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In the framework of the ELS program, the participants were provided with an opportunity to take initiative and together with their counterparts plan and organize Space for Discussion (SfD) events themselves. The Space for Discussion (SfD) was an additional series of meetings – one-day long activity in the framework of the project “Promoting Youth Transformational Leaders in Georgia”, which brought the representatives of local government, civil society organizations and experts from various fields to help participants get a cross-sectoral perspective around the topic of discussion.
The ELS participants were free to invite guest speakers and choose the topics of their interest around which they held discussions. Worth mentioning that local government representatives in regions showed high level of interest and were enthusiastic about the possibility of taking part in these discussions.
The events were public and all interested individuals were encouraged to join.
In June-July in all four locations – Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Batumi and Rustavi the “Emerging Leaders School” (ELS) participants held 16 public discussions (1 offline, 15 online), which reached over 400 people in total.
Here are the topics, which participants decided to discuss together with respective guest speakers by region:
Women’s economic empowerment;
New Voter (how to conduct elections during COVID-19?);
Youth policy and its plans in Georgia;
How to become a leader?;
Challenges and opportunities of young people living in the mountainous regions of Georgia;
Youth and vocational education;
Women’s political participation and gender issues;
Youth engagement in local self-government;
Youth employment and skills development in the regions of Georgia;
Women’s economic engagement and challenges regarding COVID-19;
Occupation and conflicts;
Environmental protection and ecological problems;
Challenges of education in Kvemo Kartli region;
Innovative forms of engagement in self-government;
Importance of non-formal education in building democratic country;
Youth engagement in local self-government decision-making;
Overall, ELS participants appreciated an opportunity to take ownership of SfD, which helped them to develop their organizational skills and gain some professional network.
Organizing Space for Discussion (SfD) series by ELS participants was also one of the selection criteria for those who planned to continue with the ELS program and engage extensively in working groups for future cooperation and implementation of various projects from Sept, 2020.
The project “Promoting Youth Transformational Leaders in Georgia” is implemented by Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP) with the financial support of USAID/Georgia and in partnership with CRRC Georgia.