Demographic changes and the role of youth
Workshop in Koper, Slovenia, 4. 5. 2015
1. Brief description of the workshop
The aim of the workshop was to encourage participants to think how global demographic issues affect their local environment. The aim was also to discuss why active participation in local decision making can result in good political solutions. In order to make the workshop more dynamic and interactive, we divided the class of students into three groups. In this way they had the chance to improve their teamwork and communication skills and receive the ability to negotiate and develop their argument. We empowered them with tools to inspire change in their local environment. We also stimulated their creativity by asking them to create a poster compiling main points discussed within each group. The main idea of the workshop was to emphasize the importance of each voice in local democratic decision making.
2. The methodology used
The workshop comprised an introductory session and poster session. The introductory session included a presentation on demographic issues facing both, global and local environment. The project focus and main workshop objectives were explained. The speaker, dr. Jani Kozina, encouraged students to contribute comments on his statements.
In the poster session the students were divided into three teams. The task was to think about main demographic issues facing students’ local environment and ideas to solve them. The students were told to use all the knowledge acquired during their studies and introductory session and present them creatively using posters and markers. Each group had 10 minutes to present their poster to other classmates. The presentations were followed up by a vibrant and interesting discussion where students exchange their opinion about the main issues related to the main topic.
3. Target group
The workshop involved 17 geography students from University of Primorska and 3 coordinators from ZRC SAZU.
4. The results and recommendations
The workshop had a direct impact on the participants with regard to development of their speaking and negotiation skills. They had the chance to deepen their knowledge about global and local demographic issues. The discussion was mainly focused on Mediterranean refugee crisis and how to overcome the issue on local level. Strong interest in the topic was recognized. Students showed strong interest to continue exploring the concepts. Such workshops are essential to convince the youth and future leaders to think actively about perennial local and global issues and to empower them to take active part in democratic decision making.