Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Monday, 31 March 2008

Buddies: mutual inspiration, learning and advice

B&W Next – Mayor and Aldermen Next – is an intergenerational partnership experiment in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Young people – between 18 and 27 – are partnered as a kind of ‘buddy’ to members of the Rotterdam Municipal Council, its Mayor and Aldermen. The youngsters accompany the municipal officials when they go on official visits and they take them also to places of their own youth culture. They follow how decisions are made and have an opportunity to influence that process. “There is chatting for the sake of chatting. But we chat to get something done. Young people have to make their voices heard”, says Andrea Moreira Santos. She is the buddy of the mayor. The initiative is part of the Rotterdam European Youth Capital (REYC) 2009, a project of the Young Economic Development Board Rotterdam (YoungEDBR). This is an experiment similar to that of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication. Mutual inspiration, learning and advice are the basis of both buddy systems.

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