are committed to deliver high quality training activities. The network has a positive impact on youth policy in Europe and non-formal education by communicating trainers’ recommendations to decision makers and advocating on behalf of it’s members.
The group felt that more discussion was needed about whether the network was purely looking to influence youth policy in Europe, or whether it was also a place for providing collective input into youth policy at a national and global level as well.
Culture for growth and diversity
The group working on organisational culture envisaged membership through an open door but based on criteria to give structure but give opportunities for new trainers to gain entry, with the chance to the culture to grow and develop organically. They considered the ideas for decision making and establishing strong communications channels, though were clear on the need for further discussion on this topic to ensure an inclusive and diverse network.
Where to from here?
Nearing the end of the week on Thursday afternoon the group came together for one of the final sessions to start forming their next steps for the network. It was agreed that a small co-ordination group for the next development phase made up of Zora, Marcus, Koen, Onni, Mieke and Pavle would be responsible for pushing the network forward and submitting a bid to the April deadline of Erasmus+, with a view to another development meeting around October 2014. They would also have support from a second group who would act as a sounding board and give additional input around funding opportunities and the like.
An emotional journey
This week has been a challenging process for the participants and a great deal of learning for all to ensure that while building the foundations for a strong and resilient network, we consider the emotions of the people in the room who are putting themselves into the process with heart and soul.
Over the course of this week I have been very privileged to be invited along on the journey with the international youth work trainers group as they begin to form the network. What they are trying to achieve is an ambitious task but one that could reap great rewards, promoting high quality youth work training while also providing a communal space for shared learning and development on an international stage.
This week has been a challenging process for the participants and there has been a great deal of learning for all. While moving forward with building the foundations for a strong and resilient network, there was a recognition that considering the emotions of the people in the room who are putting themselves into the process with heart and soul is key.
As always the group are keen to keep involving the wider community and would love to hear your thoughts and reflections from across the week – and your ideas going forward. All the thoughts and ideas coming out of this first week are a starting point for a broader conversation that will continue to develop the network and nothing is yet set in stone.
More details about the next meeting of the group and ways you can get involved will be posted on this blog in the future, along with additional resources and video extracts from this first development week.