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.
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.
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
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…
- Local / Regional Level (Physical)
- Internal (Physical)
- 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
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…
- Grant funding
- Additional fundraising and monetization
- Human resources – number of members, co-ordinators and external experts (such as website specialists etc)
- Evolution of the network – it shouldn’t be static and should be responsive to members needs
- Outcomes – websites, resources etc
- Connections with decision makers and stakeholders
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.