Stakeholder Dialogue is about giving everyone an equal voice, and that should include the younger generations too. At a recent event led by Australian organisation, The Field Trip, they gave children the chance to run their own conference with the aim of establishing some ‘rules for grown-ups’ looking to engage with children and young people on decision making or problem solving. The results?
- Don’t assume you know what we want
Don’t assume we know what all kids want! Get a good mix of kids involved – age, areas and interests.
- Listen to us, don’t talk at us
Come to us with relevant topics but feel free to ask us anything. Listen to our ideas.
- Show respect
Treat us with respect. We have great knowledge and ideas. We are very capable.
- Engage us, don’t bore us
Make it interesting – visual, interactive, throw in a bit of fun!
- Meet with us in person
Meet us – at meetings, at school, in our community. Include people we trust and already know in those meetings. Invite us but don’t force us.
- Show us you’ve heard us
Show us how our ideas have been listened to.
- Give us time to have a fair say
Be timely. We want to have a say before things happen.
- Be clear and specific
Tell us what’s happening. Use plain English. Give us the information we need to be able to contribute helpful ideas.
- Provide the opportunity to lead
Give us the skills – how to write to Government, how to talk to our families and friends, to facilitate conversations. Let us teach you.
- Use social media
Use the internet. Use hashtags. But give us the opportunity to be anonymous if we want.