Our rationale:

Youth participation and empowerment is central to our work, with a particular focus on disenfranchised youth groups and communities. In many instances we still encounter ideas about youth participation which correspond, at best, to tokenism – or practices where youth participation is monopolised by seemingly representative but often exclusive youth structures. It remains crucial to inform about, advocate for and strengthen meaningful involvement of young people across all policy domains and structures.

Two examples:

(1) Over the years, we have collected information on and traced the origins of different models, schemata and theories of (youth) participation, including classics like the ladder of participation. A reader with some of these models with their original imagery and, in excerpt, original introductions and explanations, we prepared and made available under a creative commons license in 2011.

(2) We contributed to the development of pilot training courses on youth participation that brought together civil servants and public administrators with young people and youth leaders. These 50-50 training courses are still run to this day with great success – the first edition was conceptualised back in 1998.

Further reading:
  • Participation models: citizens, youth, online. » 2011, pdf, 12 MB.
    A potpourri of participation models.
  • Meeting citizens half-way? Different Models and Concepts of Participation. » 2011, pdf, 15 MB.
    Book chapter for the Böll Foundation.
  • Integration and participation of young people at local and regional level. » 2008, pdf, 4 MB.
    Policy report for the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.
  • Towards a common culture of co-operation. » 2007, pdf, 3 MB.
    Publication for the Centre Français de Berlin.

Featured image by Maureen Schröter at youthmedia.eu.