“International Youth Discourse” Workshop at International Pacific University
On 10th February 2020, AYF Academy conducted a workshop as part of its university outreach program. The workshop was conducted for International Pacific University (IPU) at their campus in Okayama, and 22 students were in attendance. The team proposed several themes to the university, and finally settled on Global Leadership. To delve deeper into the topic, a subtheme on gender equality, particularly in the education sector, was selected. This was especially fit for the group of students in attendance as all of them are majoring in education.
There were three main objectives of the workshop: first to tackle current global issues by creating a space for cross-cultural communication, secondly to have a discussion that would prepare the students for an international academic or work environment, and finally to assist the students in improving their English communication skills. To achieve these objectives, the AYF Academy team designed a 4-hour workshop with two main parts: a case study group discussion and a panel discussion. In order to tackle these issues from different perspectives, seven fellows facilitated the group discussions, each representing different regions.
As this was the first time for the AYF Academy members to meet the students, the first half hour was carved out for various ice-breaking activities, to allow all the participants to get to know each other.
In the group discussion section, groups of three or four students discussed a case study from a specific country, where a problem relating to gender equality in education was presented, and with the assistance of a facilitator, were asked to provide a solution for the specific problem. In order to introduce the concept of leadership, and have the students experience global leadership from a first-hand basis, the groups all took up various decision-making roles, from ministries of education to board of directors in universities. At the end of the discussion, the groups each had a representative present their solution to everyone and get a vote as to whether the solution would work in other countries.
For the second session, the participants had a panel discussion, where a list of prepared questions relating to global leadership was discussed using a live-voting system. The system helped to keep all the participants engaged, as they could see the opinions of others in real time. The idea was to express different points of view, and not necessarily agree on one right answer.
The day was wrapped up with a feedback session with the students, and finally a photo session. Overall, the event served as a good foundation for future collaboration with the university, a basis for designing subsequent workshop content for AYF Academy and a challenging new experience for the students.
Author: Catherine Mwangi