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Deciding Actions

How do we start gathering ideas to express how we feel and what responses can be undertaken to make positive change? How can we start planning concrete actions?

What do we want to do?

Once you have analysed and identified the main issue you would like to work on with your group, it is time to decide your group action. Critical thinking asks these types of questions:

  1. Either individually or in small groups, look at the Action Guides which have been produced for a range of issues on the SFYouth website. Alternatively, to gather ideas you might research online what other groups of young people or organisations have done to raise awareness about global issues.
  2. Share your findings with your group. Make a list of all possible actions, asking each group member to write a proposal on a post-it or on a board. This method is called ‘brainstorming’ or ‘thought shower’. It is important to allow your imagination to run freely and record every idea.
  3. Try to cluster the ideas according to the main common features (they can refer to the type of action or to the specific topic or audience they address).
  4. To help with the decision-making process, ask each group member to choose which proposal they like the most and explain why. Finally ask all participants to express their final preferences (having heard other people’s preferences with their reasons). Once you have counted the votes to select the activity, you are ready to start the planning process.

It is worth trying to reach a group consensus wherever possible as this will mean all members of the group are more likely to be motivated and fully engaged with the selected proposal!

Title and keywords

Once you have identified your action it is fundamental to define a title and some keywords to write a short description of the idea.

The title has to be short, effective, and easy to memorize and translate into a logo. In case you want to create a Facebook page or a web page double-check whether that title already exists by searching for it using a search engine such as Google.

Activity

Write a short summary of your action that you can share with others, following the 5 W + 1 H rule (what, where, when, who, why and how)1 keeping to a maximum of about 15-20 lines.

References:
1For more information on 5W+1H activity see the Skill ‘Critical Thinking’.