November 29, 2019
An active citizen engages in debate and also in the decision making process!
On day two of the Citizenship project, we did something that put our participants in different roles. These roles made them step out of their comfort zone, open their minds, think critically and work towards finding a solution to the problem: Do we want a Skatepark for the young people in a fictional town called Sunnyville?
The participants were divided in into 5 different groups: The Diversity Party, The Populist Party, The Urban Society Association, The Traditionalist Party and the decision-makers: The Citizens of Sunnyville.
The mayor of Sunnyville together with his counsellor, facilitated this meeting. He was actively trying to give every citizen and every political party at the meeting the right to speak – up to 2 minutes for al the participants in the meeting and final regards from 3-5 minutes long.
With this method, the trainers tried to put the participants in a simulation that we encounter in real life as active citizens who want to engage in their communities and inspire change. The participants discovered that sometimes, in debates, the people do not talk about the problem and look for solutions. On the contrary, they try to convince each other how everyone else is wrong and attack the personality of the speaker, rather than attacking the issue itself.
Simulation games and activities have been proven to improve understanding and the level of focus of the participants, which is something that we also noticed in our amazing and cooperative group of youngsters who were passionate about taking part in this debate.