- Publication date
- 7 July 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs
On 24-25 May 2022, the RAN YOUNG Platform convened 25 of its members in Athens (Greece). This meeting was the latest in RAN Practitioners’ ongoing effort to engage with young actors in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and empower them to advance themselves and the future of the field across Europe. Working in mixed groups representing 14 countries, the young practitioners learned a process for strategic project planning and put it into action by planning an initiative to address a specific issue in P/CVE.
This conclusion paper will 1) outline the process shared during this meeting as example for those who wish to engage young people in P/CVE project brainstorms, 2) present the shared the outcomes of the youths’ project ideas and 3) a set of recommendations for practitioners who hope to engage and empower young people in P/CVE in a similar way.
In short, these recommendations are:
- Let young people learn by doing: enable youth to directly apply the knowledge and skills you impart throughout a project brainstorm with/by young people. Practically, this makes it more engaging and can lead to interesting outcomes that one could action as a follow-up (such as the project plans that emerged from this event). It also creates space for participants to engage with the material critically and test their understanding, which can enhance learning and retention.
- Collaborate: create space for a team to collaborate towards a shared goal in which everyone is equal and everyone has space to contribute. This leads to richer, more creative outcomes and an authentic interchange between participants. Find ways to incorporate networking and collaboration into every activity, both within established groups and beyond them.
- Sanction creativity as the norm: Practitioners in P/CVE hail young people for their creativity; however, creativity must be nurtured. Young practitioners, especially those with some experience in formal organisations or offices, are often drawn to established P/CVE practices. Encourage them to break with the norm and push the boundaries on how, where and with whom they seek solutions.
- Keep it focused: P/CVE is a vast field and seeking solutions can be overwhelming. Help young people find a clear focus and build good practice for working in targeted and strategic ways.
- Let youth lead: To keep it focused, you must have a clear plan for how the event should operate, but be mindful it is not so rigid that it stifles youth leadership. Approach your agenda as a framework: set clear goals and offer structured guidance but retain space and flexibility to allow young people to have ownership.