Listen Up! In partnership with The People Speak has developed a democratic way of spending Youth Opportunities Funding that engages many more young people in the process of discussing, proposing and supporting projects.
The Funderstorm process uses deliberative discussion to discover and develop issues, democratic agenda-setting to vote on the most important ones, and ‘participatory budgeting’ to involve people in making funding decisions.
With a budget of Ã‚Â£405,000 in it’s first year, Funderstorm was the UK’s largest participatory budgeting programme, and was, itself, run by a trained and expanding group of young people from Islington.
Funderstorm emphasises the dynamic, engaging and collaborative aspects of participatory budgeting, and by creating peer networks of young facilitators to involve other young people to bring in their agendas, ideas and enthusiasm.
Joining ‘Funderstorm’ was as simple and fun as having a conversation on a street corner, but opened up routes for everyone to get involved in proposing, voting on and enabling young people’s projects and ideas.
-To promote free, respectful, public discussion between young people.
-To enable and support a fair, democratic process for choosing ideas.
-To respectfully and inclusively support the equal participation of all Islington’s young people.
-Focus on fun, engaging formats to engage as many people as possible.
-Train young people to run and develop those formats themselves.
-Be consistent, organised and energetic in recruitment and promotion.
-Be clear and transparent about every part of the process.
-Review the our methods and goals in response to regular feedback.
There are a few main stake-holder groups involved in the Funderstorm project:
-The Funderstorm Core Team
-The People Speak
-Young Facilitators (formerly the YOF panel)
“The People Speak helped Islington create a new process and brandÃ‚Â identity for the Youth Opportunities Fund – called ‘Funderstorm’. TheyÃ‚Â worked really constructively with our corporate communications team toÃ‚Â create an exciting, youth-focused logo and design for publicityÃ‚Â materials. Their input was valuable in terms of helping to define andÃ‚Â communicate how the process works and how young people can get involved.Ã‚Â I found them to be really enthusiastic partners, with a dynamic,Ã‚Â creative and professional approach.”Ã‚Â Louise Brown, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer, Islington Council