Last week we hosted the inaugural Cumbria Dream Placement Alumni evening at the extremely impressive National Centre for Nuclear training facility in West Cumbria. The Cumbria Future Leader’s Forum (CFLF) is an idea to allow young people who have been involved in the Centre for Leadership Performance’s Dream Placement scheme in the past 5 years – whether they received a placement or not – to get together on a quarterly basis and grow their own network of support and CPD.
The first meeting included a tour around the impressive facilities at the National Centre for Nuclear – including state-of-the-art labs and Virtual Reality training suites – and then some envisioning workshop sessions.
We facilitated the sessions with the attendees after the tour so we could get a handle on what they are looking for from their group. (We emphasized that we would support the CFLF in getting venues / speakers etc but that the ideas should come from them).
Using a great system I had picked up from Mark Robb we used the WOW model of Customer Experience – asking:
- what should the basic outcome from your network be?
- what are the expectations from the network?
- what would make your network a ‘WOW”?
The basic and ‘regular’ expectations from the network were good and took a few minutes to encourage from the group of young people there…when we got to the WOW section, I wasn’t sure how it would play out. I needn’t have worried at all!
The CFLF WOW section of the exercise was like a rocket going off – ideas were flying in and I could hardly keep up with the ideas (my writing isn’t exactly copperplate at the best of times – this was more drunken spider territory) – they were fantastic.
The CFLF WOW includes:
- Advocacy (highlighting young-people’s employment and societal issues to politicians and the like)
- Sharing Best Practice
- Recognition of their skills and support for others
- SHOUTING THE BENEFITS of Cumbria
- Highlighting young people in Cumbria’s keenness to learn and develop
- A Knowledge Centre for collating and sharing experiences
- Sharing the BIG VISION for Cumbria
- Changing the Story (what the world sees in Cumbria)
- Shaping the Future Vision for Cumbria.
The list went on until I’d practically run out of space on the flipchart and red ink in my marker!
Given a chance to exceed expectations and make changes, young people collectively develop ideas that will change society for the better and use innovative and outspoken ways to do so.
They went away full of enthusiasm and plans and we went away with a long to-do list to support their efforts in being the start-up group for the CFLF.
As we were dispersing, I quickly asked ‘why did you all come along tonight and give up your time?’ and one of the alumni said “the Dream Placement changed my life in a massive way – I want to promote the scheme, the benefits and put something back for other young people”.
There was a collective and enthusiastic nodding of heads and we all went away smiling and looking forward to the next meeting.
What could you do to give something back?