Above: The Showcase in Jordan provided a platform for 15 young people who participated in the Young Cities programme to network and present the impact of their youth-led initiatives to 65 multi-sectoral stakeholders.
1 June 2022
Showcase Eevent | 11 May 2022
On 11 May, Young Cities held its first Showcase event in Amman, Jordan, with the support of Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and local partner, the WANA Institute. Showcase events are a cornerstone of the Young Cities programme. They elevate young people as critical actors in addressing key community challenges, while providing an opportunity for them to connect with local, national and international leaders so that all groups can advance their mutual interests.
The Showcase in Jordan provided a platform for 15 young people who participated in the Young Cities programme to network and present the impact of their youth-led initiatives - addressing COVID-19 disinformation, cyberbullying, and the inclusion of people with disabilities - to 65 multi-sectoral stakeholders. The teams mixed formal presentations with interactive booths to share the innovative approaches they’ve taken, including using puppet theatre performances and organising art therapy trainings, to tackle the challenges affecting their community members.
In addition to amplifying their peacebuilding work, the event gave the youth groups the opportunity to advance the sustainability of their projects by fostering potential partnerships that can further their impact. They were able to connect with the Mayors of Karak, Irbid and Zarqa, as well as members of the Local Prevention Networks (LPNs) from each city. Other attendees with whom the youth participants were able to network included representatives from the Norwegian Embassy and the Ministry for Local Administrations, civil society leaders from youth centres and NGOs, academics from the University of Jordan and Royal Scientific Society, and start-up investors from the private sector.
Notably, both the Mayor of Zarqa and members of the WANA Institute stressed that the Young Cities Showcase event was an important reminder that young Jordanians are crucial to present and future efforts for peace and social cohesion.
Below are key takeaways from the Jordan Showcase. The views expressed in this document are based on discussions from the Showcase only, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the SCN, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norwegian Embassy in Jordan, municipal governments of Karak, Irbid and Zarqa, nor of SCN members.
1. Leveraging SCN’s diverse and multi-sectoral network, Showcase events provide an opportunity to strengthen local civil society.
80 stakeholders from the youth and peacebuilding sectors, academia, private sector, civil society, and municipal, national and international institutions attended the Young Cities Showcase. The event provided a critical opportunity to enhance cross-sectoral networks and galvanise constructive dialogue on how to best tackle community challenges collaboratively. Involving young people in these discussions and giving them a platform is central to the success of such events. The three youth teams were able to share their perspectives on what they saw as the biggest threats to Jordan’s social fabric, and how they believed responses by civil society and government could be improved. By connecting youth with decision-makers and local organisations, the event’s impact is made more sustainable as new networks are forged and attendees are able to tangibly discuss the potential for shared solutions to shared challenges.
2. New entry points were forged to strengthen youth-city collaboration on peacebuilding efforts.
As the youth groups interacted with a diverse set of stakeholders, they were able to build new and important relationships for their future careers, including with representatives from the Norwegian attaché. Representatives from the Ministry for Local Administrations also specifically encouraged the teams to contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which regularly provides funding to new local organisations and initiatives. Similarly, youth-focused civil society organisations offered their support and offered future collaboration, sharing upcoming training opportunities that could be of potential interest to the youth groups.
3. The Showcase’s interactive approach fostered open and informal dialogue between different audiences.
The Showcase mixed formal presentations and panel discussions with informal networking opportunities and interactive exhibits led by the youth participants on their initiatives. Utilising different formats and platforms for interaction allowed for dialogue to be driven in different, and meaningful, ways. Where formal presentations and panel discussions gave officials the opportunity to speak directly to their communities and hear their concerns, informal exhibits enabled granular dialogue to happen between youth and decision-makers that represent them. The connections built during these interactions not only became starting points for new relationships, but also encouraged a less top-down approach to youth-city and local-national engagement.