ACTIVATE! Synopsis

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SYNOPSIS 10.2014 Synopsis 10.14 | Page 1

ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa Activators come from all nine provinces, from cities, rural areas, across race, class, cultures, religions and education levels. Some are employed, others volunteers and some are studying. ACTIVATE! is like a carbon molecule that connects different molecules together to create a richer, more complex network that is greater than the functionality of each molecule. Members of the network are not expected to “fit� into a prerequisite brand but rather to help create it – enriching it with their dynamism and diversity while retaining their individual identity. Activators are raising expectations of what is possible for young people to achieve, for communities to create, for business to cooperate and for government to deliver. Activators are mobilisers, innovators, connectors, trend setters and change drivers.

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THE ACTIVATE! CHANGE DRIVERS The ACTIVATE! Training Programme Forging a network of change drivers Activators across all nine provinces, from cities, rural areas, across race, class, cultures, religions and education levels connect with each other, understand their context and recognise their collective ability to drive change.

The ACTIVATE! Year One programme is conducted in three residential modules that constitute 25 contact training days. Modules are scheduled approximately 6 – 8 weeks apart Participants will be given tasks to complete in the periods between modules. The contact days are structured as follows: Module 1 - 9 days Module 2 - 9 days Module 3 - 7 days The year’s programme culminates in a 2 day gathering of participants from all intakes and nodes.

The Going Beyond Programme Strengthening the ACTIVATE! network of change drivers Activators connect to each other, enrich the network and each other with their dynamism and diversity and increase their effectiveness individually and collectively

Activating leadership for public innovation ACTIVATE! is a credible force and role player in the public domain, raising expectations of what is possible for young people to achieve, for communities to create, for business to cooperate and for government to deliver.

Activators are supported to establish: Connection Hives: Nationally networked focus specific action groups Local Stations: Physical meeting places The Switch: Project development Forums; turning ideas into reality and contribute to: ACTIVATE! Engage: Fostering discussion, and partnerships within and beyond the network into the public domain. Including ACTIVATE! Exchange / Our Voice / Post /Junction AQ [IQ + EQ = AQ] Activating enquiry and building mental muscle through seminars, workshops, online learning platforms and formal NQF studies starting at NQF level 5 Certificate in Community Development.

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The ACTIVATE! Training Programme:

FORGING A NETWORK OF CHANGE DRIVERS The ACTIVATE! Training programme has been conceptualised within six spheres. These spheres represent the core focus areas of the training programme and anchor every module and activity. In some cases, a sphere will be the primary focus of a single module but in most cases these spheres will cut across all three modules, seeing incremental approaches to the development of competence and perspective.



Developing solid individual and collective identity and sense of self-worth.



Mastering innovation and planning tools.



Interrogating leadership.



Honing articulation skills; refining critical thinking, mastering technology & social media platforms: Making youth voices heard.



Exploring the socio-political environment.



Creating ripples and waves of change. Ripples of change represent symptomatic solutions to challenges faced by South African communities. Waves of change represent systematic solutions to bigger issues.

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SPHERE 1: IDENTITY ACTIVATE! is a forum for young people in South Africa to explore and to forge their identity as individuals and as a youth cohort. The theme of self-identity is primarily explored in module one. Network and citizen identity are interrogated across all three modules.

MY IDENTITY: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE COLLAGES In module one, participants explore who they are, where they come from, where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Using very simple collage techniques, Activators unpack in detail their past experiences, their present situation and a view of the future they are looking forward to. This is a very important process that drives self-discovery, deepens self-esteem and lays a positive path and vision for the participant individually and as a network of young people.

MY ROLES GOALS AND VALUES Roles - Activators see themselves through the broader perspective of roles, rather than simply positions in society. This activity widens their reference to themselves and the diversity and complexity of the roles we play in life. Participants to unpack priorities and influences in their lives that are often under explored, but which drive their actions and their thinking. Values – it is essential for Activators to have a strong understanding of the values that drive them in life. This session unpacks in detail those values that have greatest resonance and impact on the Activators. These values are also explored as guides for the future. Goals – Participants carefully craft, in detail, the goals they have set for themselves and the pathways that could potentially see these goals achieved.

STRENGTHS FINDER Participants complete and unpack a Strengths Finder assessment. This assessment will provide: • Personal Insight for each Activator • Support for the Life Maps and Goal Setting exercises • Support for the Leadership and Team Building activities • A more detailed understanding of self in light of group and community projects for practical work • Insight into the variety of strengths and complexity of each individual’s combination of strengths, to allow for deeper, more nuanced connections to form. © Rework


The results of all the above activities are collated by each participant onto a Journey Poster. The posters will be displayed on walls, together representing the entire group. The posters also represent where their personal journey joins with the ACTIVATE! journey. Synopsis 10.14 | Page 5

Inspiration Throughout the ACTIVATE! Training Programme, participants view talks and specially-commissioned videos that complement the content of selected sessions. Examples include the full, animated suite of the National Development Plan, examples of young inspirational people and projects in South Africa and talks by international thought leaders.

Activator! Network Identity

ACTIVATE! is like a carbon molecule that connects other, different molecules together to create a richer more complex organism or network that is greater than the functionality of each molecule. Members of the network are not expected to “fit” into a prerequisite brand but rather to help create it – enriching it with their dynamism and diversity while retaining their individual identity.

Bringing young people together for a residential programme is in itself a foundational network experience. Throughout the training programme, participants explore and interrogate both formally and informally the commonalities and differences they share - as youth as South Africans, as members of the greater African community and as youth living in a globalising world. Formal sessions include:

My Journey - report back The experience sharing of past experiences, present circumstances and future possibilities is profound and deeply bonding. Participants directly connect across race, class and culture, acknowledge the validity of each participant’s contribution and recognise their potential as a network and their collective ability to drive change.

Our Assets This session reinforces the participants’ understanding of the skills, knowledge and experience that exist within the group.

Technology Sessions The technology component of the programme runs through all three modules. A number of sessions are dedicated to using social media to establish connections between participants, to link into shared social media platforms and to assist participants to get to grips with technologies that can positively impact their lives and their work. Special effort is made to support all participants to gain access to smart phones and internet connectivity. Synopsis 10.14 | Page 6

Project sharing Throughout the ACTIVATE! Training Programme, participants are invited to present their projects in a formal session and are continuously encouraged to contribute their insights and experiences within the sessions.

Welcome to the network An annual gathering of participants from all cohorts and nodes to meet and strengthen their network potential and opportunities.

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SPHERE 2: INNOVATION Innovation cuts across all three modules. Activators learn to use a number of pure innovation tools. These tools provide very creative ways to explore problems, define solutions and find innovative solutions to challenges we are facing in South Africa. The innovation packs provide different frames of reference that can deliver powerful idea-generation by greatly amplifying and channeling thinking processes. The Innovation card packs include the following: • Objects cards symbolise thinking perspectives. Participants use objects to reflect on and define problems and solutions, enabling unique perspectives for creative and critical thinking pathways to emerge. • Archetypes cards support thinking approaches. Shifting perspective between archetypes is a powerful source of innovative and critical thinking. Archetypes represent both opinions and perspectives. • Icons cards enable participants to unpack information and ideas through the eyes and minds of iconic figures, to wear their shoes in specific situations and take on their personalities and their values • Concept cards are used to interrogate a particular challenge or solution through specific perspectives. This is an extremely effective way of removing bias from problem definition. Each cards pack will be used in different applications during the training. However, these innovation cards can be used by the Activators whenever they need them, for example, when planning a career or overcoming a personal challenge. The innovation cards provide a comprehensive approach to broadening perspective and channeling fresh ideas.

ACTIVATE! project model The ACTIVATE!! Project model enables participants to plan in a uniform manner, following best practice principles, and applying a robust and innovative project planning methodology. Over an intensive two days participants apply this methodology to plan and implement projects within the context they work in. Activators interrogate and consider the project idea in relation to a range of considerations that include: • The Problem Statement Innovation, Beneficiaries • Value proposition, expected results and returns • Key activities and resources • Client profile and relationships • Key partners, stakeholders and networks • Financial considerations • Implementation, monitoring & evaluation and sustainability • Organisational information At key points throughout the process, participants use the innovation packs to evaluate their project proposals.

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Take-Home Innovation Key-rings Toolkit Samples of Innovation cards and the ACTIVATE! Project Model are provided to each Activator as they are introduced into the modules. These serve as a reference and reminder to the Activators of the innovation tools and methodologies.

198 Forms of non-violent action The session is inspired by the work of Gene Sharp who in 1972 published The Methods of Non-violent Action commonly known as 198 Methods of non-violent protest and persuasion. Participants identify issues and common concerns, examine how we normally look at and respond to them and then re-conceptualise how they can apply non-violent principles in response to these issues or concerns into the own context.

Innovation Sweatshop The Innovation Sweatshop is an interactive exhibition of ideas and images that have been collated and collected to stimulate innovative ideas, thinking and possibilities. It is a highly visual and stimulating environment, and participants are invited to both browse and contribute to the exhibition.

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SPHERE 3: LEADERSHIP The leadership component unpacks assumptions about leadership, questions the value of leadership, teases out leadership possibilities and offers participants the opportunity to contextualise the discussion in their own context and leadership roles. By the end of t h e ACTIVATE! Training Programme, participants will have interrogated their own contribution to leadership and team work situations, interrogated how a leader’s values influences outcomes, teased out types of leadership and teams needed in any given situation, and formulated leadership style that is appropriate to themselves as an individual and as team members.

As One collective leadership: situational leadership The programme explores situational leadership through the As One Collective Leadership model developed by DeLoitte Global Services. The As One approach explores how every situation calls for the right type of leadership and the right team for the task. Participants are able to identity leadership situations and to reflect on the appropriate type of leadership responses and apply the learning to their own contexts. At the end of this session, participants will have a clear understanding that a single leadership style is not applicable to every situation and that different situations require different responses and input from both the leaders and the team.

LEMON Leadership: leadership traits Activators explore how individual traits affect management and leadership styles as well as outcomes. Participants discover their own inherent leadership traits by taking a LEMON Leadership test and exploring their intuitive and instinctive responses to leadership challenges.

Leadership Values Using the Values and Icons tools, participants examine the values that they think are important to selected leaders. In an open forum discussion, participants explore how these values drive a leader’s agenda.

Applying leadership lessons Throughout the ACTIVATE! Training Programme, participants are exposed to leadership and team challenges. In Module 1, the focus is on team work, cooperation and trust and self-organisation. In Module 2, the focus is on working together in planned and structured tasks. In Module 3, participants will be challenged to integrate their understanding of their individual strengths and passions, and their understanding of leadership in their networks, projects and campaigns.

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SPHERE 4: ARTICULATION The need to hone articulation skills cuts across all modules and the programme creates opportunities for participants to work on these skills. The building blocks include: •

Writing skills – this element develops skills in simple writing and impact writing, which help build capacity to communicate in written mediums, from email through to proposals and promotional material.

Debating skills – this element is used to develop skills in crafting arguments and backing up a position with tangible evidence developed through research.

Dialogue skills – being able to facilitate discussions in groups that can extract group genius and result in consensus.

SPHERE 5: SOCIO-POLITICAL NAVIGATION Participants explore selected key elements of the South African political systems. Participants are able to demystify for themselves some of the channels and challenges of political governance and gain confidence in their understanding of and engagement with the three spheres of government. Activators develop a sense of their role as active citizens who are able to engage with government to secure a better future for themselves, their communities, and all who live in South Africa.

The National Development Plan Throughout the programme, participants are introduced to and interrogate the National Development Plan – Vision 2030. The driving questions are: “Who will you be in 2030? What will you be doing? What is your 2030 vision? How can a network of youth committed to positive change influence policy and discourse?”

Making Local Government Work At the end of Module One, participants are asked to investigate their local municipalities’ Integrated Development Plan. In this session, Activators form study groups, examine a sections of the book Making local government work, an activist guide published by Local Government Action in detail and report back on the insights that they gained from reading the book as a group. Facilitators lead a reflection on the session as part of an on-going conversation about understanding and interrogating our socio-political landscape.

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Engage – a role play experiential game This is a creative and experiential way to engage with the community and other stakeholders in making positive changes and impacts in areas where they are facing challenges, as well as navigating the political environment. The Engage game places Activators into a number of tricky interactions and situations where they have to converse with and confront a number of characters in order to achieve their goals. There are many blocks and many difficult interactions that need to be navigated. The tasks require resilience and strong interaction skills to complete.

Education Training Unit: The Spheres Government ACTIVATE! invites the Education Training Unit (ETU) to conduct a workshop on the spheres of government. The aim of the workshop is to orientate participants in relation to the responsibilities of the three spheres of government in South Africa, National, Provincial and Local Government. Participants have an opportunity to reflect on why governance roles, responsibilities and duties are allocated across the three spheres and to reflect on how this understanding can assist them to navigate the political landscape.

The National Budget Participants explore and unpack the National budget using a participatory learning methodology. Participants are given the equivalent of the year’s budget in simulation money and are asked to allocate the simulation money to the cost centres based on the actual National budget. Participants compare their allocations to the national budget and discuss how the national budget allocations reflect the core functions and the priorities of the national government.

Inspiration Guest speakers are invited to engage with participants on social-political topics and debates. The sphere is enriched by selected talks and examples that include Peter Block – Community, Ben Okri – The Tough Alchemy of Africa and Mohammed Yunus - The Grameen Bank, a social business model. All participants receive a DVD copy of all talks and a range of selected articles and reference books that include The National Development Plan, The National Youth Policy and the Municipal Councillors Handbook.

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SPHERE 6: ACTIVATE CHANGE Ripples of change represent symptomatic solutions to challenges faced by South African communities. Waves of change represent systematic solutions to bigger issues. Through-out the ACTIVATE! Training Programme, participants reflect on and affirm their individual contributions and their potential impact as a network of change drivers. This theme underpins the entire programme and is implicit in all modules and sessions. The sessions detailed below, specifically highlight the emphasis that the programme places on the participants’ role as active change agents.

Volunteer Day: Practical Community Interaction In Module 1, participants volunteer to work for a day in a local community. This is an opportunity to support a local initiative and to develop connections and networks with key partners in the community. Activators carefully unpack that experience in the following ways: •

Reporting back on the challenges and experiences they faced during the volunteer day. • Insights into other community challenges they identified (these will make up part of the Module 2 practical experience, as Activators will return to the community to deliver on more ambitious projects over a longer period). • Insights into the development of community relationships, connections and networks. • Insights into, and reflection on, some of the intended and unintended consequences of working in this environment. Participants are required to conduct a volunteer day in their own community as one of their home tasks.

My Community Home Task At the end of Module 1, participants are required to compile a profile of their community. This information is compiled on a community poster that is presented in Module 2. The poster captures a snapshot view of each Activator’s community and unpacks challenges and opportunities. It is used to feed the discussion throughout the module. In particular, participants are asked to report on their municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP), to produce a community photo essay and to identify social upliftment and innovation initiatives within their community. The IDP information is collated into a document that is available on the ACTIVATE! website.

Community Debate and Community Dialogue Participants are asked to conduct a Community Debate and Community Dialogue drawing on the methodologies, insights and knowledge gained during the debate and dialogue sessions in the Modules 1 & 2 respectively. This home task component aims to extend the conversations, dialogues and debates within the programme into the broader community.

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Ripples and Waves of change Participants interrogate the difference between being a network of Activators and being an ACTIVATE! network through the perspective of selected thought leaders. Participants then plot their individual initiatives on a developmental matrix and reflect on their impact as individuals and their potential to impact as a network.

ACTIVATE! Our Voice ACTIVATE! supports and promotes the ideas and actions of the inspirational young people who are part of the ACTIVATE! network through a number of platforms that include: ACTIVATE! Website – ongoing publication of action and opinions of the ACTIVATE! community. ACTIVATE! Exchange - Fostering discussion, debate and partnership beyond the ACTIVATE! network into the public domain.

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ACTIVATE! Junction - an online membership site for Activators to strengthen their network, access resources and opportunities, hone and share ideas, opinions and activities. ACTIVATE! Post – bi-monthly electronic newsletter sent to all Activators on blog updates and interesting stories. ACTIVATE! Our Voices: Dissemination of the ideas and achievements of the ACTIVATE! community through public media,television, radio and print media - monitored and uploaded on ACTIVATE!’s YouTube channel for people who may have missed the broadcast ACTIVATE! YouTube/Media library – a growing video and photo library of the achievements of the Activators

ACTIVATE! what’s happening around ya

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Innovation Showcase Once a year, all Activators meet at a single venue for two days of sharing experiences, networking, showcasing their ideas and projects and building a sense of where they are going together. This is not only essential for reinforcing connections and the Activator Network but also an opportunity to celebrate ideas in action and the impact they are having on South Africa as a whole. The innovation showcase provides a platform of connection and interaction on which the rich Activator movement will be built.

Conclusion ACTIVATE is an inspired network of youth who recognise their individuality, celebrate their commonalities, respect their differences and are bold enough to take positive risks to shape their future as individuals and as a network of activist-activators. ACTIVATE! is leadership for the purpose of public innovation, not as an end in itself. We are growing connections across social, economic, racial, geographic and other divides and the result is a charged up network of change who have a positive vision, who are determined, motivated, equipped, fired up, passionate and driven to get things done. ACTIVATE! is guided by a number of attitudinal shifts and guiding principles: 1. Shift from an IF/THEN mentality to a NOW/HOW mentality. 2. Shift from seeing options and opportunities as EITHER/OR to a THIS/AND understanding of the choices and actions that are available to us. It is valid to address incremental change. It is equally valid to address root causes – the two are not mutually exclusive. 3. Everyone, at every level, every day, has leadership potential and opportunities. You do not have to be a member of economic, political, academic, intellectual or creative elite to be a change agent in your own society and context. 4. In an increasingly globalising world, two opposing trends are emerging; international socio-political and cultural uniformity and radical adherence to cultural, political and national identity and difference. ACTIVATE! argues a third position: that the very basis and motto of the South African emblem and constitution Diverse people unite (!ke e: /xarra //ke), is a radical ideal and challenge.

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The ACTIVATE! Training Programme Summary






Module 1

My journey, Our Assets

Module 2

Our network - Activating connectivity

Module 3

Building resilience, Signing onto the ACTIVATE! Junction

Module 1

Tools for Innovative Thinking - Object & Archetype Project planning – Wash-line planning Inspirational videos

Module 2

Tools for Innovative Thinking - Icons and Concepts Project planning - ACTIVATE! project model Inspirational videos

Module 3

Innovation sweatshop – exhibition Inspirational videos

Module 1


Module 2

LEMON LEADERSHIP, As One, Values Icons

Module 3

Gene Sharp - 198 form of non-violent action

Module 1


Module 2


Module 3

Opinion piece

Module 1

My community home task, My municipality IDP Introduction to the National Development Plan

Module 2

National Development Plan Vision 2030

Module 3

Making Local government work - study session Engage with community issues - role play Sphere of Government - presentation Unpacking the national budget

Module 1

Volunteer day Home tasks – Community Volunteer day & Debate

Module 2

Home tasks - Local icons, Community Dialogue


Activating Ripples and waves of change

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