Three months after the workshop we went back to the Future Leaders and asked them how they evaluated the experience. Here are some of the answers we got:
Did you learn anything new, surprising?
Shakira Choonara: The way the workshop was structured stimulated critical thought and innovation. When preparing for the Development Days, I have to admit when considering ‘resilience’, agriculture was the furthest thought on my mind. Being in a group linking health, climate-change and agriculture was fascinating in particular, I was surprised at the extent of the linkages. The way the workshop was structured was also excellent in that we learnt within our groups but also across groups, this contributed to rich in-depth learning across a number of countries and fields.
Marion Osieyo: By treating us as change agents, we felt really empowered to confidently engage in the topics and different challenges set in the session. This is an approach you should definitely take forward when designing similar workshops. Irrespective of the group’s technical knowledge or learning capacity of development issues, treating them as change agents will yield better learning outcomes and encourage them to build on their knowledge after the sessions.
Lia Weiler: I learned that, even though we sometimes had pretty different backgrounds, experiences and also opinions, there were some points we all agreed on. That made me really looking forward to our world’s future and cooperation between current and future leaders from all sorts of different backgrounds.
What would you do differently if you were in our place?
Marion Osieyo: Instead of the video focusing on personal visions of the future, challenge participants to present on a particular issue identified in the session and their ‘roadmap’ of recommendations on how to change it. This presentation would then be presented to external policy makers who have not taken part in the sessions.
Birwe Habmo: If I were in your place I will also try to exchange the participants during the workshop. I mean, I will allow to participants to say something about issue that is not necessarily their main topics. I discussed migration issue because it was my main topic but I did not got chance to say something about other topics: decent jobs, sustainable cities, right to health…
Lia Weiler: It was a good idea to form groups per topic, though I found that some did not quite fit in or were put into too common topics while others were cut down to one topic. In some cases I would have preferred a more open conversation between the groups.
Shakira Choonara: For example a Twitter chat on some of the issues which were raised during the workshop or perhaps asking one of us to write a blog?
Were the individual videos useful and if so, in what way and how did you use them?
James Madhier: The videos have been very helpful. In my bid for the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme, a space travel competition, my only evidence of my visions was the video that was recorded at the workshop which I believe contributed to my shortlist among the top 30 finalists. I was also considered for the Nudge Global Leadership challenge in Amsterdam. The organizers had watched my video and they found it insightful.
Catherine Mloza Banda: My video has been shared over and over again in our work and by the RUFORUM, which funded my post graduate work. I am also an AWARD Fellow and we recently had a leadership skills course where we were required to present our thoughts on a topic in front of a video camera for 5 minutes. I was able to share my thought in front of the camera with ease because I had once done my vision for 2035 in 90 seconds and nailed it! I was able to guide other people on how they could be at ease, use their visual aids, and also communicate their message in the time allocated for them.
Nada Diouri: It was useful because I practiced how to present something in a short time and be straight to the point. I also shared it with my colleagues and some media professionals here in Morocco to let them know my vision and as an introduction to what we did with you.