Globalization is now a trend not only within the Scout Movement. The most important and the most discussed of globalization issues were:
5. Fast change
We have found out and analyzed and the following points on which, we think,it is necessary to focus:
1. Mobility can affect the Scout Movement by decreasing the number of membership among youth and adults. Another point is that mobility is rapidly increasing sharing, which goes out of control.
2. Diversity can narrow or expand our target group, which is an advantage and disadvantage. It's also changing young people’s environment and perspectives on life.
3. Complexity, Interconnectivity and Fast change are trends also causing the changing of young people’s environment and perspectives on life, moreover widening the intergenerational gap which increases the risk of disconnect between the generations. Unfortunately the risk of falling behind is also presented here, which can be the reason of the rapid decrease of the development of the Movement worldwide.
The discussions and efforts of the participants of the Congress helped us to formulate the actions in order to be able to respond to these trends. In the result we highlighted the following actions:
1. Youth program shall develop “21st century” skills – in order to remain relevant to young people’s needs and wants – in other words, we shall be prepared for the challenges awaiting us in the 21st century, trained adults and leaders shall be trained with the updated tools responding to the current needs;
2. Promote diversity as an opportunity to increase the relevance of Scouting – in our understanding; diversity is the best tool for a multinational and multicultural movement calling for coexistence and tolerance as the Scout Movement.
3. Continuous evaluation and frequent adaptation of Youth Programme for activities offered – measuring our impact is very important for us to understand the impact of the methods we use implementing youth programmes and running scout activities.
4. Increased flexibility of structures and processes - the world is changing; we shall consider the speed of the changes in order to adopt the flexible structure for the future generations. It will provide more opportunities to be concentrated on the main goal of the Scout Movement – Creating a Better World.
5. Be more open and forward looking as a Movement which does not mean to forget the values and traditions we were saving for over a century, but to be more a liberal organization capable to compete with other interests young people have today;
6. Improve intergenerational dialogue and cooperation - Scouting is the better place for Young people and adults to put into practice an intergenerational alliance.
The most important and most discussed of Comunication trends were:
1) Social Media: as a global network with many ways of communication - heard in several discussions.
2) New Technologies: They are more available nowadays in society and most of the young people use it in everyday's life.
3) Information Overload: People get wealth of information every minute by the increased access to media, therefore it is becoming more difficult to select relevant information and then be able to take action from it.
This implicates new ways of communication that affects people's behaviour and inter-relations.
This Congress is an example of what social media can achieve. There were participants online in this Congress, and most sessions were broadcasted on line.
How do theese trends in communications affects Scouting and why should we care?
1) We run the risk of being off line, when everyone is online;
2) We run the risk of Souting's message not being properly heard;
3) Young people have challenges in processing too much information.
Finally, the discussions and reflections of the Congress Participants seems to show some actions in order to be able to respond to these trends:
1) Integrate new technologies into the Youth Programme and in management process of the Organization;
2) We should go towards the concept of digital engagement.
During the three days we've discussed what are the societal trends that Scouting should respond to?
Societies are changing and new challenges emerging. Among the identified trends that Scouting needs to focus on include:
• Marginalization of various sectors of society
• Increasing cases of violence in and out of the Movement
• High rates of unemployment, especially among young people
• Social inequality
• Exponential growth of opportunities for our Movement
• Urbanization - which brings with it numerous challenges
• Responding to secularization as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization
• Increased awareness on the need and our responsibility to care for the environment
Having discussed the trends, participants have also reflected on how these trends affect Scouting and why we should care.
It is very evident that these changes in society:
• Affect the well-being and prospects of young people; and being a youth movement we need to be responsive;
• Increase competition for people and resources. Opportunities are limited so we need to find ways to widen the options;
• Impact the relevance and the way we deliver the Scout Programme. Our programme and educational strategies should conform to the changing realities.
Moving forward, what then can we do to respond to these issues?
The Congress proposed the following as possible actions that we can take as a Movement:
• Promoting the recognition of Scouting among all stakeholders in society and showing them that indeed Scouting works.
• We need to engage more with society to promote the social impact and active citizenship of Scouts in Society. We need to connect with society and communicate our work to make the impact of the Movement felt.
• Empowerment and responsibility should be core elements of our youth programme. This is best summarized by Dr. Khaled’s point on “Building the Platform”.
• Adopt our volunteering opportunities to a more diverse adult population. Scouting should make adults feel the need to support the Movement not only because of the value it adds to them but also for the opportunity it provides them to contribute to society.
• We need to break the bubble, openly discuss secularization and take action on issues affecting our Societies.
• Finally and most critically, we should reinforce the Scout Method and focus on our core purpose as a Movement.
Through the discussions we could identify 2 main trends than can be observed:
1) Rethinking of formal education
Education institutions that use formal education methods are starting to rethink their models. Young people's school experiences show that formal education methods need to evolve. Traditional teaching methods are not as effective as they were before. The need for rethinking the formal education methods and models has been raised several times in discussions. There is, eventually, an approach to non-formal models.
2) Questioning inherited values
Values evolve while society advances. This evolution implies that Young people are living in a world of constant mutation. YP’s values might be questioned more often than it happened in the past.
How do these impact on us? We found out 3 main topics:
1) Formal and non-formal education are less differentiated
2) The Scout Method is gaining credibility
3) The Scouting values are also potentially questioned
Going a bit more into this, we can understand that:
1) Formal and Non-formal education less differentiated. Formal and non-formal education methods are evolving, and it is important to consider where this evolution is taking us. We should consider how the learning processes are evolving as well. Formal methods might start to become closer to non-formal ones. Non-formal methods have an impact on the education system in general.
2) The Scout Method is gaining credibility. The “world out there” is realising that methods used in Scouting are very effective when it comes to educating young people. The Scout Method is gaining more and more visibility on a “non-scout” world. We need to be aware of other “products” that might emerge and distort what the Scout Movement offers to young people.
3) The Scouting values are potentially questioned. The Scout values framework might be affected by the value system evolution in general. The core of Scouting is based on a value system that we try to put in practice in every element of the Scout Method.
Given the trends and the reasons why they are important to be considered in Scouting, we've identified 4 responses that address these topics:
1) Reinforce the Scout Method and focus on the purpose of Scouting. By reinforcing the importance of the Scout Method we are showing the value and importance it has to us. By using the Scout Method the purpose of Scouting is assured. BP’s dream is put in practice with concern to its main purposes.
2) Rethink the relationship with the formal education and cooperation models. In Scouting we have an Educational system and not a training one. This difference needs to be emphasized and needs to be present in our Movement. We should not deviate from the methods and means that give us such a unique framework. It is important that we are open to other organisations that share some of our goals and concerns. Maybe we need to start looking more deeply into the way that we cooperate with the world in general.
3) Reinforce Scouting as a learning (vs teaching) environment. Young people learn relevant things in Scouting, which they cannot easily find somewhere else. The practices we use need to be focused on the way our young people learn. The important factor of our Educational proposal is the learning process and not the teaching one.
4) Support young people on their direction in life and reinforce personal values. Our Scouts have in our Movement answers to several doubts they face in life. We need to make sure we are preparing our young people to face the different challenges they might come across. We need to give them the confidence to live according to their personal values, being honest with their feelings and thoughts.
The final report will be available on February 24th, but until then, we will have a special page on wsec2013.org dedicated to presenting the outcomes of the Congress. Keep following us and leaving us your very much appreciated comments!