Endeavour facilitated interactive workshop for the University of Toronto

Written by Lucie Drabinova, Vice President of Consulting, Endeavour

lucieEndeavour was invited to facilitate an interactive workshop for undergraduate and graduate students as a part of the ‘Third annual student-organized International Development Conference (IDC)’, hosted at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus on February 8th and 9th 2014. The theme of this year’s conference was: ‘Unmapped: Re-Imagining the Direction(s) of Development’. The conference engaged participants in critical dialogue and activities that fostered learning and the exchange of ideas.

While developing the workshop, I wanted to ensure that participants had the opportunity to work collaboratively and learn by exchanging and brainstorming ideas. It was great to see the participants in action – brainstorming, collaborating and presenting their findings

Two of us delivered the workshop – myself on Saturday, February 8th and Hadi Alaghehband, Director of Client Relations at Endeavour, facilitated the workshop on Sunday, February 9th. About 45 attended the Saturday session, while about 20 people attended on Sunday.

Participants of the workshop worked collaboratively on solving a real non-profit problem through mini case study. This case study was based on anl Endeavour project for Smart Youth International*, who asked Endeavour for help with a feasibility study on expansion of their ‘Youth Job Ready’ program. (*Note: Names and identifying references have been changed to protect confidentiality. The name is fictional.)

Participants had 30 minutes to work in teams and come up with answers to the following questions: How would you approach the creation of the plan – i.e. what kind of steps (e.g. research, analysis, interviews, etc.) would you do? What kind of resources (financial, staff, volunteers, etc.) would you need? What is your hypothesis / recommendation for Smart Youth International. They had to ensure team work, division of roles, and they had to record their answers on flip chart. After 30 minutes, all teams presented their findings.

I was very pleasantly surprised that many teams suggested similar approaches in terms of the steps and resources that would be necessary. Many teams came up with other creative ideas. Through this exercise, participants had the opportunity to learn more about issues and challenges international development non-profits are facing. They also had the opportunity to discuss solutions to these challenges and present to the rest of the groups.

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