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


Monday 29 September 2008

Positive reactions on Buddy experiment

Intergenerational partnerships: what does it mean in practice? Over the last five months members of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication partnered with Youth. 62 ( 35 Youth and 27 CEC members) out of 160 participants gave their opinion on this experiment in a web-survey held two weeks ago. The results showed a gender, age and regional balance among respondents. The average age of respondents was 36 with extremes of 17 and 72. On average buddies had contacted each other 7,3 times. Email was the most favourite way to communicate. Some buddies had had over 42 email contacts. A few had had face to face contact. Over twenty buddies had used skype and chats. A few had had no contact at all.

The objective of the survey was to learn about this modality of intergenerational partnerships. The majority of respondents thought that to have a buddy of the same sex was not a precondition for success. 2 male and 2 female respondents were of a different opinion. 38 buddies had discussed their professional work and career. Over twenty had communicated about professional skills or sustainable development. IUCN and Earth Charter were only a topic for 6 respondents. The added value of these contacts most respondents see in new ideas, inspiration and working together on a joint project. The buddy system was perceived by most respondents primarily as a learning tool for young professionals. Around 90% would participate again in a Buddy experiment or recommend it to others.

The average satisfaction level was neutral. This may have to do with the fact that especially Youth had high expectations and CEC members may have been too busy to invest enough time. From the comments and suggestions it is clear that buddies want to make their own choice who they would like to partner with, based on clarity of what the other party brings and want to take from the exchange. Quite a few respondents expressed the need for more facilitation, more reminders by the organziers, more joint projects and joint follow-up. During the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona the results of the survey will be further discussed in a special workshop. For more information on intergenerational partnerships: click here.

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