Tell us what you found out - what were people's experiences, views or ideas for change?The process required bringing the present board members (all adults) to a space where they were interested and happy to bring in 6 younger Board Members to share decision making and power in matters pertaining to the Foundation. In order to create trust and openness between these two groups, we brought them together for a joint planning experience BEFORE actually officially placing the YP on our Board. This was a 3 day experience during which there was open discussion, trust building activities and planning for the Foundation's activities. It was when these two groups came together that an internal transformation happened on both sides - so that they younger members could appreciate what the adults brought to the conversation and the adults could appreciate the younger members perspective. The entire process of creating the call for younger board members, the selection process and the building of the planning experience were all done together with CYP (children & young people) whom the foundation already had a relationship with so that the views and perspective of CYP were taken into account the entire way.
What are your recommendations or calls to action?It is very important to understand that change is a process and it takes time. Very often it is a personal experience or a leap of faith that allows two different groups to come together. Creating these spaces for meeting and building relationships is very necessary to be able to go about creating a mind shift of awareness of the importance of intergenerational participation. We believe that it is in this bringing together of adults and CYP that personal development happens and through this inner change we can create social change.
What do you try to change?We are trying to be an example of practicing what we preach. After bringing our current board members together with the potential CYP Board Members, both groups expressed their interest to continue to work together and to officially add the 6 young board members to the Dutch Registrar to be on our Board. This new Board officially started on January 1st 2020. Despite COVID we have held quarterly Board Meetings via zoom and even had additional planning discussions virtually. We are trying to plan and hold our Board meetings differently, so that both sides feel engaged and are able to participate in the decision making and planning process. This year in 2021 we have started the process of creating a Theory of Change for the Foundation in which some of our younger board members are participating. We are hoping that despite the pandemic we will be able to plan a Board Retreat in the fall to finally bring our board members together in person to deepen the trust and relationships. We would like other organisations and foundations to consider involving CYP in their governance bodies and to shift their way of working with CYP.