Background: Social change does not occur by accident and it can never happen without the equal participation of the youth of the local community. It requires dedication, courage, and societal commitment. And to effectively realize our transformation prospects for our societies, we have to be able to apply several tools such as advocacy, activism, campaigning, and lobbying. These are the necessary instruments to tackle not only the existing challenges, but also any other emerging ones. Therefore, the youth has to be ready at all times to tackle unprecedented challenges to avoid or mitigate their negative repercussions. However, ‘how do we prepare for something that we do not know is coming?’ This training was an attempted intervention to answer to this daunting question. The Programme provided the participants with advanced social skills such as public speaking, research, policy development, and negotiation. Together these skills can help youths to better communicate and achieve the goals of their group or community. No matter if it is a social, economic, political or educational issue, these skills are applicable to any field and they can help youths to develop new perspectives and shape new policies.
Learning experience: This Programme was designed based on the needs and issues of youths by considering their learning needs and their time constraints due to academia and other commitments. Therefore, the Programme was very flexible and helped 28 participants to learn and develop. The Programme consisted of two complementary parts. The first part was 5 practical workshops. Each workshop was one day long and they were organized on five weekends in November 2021 and January 2022. This was followed by the second part of the Programme, which was a 3-day event titled "Democratic Institutions Model Conference" from 30. January to 1. February 2022. The conference offered an outstanding opportunity to apply and use the skills that the youth participants learned in the previous five workshops. This conference had a thematic focus on Digital Rights and Digital Privacy and Cybersecurity and its goal was to reach a "resolution" document combining the taken decisions made through the discussions and debates among all participants. Through the methods of Democratic Participation and Structured Dialogue, the participants learned how to engage in political debates; but more significantly, how to shape viable and innovative policies. Finally, the Programme concluded by a farewell event afterwards. This event included an open discussion with two political guests and then the Graduation Ceremony for all participants.
This training took place in Vienna, Austria for young leaders between 20 and 30 years old who are based in Austria (both citizens and residents) with at least an English level of B1 and who were eager to learn new skills, methods and tools to improve their civic participation and policymaking capacities and to better engage in the civic society. Teamwork, cooperation and democratic participation and structured dialogue were the core principles shared by all participants. The training was free of charge. It was financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe. Thanks to this generous fund, we covered all the costs for the training, materials, content, meals, breaks, and transportation. For successful participation, the participants had to first fill in an application form to apply, then commit to at least 80% of the training program, sign the learning agreement, and implement the follow-up initiatives.
ou live in Vienna (citizens, non-citizens, and residents),
- you are between 18 and 30 years old,
- you can commit to participating in at least 80% of the Programme,
- you can communicate in English (B1+ level is enough),
- you wish to learn new skills, methods, and tools,
- you wish to improve your policy-shaping capacities,
- you can cooperate and work with others in a team, - you would like to build new friendships.
* Please be aware that you do not need to have any previous experience to be able to apply and participate in this program. It is our mission to provide you with the first learning opportunity which can help you to learn, improve and be ready for bigger challenges.
How much does it cost?
- The whole Programme is for free.
- The training, materials, meals, coffee and refreshing breaks are covered.
- It is financed by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.
- You should attend at least 80% of the Programme.
- So, you can miss max 1.5 days of the 8 days.
- You should fill in this application form before Sunday 31.October.2021, 11 pm. - You should sign the participation agreement within three days, once selected.
- You should transfer a deposit of 100 Euros to confirm your participation.
- You will receive the whole deposit back after the end of the Programme.
- This deposit is for ensuring the commitment of the participants to reduce undue dropouts and to make sure that all places are filled.
- Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis!
- We apply the "first come, first serve" concept.
- The exact location will be communicated per email when selected. - An info package including all necessary details about the location, agenda etc. will be emailed to you once accepted as a participant.
Dates and times?
First part - workshops:
- Saturday, 06. November 2021 (9 am to 6 pm).
- Saturday, 13. November 2021 (9 am to 6 pm).
- Saturday, 20. November 2021 (9 am to 6 pm).
- Saturday, 27. November 2021 (9 am to 6 pm).
Second part - Democratic Institutions Model Conference:
- Thursday, 10. February to Saturday, 12. February 2022 (9 am to 6 pm).
- This date is to be confirmed with the selected participants.
- Alternatively, we may organize the conference from 29 to 31 January 2022.
End - Graduation & Follow-up:
- One Saturday to be confirmed (9am to 6pm).
- This date is to be confirmed with the selected participants.
Recognition? - All participants will receive two certificates of participation.
- One certificate is for the whole Programme and one certificate for the Conference
Further benefits? - Selected participants in this Programme will have the priority to participate in our future international trainings abroad.