Towards the end of 2022 it was announced that there were officially more people globally under the age of 35 then over 35. With young people today, Generation Z and Generation Alpha, growing up in a vastly different world to that experienced by any other generation before, organisations around the world have been working to establish youth advisory boards to ensure they are co-designing experiences with young people and tapping into their unique views and perspectives.
One such organisation is Ipswich City Council and they have done this successfully since 2007 with the Ipswich Youth Advisory Council (IYAC). As we dived into 2022, the council approached us about working with them over the course of six month to reimagine and redesign their youth advisory council. With a changing of team and refocus of priorities, we found this was a perfect opportunity to reimagine what an impactful youth advisory council might look like that would add value to the council as well as the young people involved in the program.
To do this, our team had the pleasure of working with the council and the young people previously involved in the program to understand what was working well and where the room for improvement was. From there we consulted with community leaders from across the region to understand how they might like to collaborate with the youth advisory council, and we facilitated hackathons with local young people to find out what issues they were passionate about and how they wanted to make a change in their community.
After consulting with the key stakeholders to understand what they were looking for, we then took a macro view as we explored youth advisory initiatives around the world. Exploring how corporates, small businesses, governments, not-for-profits and schools globally were working with young people to source ideas, solutions and insights, we were able to cherry-pick some of our favourite approaches before then looking at how we could localise them to the Ipswich community.
After careful co-design and consultation with council and the key stakeholders, we were able to produce our recommendations on the redesigned Ipswich Youth Advisory Council that would bring the best approaches from around the world to Ipswich in order to provide young people an opportunity to truly make a change in their local community.