Background to the programme
GR21 (reflection group on the 21th century) was originally a group of three citizens who volunteered and sponsored youngsters at the local youth club in the Oise valley and who decided to think together about the nature and causes of the difficulties met by the people they were helping, and to find out how to prevent more young people from meeting the same difficulties later on. These three volunteer citizens met with teachers, doctors, judges, educators, social workers and youngsters. They took from these exchanges the initial idea of simple and pragmatic action and have put forward some suggestions to regional and national institutions.
Objectives of the programme
• Force the reflection process to be structured
• Present the ideas and proposals in an agreeable and inexpensive manner.
• Support debate.
• Attract the attention of the general public on the existence and nature of the problems that young people face and raise awareness that each one of us can contribute to solving them.
• Draw attention to the feasibility of local actions.
• Create the possibility to give the people that we meet something they will keep (we put sheets of paper in the garbage but not a book)
• Reflection on and research of actions based on: our knowledge of the difficulties met by young people who are unprepared for adult life; our experiences; exchanges with our network and with the professionals we meet; interviews; surveys carried out by us.
• First validation of our ideas through the reaction from professionals (sometimes negative but whose arguments convinced us of their merits).
• Tests of the actions proposed to validate their feasibility.
• Writing the book and its presentation to a publisher.
• Respect for our course of action by assigning copyright to an association.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
• Invitation to a dozen debates: companies and association of business leaders on their social involvement; associations on the role of citizen pedagogy; media libraries on citizen involvement in youth culture and civic life. These discussions took place in the Creil area of Champagne Ardennes, in Aisne and Paris.
• 600 books sold; it was the best selling book in 2012 for that publisher.
This program is original in several ways:
- Allying a completely altruistic approach lead by amateurs with more a professional approach lead by companies
- Enable the reproduction of a support which costs the group nothing (who have no budget)
- Earn a few euros from the copyright proceeds for the association
- Make the book freely available on the website
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
The book generated a partnership with the publisher (then made freely available).
It was promoted through its purchase and distribution by the partners of our approach (Local Youth Centre, SNCF foundation, including SNCF voluntary associations, copyright beneficiary association) and by organisations seeking debate.
It enabled many contacts to be made that resulted in partnerships and action plans or project development (see website).
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- The book is also a great business card but it's costly
- Very little support for its promotion in the normal distribution network
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
Obtaining permission from the publisher to put the book on the site to be read freely online www.gr21.fr
Suggestions for future improvement :
- For the next book (scheduled for early 2016 on the feedback from the citizen approach) find a distribution network and communicate more effectively.
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- This book is rich thanks to the numerous observations, interviews and surveys on which it is based
- It enables contacts to be made. It is a useful format for exchanges to take place on the topic
Ideas for basic or applied research topics, that could be useful to the programme :
How to use the book or other media as the basis for discussions, to go from the curiosity of readers to interesting them and then to involving them. These readers are:
- Citizens (pedagogical citizens)
- Professionals (storytellers about work, training, internships)
- Political and institutional leaders (organising citizenship, making the system at least permissive so people "dare" to undertake initiatives)
Book: Hey! You! What are you doing about my future .... Edilivre. Jean-Pierre Cloux, Monique Fournier Laurent, Alain Mallet
Editorials and "Méditos" (see website www.gr21.fr)
Guide sheets (see website www.gr21.fr)
To know more
See the document section on the website: http://www.gr21.fr/doc.html