Change: Outside→In, or Otherwise?

The ways we decide to try to change systems should reflect the outcomes we’re seeking. This is another way of saying the means are determined by the ends. When looking at the systems in our society that we can change, it’s relatively easy to see there is an inside/outside situation, no matter what system. SomeContinue reading “Change: Outside→In, or Otherwise?”

The House Youth Voice Built

A lot of organizations don’t know where to begin with Youth Voice. They complain that young people don’t attend their activities, or that youth who do show up don’t have a voice. Building Youth Voice requires a deliberate strategy for action and transformation. Eight Building Blocks For Youth Voice The following can be a checklist.Continue reading “The House Youth Voice Built”

Puddles of Youth Engagement

Changing our minds is necessary for successful youth engagement in schools and communities. Coming to understand the absolute dire necessity for youth engagement and understanding the inherent ethical demands therein is essential for everyone. This is particularly true for adults who work with and for young people everyday, including parents, teachers, youth workers, politicians, andContinue reading “Puddles of Youth Engagement”

Youth Involvement Stagnates

The national youth involvement movement has stagnated. For more than 20 years it has promoted almost the exact same approaches to addressing challenges are radically different today than ever before. Something has got to get different, and get that way rapidly. I first became aware of the national effort to systematically involve youth throughout systemsContinue reading “Youth Involvement Stagnates”

Systems Change and Youth Voice

Almost two years ago I began work in Washington State’s department of health. In my capacity as the agency’s school health manager I was determined to infuse young people as partners throughout my work. Already familiar with the machinations of state government because of my earlier work with the state’s education agency, I was fairlyContinue reading “Systems Change and Youth Voice”

Youth Engagement: Support People or Change Systems?

The “golden mean” of the youth engagement movement has been seen as systemization for at least ten years, and I have been a proponent the entire time, at times leading that movement and at times following. Today I’m wondering if I have been on the wrong path. Somewhere along the way I learned that theContinue reading “Youth Engagement: Support People or Change Systems?”