As the last young participants leave the "Iserlohn Participation Day", a project that has accompanied and inspired our Democracy and Society Department for almost a whole year comes to an end.

Project kick-off. In close cooperation with the children's and youth office of the city of Iserlohn, we define the objectives and framework conditions for our mission: to train a team of dedicated young people independently conduct and moderate three one-hour interactive workshops with groups of about 100 young people of the same age during participation day - in three consecutive rounds. One thing is clear: the key data of the Iserlohn Participation Day is enough to intimidate even the most experienced facilitators. This is one of the reasons why the first step of the project is to develop a tailor-made concept for the target group. In it, we will deal with the teaching of facilitation techniques and workshop methods to young people who have had no previous experience with them. 

Five months later. The first stage is going well. 17 talents take part in a two-day interactive moderation training. They get to know and practise methods such as World Café, simulation games and idea workshops and learn how to facilitate them. In addition, they learn about team building and teamwork, how to moderate very large groups and, of course, how to deal with stage fright, small slips of the tongue and unavoidable surprises and mishaps. In the following months, the young people hone their facilitation skills. We provide methodological know-how and tailor-made schedules for the workshops.

Another four months later. It's the big day! While the planpolitik team moderates the accompanying programme with cheerleaders, beatboxing, speeches by the Children's and Youth Council and the German UN youth delegates alongside a colourful market of opportunities, the youth teams take up their starting positions in three separate spaces. When called, the 370 young people present spread out among the workshops and off they go. 

Over the next four hours, world café participants discuss how to deal with racism and bullying, a simulation game sees them negotiate municipal climate policy, and the ideas workshop offers a colourful array of creative ideas for an even better Iserlohn. Our role here primarily consists of being amazed and happy (and paying attention to the big picture)! Nerves have no place in the workshop rooms as the young presenters rock the show with self-confidence and charm. Chapeau! 

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