Case 1: It is all about the scale

Sometimes the answer is not 'which' actions should be taken, but 'how big' they should be.

The adult team of the Polish pilot invited to INCLUSO 35 teenagers from six different social therapy centres located in two cities. Being excited about the potential of social media, we thought it would be a good idea to connect people from various locations through social software. The intention was good, but the realisation was harder. We ended up with a big group of people of different ages, who in majority did not know each other, with various lifestyles, school and afternoon schedules and so on and so forth. Big scale = hard task.

What is more, together with the participants we decided on quite an ambitious idea for a pilot. We wanted to organise some events for local communities and run the organisation processes in the online environment. The youngsters were very happy about the prospect of planning their events. In their dreams they saw great events: open air concerts, professional dancing workshops, fete for citizens from a whole city etc. The adults became a bit scared of these visions. In reality it turned out that even organising a two-day workshop just for the INCLUSO group is difficult.

The young people in majority did not have enough communication skills to exchange information efficiently, enough organisational experience to know what should be done for the workshop to be successful and enough time to work everyday on the event preparation. Some of them became overloaded, some simply escaped from the organisation duties. After all throughout 11 months of the project the INCLUSO group managed to realise two big events: the INCLUSO Convent (offline meeting of all participants) and an ecological event titled "My world, my business". And finally the group almost dissolved because of tiredness.

Having learned that long lesson the young people and adults decided to go for something smaller. A smaller young team of 15 participants chose flashmobs (actions organised via mobile phones and internet, gathering a group of people who perform some unusual and short activities and then disperse). They are still like small events to be organised, they do motivate young people and affect their local communities, but are much easier to prepare and give more fun. Flashmobs do work!