The founding conference in January 2007 in Nairobi was a brilliant experience for over 150 young people. This was where we met for the first time and laid down the principles, objectives, and statutes of GYG.
The GYG conference, held from January 16-20 2007, was attended by 156 people, with 133 voting participants, all under 35. The numbers were approximately as follows:
- Africa: 89 (50 Kenyans)
- Americas: 5
- Asia Pacific: 31
- Europe: 26
Accommodation was at the MF Hostel, a leafy property on the outskirts of Nairobi. Tents were rented, and mattresses and blankets were bought. These were later donated to two local facilities in Nairobi, caring for orphans suffering from AIDS and terminal diseases. Video footage of these facilities is online, with the link appearing at the end of this report.
The conference was held in the nearby United States International University (USIU), a twenty minute walk away which participants did as a group at the beginning and end of each day.
GYG employs consensus building as the preferred method of decision making. When gathered in a large group, for example at global congress, an effective way of building consensus is to form small groups for discussion, which later report back on key points of divergence. At the beginning of each session, the group first agrees on how long can be spent discussing each point. Then the following process is taken: The process is undertaken as many times as necessary in the agreed amount of time. If consensus is still not achieved, the person or...read more
Only in 2005 died 2.8 million people because of HIV/Aids. 2 millions alone in Sub-Saharan Africa, 560 thousands in South-East Asia and all in all 25.4 millions people are infected with HIV/Aids. Due to these figures from 2005 of the WHO and knowing that there already exist drugs and therapies to enhance the probability of the chances of these suffering people to live on, someone might be wondering what’s happening (or what’s not happening) here. During the workshop we wanted to get some answers to these questions. Under participation of Mr....read more
A great deal of web-based work was necessary to organise this conference. Potential participants had a constant stream of questions and answering them was seriously time consuming. One problem we encountered was that people sent their queries to multiple organisers, and some were answered by two people, some none at all. Particularly during the fund raising stage when there were lots of queries about applications, amounts, rejections, acceptances etc, this became problematic. Organisers established a common inbox (a ’front desk’) but still...read more
With the congress over, many participants attended the opening ceremony of the World Social Forum. Meanwhile, the new steering committee held its first meeting. Good progress was made: in terms of our communication, we agreed to have weekly web-chats at fixed times which people can join when they are able to. We use a google group, which provides group mailing, a forum and the possibility to store and edit shared documents online. We also worked on the action plan, still in progress. In the afternoon, we held a conference with members of the...read more
Each group nominated presenters to relay what happened in the various discussions. Results will appear on GYG’s wiki page, which is linked from our main website. In the afternoon consensus was found on the objectives of GYG, and presentations were made for possible statutes for the organisation. Janna Schönfeld and Markus Drake had both prepared drafts prior to the conference and presented them to the group. The discussions on principles were extremely time consuming, but it was not wasted time- it demonstrated that everybody had deep...read more
The support and advice of older people involved in the Green movement was incredibly important to the GYG founding conference. Beyond financial help, we received vital assistance from seasoned activists, some that we don’t even know about and probably never will. The relationship between the Global Greens, Green parties and GYG is still to unfold but we do know a few things. There has obviously been a strong relationship from the beginning, as the GYG founding conference was supposed to be a ’side conference’ to the Global Greens 2008, which...read more
While other participants were attending the tree planting excursion, a new statutes proposal was being worked on at the university. Having listened carefully to the debates, suggestions and concerns of the group, Markus and Janna sat down together and came up with a new draft. So on day four, with Anna Luhrmann facilitating, the group turned its attention to finding consensus on GYG statutes. Fighting time restrictions, amendments were made as we went along. The aim was for consensus but voting was necessary several times. By lunch, the...read more
Early in the morning the group left to visit a tree planting project of the Green Belt Movement. In an attempt to offset some of the carbon emissions generated by the conference, organisers arranged for a “GYG forest” of a thousand trees to be planted. However, as January is the wrong season for planting in Nairobi, we could only plant a few and have the others planted later. So it was a ceremonial occasion, but also a wonderful opportunity to see first hand the work of the Green Belt Movement. After a walk in the forest, each...read more
Most participants arrived on January 15th, and thankfully had time to get to know each other and recover from their travels. So on the morning of day one, after some additional registrations, the group set off for the university where the conference was to be held. People continued to arrive throughout the day, and indeed throughout the conference! The opening ceremony began with introductions by Juliet Mugure and Peter Mungai of the Green Belt Movement, kind hosts of the GYG in Nairobi. Keynote speaker Anna Luhrmann, the youngest Green ever...read more
The GYG conference, held from January 16-20 2007, was attended by 156 people, with 133 voting participants, all under 35. Despite efforts of the organisers, the gender balance was still 2:1 male to female. The numbers were approximately as follows: Africa: 89 (50 Kenyans) Americas: 5 Asia Pacific: 31 Europe: 26 Accommodation was at the MF Hostel, a leafy property on the outskirts of Nairobi. Tents were rented, and mattresses and blankets were bought. These were later donated to two local facilities in Nairobi, caring for orphans suffering...read more