I just stumbled across this and wanted to plant a seed in our thinking about youth engagement: The band Weezer hosted a series of concerts (Hootenany Tour) where they invited folks to bring their instruments and sing along with the band. Now, Weezer is a mildly huge band, replete with MTV videos and everything, right? Why would they do this?
In the technology world they call it “crowdsourcing“, and it’s intended to create and build a brand’s image by putting the power into the hands of the consumer. Weezer’s brand grows and remains strong through direct contact with the band. Fans loyalty only strengthens, and everyone wins.
How does this relate to youth engagement, youth voice, and youth involvement? I think that all youth engagement activities, which inherently rely on young people connecting with a given topic, activity, place, or outcome, should be crowdsourced. That means that rather than having children and youth come and passively receive adult-driven programming, young people and adults should co-create knowledge and experiences with each other towards inspiring practical action and real outcomes in their lives.
This, in turn, fosters authenticity, which leads to deep youth engagement, and real outcomes that can be directly correlated to youth engagement. CommonAction Consulting specializes in helping organizations make these connections – contact our office for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 360-489-9680.