I am deeply grateful and somewhat awed…
Ms. Kate Randolph
IYMS Development and Outreach
It has taken me one and a half months to process the experience of the 9th International Youth Media Summit, and I am certain that there will be additional thoughts, impressions, and emotions as time goes by… I was humbled to be part of such a brave group of young (and young-at-heart!) people. To have traveled so far out of their comfort zones, some traveling great physical distances far, far from home, some traveling great emotional distances, some both… I am deeply grateful and somewhat awed…
Things I was amazed by and that I hope we will continue to build upon:
The delegates: how committed! how engaged! how involved! More than ever before.
The diversity: representation from Afghanistan, Palestine, Armenia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and Mexico as well as all the other fabulous recurring partnering countries made for a far more exciting and meaningful gathering.
The dialogues: meaningful, substantive, and at times confrontational and emotional meant that we are ready to bring the Summit out of idealism and into the real world. Can the IYMS be the place that enables and encourages young people to voice conflicting views as well as harmonious and idealistic ones? Can it provide the one safe place where conflicting ideologies and cultures can come together, hash it out, stay in the room when the going gets tough, and come one step closer to finding common ground? I think so… We are all human first.
The venue: being contained within a beautiful setting with all meeting places and work spaces within a few short steps of one another made for greater efficiency and fewer distractions when films had to get finished and deadlines had to be met. And what a gorgeous place it was…
The heart: so much heart in this group of people; friendships were born that will last a lifetime.
The food: wow. What can we say? So much to choose from, no matter what your food tastes or needs were.
The community involvement: drivers, actors, ushers, volunteers of all sorts from the local (and not so local) community got involved. I thought this helped to spread the word about the Summit, the message of the Summit, and the spirit of the Summit.
The daily news: was better than ever in quality and substance; more relevant, more connected to all other aspects of the activities of the Summit. The humor served the issues and the spirit of the Summit’s big picture and was more aligned with the Summit’s mission.
The PSA’s: were of better quality overall than the three prior Summits with which I have been involved. In prior Summits, one or two films stood out as being especially well done, while always one or two others stood out as being of low quality. This year all films met a certain standard of excellence. It helped to have mentors embedded in each issue group right from the start and to have oversight throughout the entire filmmaking and editing process, keeping all groups on track & sticking to the original story that was approved by the EC.
The declarations: Sincere, from the heart, and – for the most part – well prepared and well written. Overall, excellent! Well filmed. For next time: all eyes to the camera, not looking down at note cards, more time to be coached, more time to memorize. Keep them shorter, maybe every single person gives a much shorter declaration of one thing that they absolutely WILL DO!
The talent show: followed by the spontaneous dance party… What joy! As one of the delegates said, it was absolutely the best icebreaker of all!
The presentations: short, meaningful, all directly relevant to the seven issues of the Summit and/or involved Summit delegates.
The issue groups speakers: powerful, so powerful. Made the issues real to the young delegates.
The issue group visits: helped bond the groups and make the issues more urgent, less theoretical.
Overall, the 9th IYMS was a huge success on many levels.
Recommendations for next time:
—more staff, ;-)
—more funding, ;-)
—more time between sessions!
—greater clarification of what is expected of the adult advisors and clearer roles for them outlining the many ways in which they could be more involved throughout the entire process…
—outings at the beginning as well as at the end, so nobody gets so antsy to escape !!