I think it is fair to say that to date the strongest elements of Global Generation’s work have revealed themselves through a process of hands-on doing, rather than any form of organised strategic plan. It is the things that have created a spark within and between people that have held our interest, enabling us to shape them into a formalised stream of work. Our venture into the world of enterprise is an example of this, writes Jane Riddiford.
In August 2010, we began working with a small group of 12 – 14 year olds from the nearby Copenhagen Youth Project (CYP).
These were boys for whom the idea of taking care of the planet or even one’s own community generally held no traction. However, the thought of engaging in business and learning how to actually make money was a winner.
Very quickly their interest shifted from worrying about how much money they could make from two bunches of Moroccan mint to consciously creating a positive atmosphere with the chefs from the Guardian canteen who they were negotiating with.
Working with the young people from CYP laid the ground for delivering a Horticulture BTEC on a programme commissioned by South Camden Community School. In September 2010, we began with six 15-year-old boys and one girl who had had not been on best terms with the school system.
We knew the only hope of generating any kind of enthusiasm might be through involving them in the business of selling produce and began the term with the unit that focused on Marketing and Harvesting. The fact that ‘local’ and ‘organic’ commanded a higher price was a useful doorway into finding out what those words meant in practice. The opportunity to tell the chefs how vegetables grew helped the students discover their own interest and gain confidence in the fact that they knew something of value to others.
The programme was well received by the school (now Regent High School) who went on to commission us to deliver a Business and Sustainability BTEC, which we now run for 40 Year 10 and 11 students each year.