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Engaging young people on their views of the future – and motivations for making a change in their communities
Friday, June 18th, 2010

Lots of people are worried about young people these days; why they vote less and appear less socially and politically engaged.

But, instead of just studying youth, Ascentum is part of an exciting community-level project to actively engage young people, as well as the rest of their communities, in dialogues and action about their confidence in learning and on how they want to make a difference in their neighbourhood, city, country or world.

The project is led by the Canadian Education Association, which has partnered with five Social Planning Councils, as well as Ascentum, to conduct a yearlong public engagement initiative pilot project in Ontario.  Each Social Planning Council involved is conducting its own face-to-face dialogues, tied together with a broader online process being designed by us.  The aim is to encourage dialogue, inspire action and collect data to inform education policy decisions.

We’re really excited to be involved and for the chance to work with both CEA and the Councils.  They both really “get” public participation and share Ascentum’s philosophy that it leads to more sustainable decisions.  The Association has been around since 1891 and works to foster national dialogue on education policy and how it can contribute to a better Canada.  Social Planning Councils are truly pioneers in public involvement.  Their missions are to create civic societies in their local communities, which they foster through capacity building, education, advocacy and engagement, and they have been experimenting in public involvement for many years.  The Social Planning Councils involved in the project are:

We are looking forward to working with and learning from them as the project unfolds!

We’ll keep you updated over the next few months with sneak peaks and news…

– Ellis Westwood –

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