I’ve already explained why I don’t see the need for a new program in my first two posts. Check them out here: JB is Local and Why I don’t agree with Pathways Conceptually. In this post I will examine the specifics of the proposed program and some arguments I’ve heard on the subject already.
Section 7. Pathways will integrate youth into the governance structures of CISV throughout the organization. Arguments can be made for and against this. Some say this is good because in the past they’ve been blocked from taking on roles in their chapters. Some say this is bad because after finally making it into these positions organically, they will lose respect. In the US, I see youth taking on roles that they feel prepared for in the organization. I see adults encouraging youth participation in management and governance too. It also seems to be that way in Canada and Sweden.
Section 7.1. Requiring Chapters and NAs to come up with detailed role profiles for every opportunity seems like too much work for volunteers. As someone who has worked on the local level in 2 chapters, I’ve never seen a formal role profile for a position.
Section 7.2. How can I argue with this? This is what JB offers right now.
“In Pathways, participants work towards this set of learning goals. All opportunities will contribute to the work and development of CISV and will:
- Allow you to explore and develop your interests
- Provide you with facilitation, leadership and decision-making experience
- Offer you an insight into organizational development
- Prepare you to apply CISV’s approach to active global citizenship”
Section 7.5. “Regardless of their Pathways involvement, CISV will continue to offer a variety of ways for youth to meet.” Who is going to organize these meetings? What will the agenda be? Most of the time the youth organize meetings with help from adults and the youth decide what they will do (run activities, have a board meeting, volunteer in the community, etc.).
Section 7.6. “We feel future Regional Training Forums should provide creative ‘think tank’ spaces for all CISVers to meet and share ideas.” Cool. So this would kind of take the place of regional JB workshops such as AJBM, APJBM, and EJBM. That’s a cool idea. I like how Conferences and Events is included here. Shouldn’t Educational Programs be part of the conversation too (assuming Pathways is a program not its own committee)? At every RTF, there is a youth side for creative thinking. In the Americas, this currently only happens at 1 RTF per year (I’m not sure how the other regions are organized).
Section 8. Thank you for re-introducing an age range and thoroughly backing it up with outside sources! It was quite surprising when JB had an issue about that a few years ago.
Section 9. I start to get a little worried in this section. As an “adult” in my chapter, I don’t even love going to our board meetings. I can’t imagine having teenagers sitting at the table. This was an issue when discussing this aspect on Facebook. Sarah said it best, “I like the idea of younger CISVers taking an active role in governing CISV, but the fact is that you are more confident and prepared to do so if you have a safe space to do that in JB first. Even if that is a system within a system, it is so different to be 14 or 17 and on a big board with adults and 14 or 17 on a small local JB board with your peers.”
Alex was concerned about room for failure, “Practically speaking, I think getting 16 year olds to attend board meetings will be a hard sell, but more importantly, I think we’ll lose the educational content on the local level this way. This is definitely a US-centric point of view, but the less independence our youth have, the fewer opportunities they have to fail. And you know what? Failure is a WONDERFUL opportunity that CISV provides. Growth, persistence, learning how to improve… All those things come from failures. I was so proud of what I accomplished in JB while I was in it, but looking back, I learned so much more from the activities no one attended and the concepts that flopped than I did from any restructuring that was successful the first time around.” This concept is often referenced with the expression, “JB is a playground.”
When did JB, as it stands now, stop working toward the goal “to educate and inspire action for a more just and peaceful world”? Everyone in CISV is working toward that goal. The report presents it like there was a shift that they are correcting with Pathways.
Section 11. This says that it is a comparison between JB and Pathways but I only see one side. Am I missing something? I like the ideas in part 7 and 8. I also feel like these could be tasks for the current JB to deal with. If you take out the IJB team, you might have a better chance at avoiding duplication of work (see part 1).
- Pathways is a framework that fits into the overall organization of CISV, avoiding parallel structures and a duplication of work and effort.
- It aims to contribute to the organization as a whole, strengthening CISV and achieving our purpose in a unified way.
Appendix 1, pg. 14. I suppose the Pathways coordinators are adults taking the positions that used to be held by JBers (LJRs, NJRs, regional teams, and IJRs)? Those are hard positions for anyone, why can’t they be held by Pathways participants?