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.

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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

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).

Sustainability

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.

Jigsaw working groups

Working groups to create the strategy

For the rest of today the participants here in Budapest will be working in smaller groups on the five areas of work identified in yesterday’s session.

They’ll be putting together actions to move their area of work forward based on the qualities and considerations from other networks. They need to hear from you on what your thoughts might be in addition to the ones on the flip charts below.

Over the coming hours the groups may post voting questions on the Facebook group to gather views from the wider (virtual) group of trainers.

Fitting the ‘strategy jigsaw’ together

At different points throughout the day the groups will be having checkpoints to find out where other working groups are up to and ensure that the pieces of the strategy jigsaw are going to come together. I’ll be providing updates at each checkpoint and feeding back any views from online.

The strategy will then be put together on a timeline for the next 12 months in terms of short term objectives but also keeping in mind the longer term.

Measures for success

Qualities from other networks and top measures for success

Yesterday afternoon the participants broke into smaller groups to think about the other networks they are involved in and what things work well and the things that should be avoided in the creation of the IYWT network. The groups thought about it in five areas…

  • Organisational structure
  • Communication
  • Member ‘selection’ / decision making
  • Events and activities
  • Sustainability

What works well

The participant came back together and fed back their things that worked well to the wider group to create a list of qualities grouped by area that would be good for the network. You can view the lists below…

The group would love to hear from you with any things you think should be considered and any responses will be fed back into the process here in Budapest.

Top measures for success

The group also voted on their measures for success to create a list of the top priorities which should be a focus for the development of the network over the next 12 months. These of course are able to be changed by the network in due course but are to be a basis for activity over the coming days and months.

Voting for success

Voting for success

The top measures for success after the voting were…

  1. Recognised by trainers and other stakeholders
  2. Defined quality standards for trainers
  3. Voice and representation body
  4. Members feel a sense of belonging
  5. Supports trainers
  6. Joint action
  7. Creating methodology
Exploring who 'we' are

Revisiting who ‘we’ are as a network

This afternoon the group has been revisiting the question or who ‘we’ are and what the measures of success might be for the network. Breaking into groups the participants had discussion before and after lunch, coming back together to feedback to the wider group and create a list to work from.

Gallery of who ‘we’ are and what the measures of success should be…

The definition from Ireland

The definition from Ireland

Who are ‘we’?

The group formed a list of who ‘we’ are as a network including…

  • Practitioners
  • Facilitation
  • International
  • Trainers / in youth work / expertise
  • Own experience of non formal education
  • Need to look out
  • Commitment / passion for work
  • Working with young people
  • Erasmus+
  • International work
  • Networked
  • Local level
  • NGOs
  • Shared values (practical level?)
  • Link to youth work policy
Debating the definition

Debating the definition

The list compared to the definition

After this the group compared the newly created list with the definition which was created in Ireland earlier in the year. They felt that the definition and the new list had synergy and generally covered the same points. Some debate about the length and complexity of the definition followed and it was agreed to separate some of the operational elements from the definition to form a set of objectives. Tomorrow a sub group working on communication (both internal and external) will work to refine the definition and the functional objectives which will underpin it.

Moving on to measures of success

Following the discussions about who ‘we’ are as a network the group moved on to look at the list of measures of success created this morning. Each participant had six votes in order to create a short list of the top priorities for measures of success for the network. Later today we’ll be sharing again to let you know the top priorities that the group selected through the voting process.

The story of the network so far

This morning the participants have been coming together to bond as a group and to share the story of the network so far.

Being aware of yourself

The morning started with a short exercise to encourage participants to be self aware in the process. In small groups and before introductions participants shared one initial impression or projection about everyone else in their group. Everyone spent a little time reflecting on the projections that other people had of them and were asked to be aware of themselves in the process. We considered the positive projects that would be helpful and aid the process, and also the ones that might not contribute.

Creating the story of the network

Creating the story of the network

Telling the story of the network

The group were asked to create and share the story of the network so far in a variety of different forms from a fairytale to a tabloid cover, a song and a pantomime. Throughout the stories (which were as brilliant as they were creative) several themes emerged…

  • Too many leaders but no leadership – in the previous meeting in Ireland there were many participants trying to lead the process but no clear leadership emerged.
  • Dreaming to create the network – trainers came together because they had a vision or dream to create the network so there is a need to invest themselves in the process.
  • Participation to be inclusive – from the outset everyone involved has wanted to be super inclusive and bring in views from the wider pool of trainers but there is a recognition that this is not easy.
  • Balancing outcomes and objectives with relationships – a large amount of time was spent working on relationships at the meeting in Ireland and as a result strategy and outcomes were not as concrete. This time round the group need to concentrate on the process.

Gallery of network stories…

The process

The process

Entering the process with freedoms

The group spent some time talking about what freedoms they would grant themselves within the process and the timetable for the next few days.

The objectives to come out of the coming days are to…

  • Create the network strategy
  • Design a consultation process for wider involvement

The rest of this morning’s session is to be spent on bonding and building connections further and then this afternoon will be looking at learning from other networks and finalising the vision and objectives from the International Youth Work Trainers network.

Share your thoughts

As always the group here in Budapest are keen to hear from trainers from the wider group so be sure to comment on the blog with your thoughts or post in the Facebook group.