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A Culture of Creativity, Innovation & Enterprise
Related to country: Spain


In early 2010, TakingITGlobal participated in the International Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship Led by Youth which took place in Brussels and was hosted by the Extremadura Regional Ministry for Youth & Sport of Spain. At this event, TakingITGlobal was honoured with a Global Youth Talent Award. As a result of our successful involvement with the Ministry, TakingITGlobal forged a partnership to leverage Extremadura as a ‘hub’ of youth empowerment and social innovation.

The Regional Ministry for Youth & Sport is primarily aimed at encouraging personal, social and cultural development of youth. All projects and programs that the Ministry designs and delivers attempt to improve and expand the capacity of youth to take action for the betterment of their own lives and that of the community.

Sprout ES (Sprout in Spanish) is an initiative of TakingITGlobal and the Government of Extremadura aimed at promoting social entrepreneurship among Spanish-speaking youth in Extremadura and worldwide. Based on TakingITGlobal’s innovative Sprout E-course, Sprout ES is a localized and translated version of the classic curriculum originally cultivated with support from Pearson Foundation and evaluation modules developed in partnership with Tufts University. 

A total of 30 participants and 15 e-mentors participated in the pilot of Sprout ES in early 2011. The overall result was an excellent start for this multi-lingual pilot. Of 30 students who began the course 18 have been successful in meeting the requirements of the course work. Overall this is a 60% completion rate. Based on the evaluations conducted, these young leaders have articulated their project growth, skill development and personal satisfaction  throughout the pilot.

In mid-June, Jennifer and I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Region of Extremadura while in Spain for the Talloires Network Leaders Conference. This allowed us to follow-up on the pilot program which ended in the Spring but also to experience the work that the Ministry is undertaking in its region. What we discovered was a veritable "mecca" of creativity, innovation and enterprise.  In Extremadura encouraging inspiration, imagination and resourcefulness is integrated into every element of work, play, community and policy.

Here are a few photos from our journey in Extremadura and our learning about the way to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship.

Jennifer and I find ourselves quite at home at the Inciativa Joven office in the Region of Extremadura, Spain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anabelle Favreau of Extramadura's Youth Initiative and Jennifer Corriero doodle ideas on one of several chalkboard walls in the Joven Iniciativa office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprout ES is one of many programs and partnerships Iniciativa Joven is co-creating or co-leading.

Jennifer Corriero and Minister Jimenez excitedly announce the presentation of certificates to a group of e-mentors who participated in the pilot of Sprout en Espanol.

 

 

 

 

 

We pose with the Extremadura Minister of Youth & Sport along with the coordination team and mentors of Sprout en Espanol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Youth Spaces for Creation and the Youth Factory are two examples of supervised spaces encouraging imagination, innovation and self-expression in the Region of Extremadura.

Users of a colourful and edgy youth space pose with Jennifer and I after a tour of this centre for creativity. It features spaces for theatre, dance, recording music, pottery, and multimedia.

 

 

 

 

 

Young people of all ages make use of this dynamic space called the Youth Factory - designed by youth for youth and developed by the Ministry for Youth & Sport. Complete with a computer lab, rock climbing wall and super cool skateboard/bike park.

 


 

 

 

The tables on which computers sit in this lab were reclaimed pallets in which many of the building materials for the Youth Factory were packaged. A resourceful, environmentally-conscious and creative idea!

 

 

 

 

 

The Government of Extremadura’s Regional Ministry for Youth & Sport leverages its role to influence youth, parents, community members, corporations and other EU governments. This Ministry and their work serves as an exemplar and catalyst for youth citizenship & entrepreneurship. We believe other governments around the world should look to this Ministry as a model for how they too can build a culture of creativity, innovation and enterprise.

[Photo credits: (1, 4 & 5) Ministry for Youth & Sport staff, (2, 3 & 7) Kristle Calisto-Tavares, (6) Jennifer Corriero.


July 4, 2011 | 11:06 PM Comments  {num} comments



Manifesto

What is a manifesto? Most people are familiar with manifestos in the political context which articulate a platform and set out a strategic direction.  Others might be familiar with artistic manifestos and their use in generating shock value through extreme statements and questionnable logic.  Yet others might know it as a declaration of principles or beliefs that serves as a guide to achieving a particular vision.

The iNSPiRED PRACTiCE manifesto is simply put – what I stand for.

 


April 10, 2011 | 7:04 AM Comments  {num} comments

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Theory U

Leading from the future as it emerges.

The U Process developed by C. Otto Scharmer is based on a concept called “presencing”. A blend of the words “presence” and “sensing”, presencing refers to a heightened state of attention that allows individuals and groups to shift the inner place (intention) from which they function. When that shift happens, people begin to operate from a future space of possibility that they feel wants to emerge. The U Process offers a set of practices that enables a kind of deep seeing or “sensing” to happen collectively and across boundaries.

For more information, check this out.


April 10, 2011 | 6:04 AM Comments  {num} comments

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Cafe Conversations

Cafe Conversations

Café Conversations are built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to address emerging challenges. The World Café method simply offers an opportunity for individuals to listen to understand, speak courageously, connect ideas to deeper questions and share insights.


April 10, 2011 | 6:04 AM Comments  {num} comments

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Deep Democracy

Deep Democracy stands testament to the power of inclusion and diversity in REAL + SUSTAINED change.

In 2006, I discovered a powerful yet simple decision-making process called Deep Democracy. Developed by Greg and Myrna Lewis, Deep Democracy is a facilitation toolkit based on the work of psychologist, Arnie Mendell. The tools and techniques used in the Deep Democracy method enhance individual and team effectiveness; improve quality and inclusiveness in decision-making; get people to say what they need to say; and utilize challenges and conflicts as vehicles for growth.

Today, Deep Democracy is practiced in over 10 countries and numerous sectors. Since 2006, I have been trained in two levels of Deep Democracy (previously known as White/Yellow and Green Belts) and have used it as a method for conflict transformation, organizational change, community development, leadership training, and facilitation of group processes.

What is Deep Democracy all about?

In essence Deep Democracy is about fostering awareness within and of oneself and in groups. The method is practical. The tools and techniques are simple yet powerful.

And it offers a more meaningful way to ensure that minority views are not discounted in favour of the “getting everyone to agree” approach.

Deep Democracy techniques teach you how to:

  • enhance individual and team effectiveness,
  • improve the quality and inclusiveness of decision-making
  • get people to say what they need to say
  • view challenges and conflict as vehicles for growth

Since Deep Democracy’s inception in South Africa, it has spread to the UK, America, Canada, Russia, India, Ireland, Denmark, Zimbabwe and Israel. It has been used as a method for conflict resolution and mediation, organizational change and development, community development, leadership training and facilitation of group processes.

What can it do for me and my team?

  • Achieve breakthroughs in groups on impossible-to-solve issues and impasses
  • Ensure you and others are treated with respect and that your and their wisdom is facilitated and incorporated
  • Build a shared vision through ensuring that all views are genuinely included and that true support is obtained
  • Facilitate decisions needed to create innovation, transformation and change
  • Recognize the emotional dynamics within a meeting and equip you with the necessary tools to deal with these dynamics

How is this different from other toolkits?

First and foremost, Deep Democracy is practical and easy to use. There are a variety of soft tools that can be used at any point throughout a group process. These include role mapping, soft shoe shuffle, and schmooze amplification. The idea is to learn, apply and build capacity toward surfacing opportunities and challenges to move forward.

Second, it isn’t often a facilitation tool delivers on its promise. The success of the Deep Democracy method has been proven in a variety of situations including conflicting teams or groups, racial tension, change management and restructuring, counselling and in education.

Why should I bother?

We believe that everyone from community workers to human resource managers are beginning to recognize that band-aid solutions cannot address the struggles we are continuously encountering in our organizations and communities. We know we need to find common ground, put an end to negative cycles, work better together and move forward. The question is howDeep Democracy is how.


April 10, 2011 | 6:04 AM Comments  {num} comments

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