Listening to young people: Mobility for future (EN)

Listening to young people: Mobility for future

The responses from the quantitative survey detailed above provided valuable material for de- bating certain aspects in greater depth. For instance, the researchers wanted to explore why the number of young women who responded to the survey was so high. They also wanted to look at whether there was any support for the hypothetical gap between talk and action. This phase of the study hence focused on why a large number of participants felt that climate change needed to be taken (very) seriously and that taking climate action was important, but why comparatively few of them stated that they participated in activities run by groups, clubs or associations that focus on climate protection. These preliminary impressions were first explored together with representatives of IJAB and of the project’s international partner organisations before being discussed in the subsequent focus group sessions. 4.1 Discussing climate issues in the focus groups – young people show up! It has to be said that the members of the focus groups were very enthusiastic participants. Given that it was required to get young people from as many as seven countries to appear at an international online discus- sion session on a Saturday – quite early too, depending on their time zone – the fact that the sessions happened at all is remarkable. In other words, the first conclusion drawn by the research team was that young people show up.

Of the four groups, two engaged in particularly lively dis- cussions – regardless of participants’ age – and started asking each other questions about the situation in their respective countries. The other two groups were slight- ly less animated and didn’t ask as many questions for clarification or discuss as much amongst themselves. Using English as the language of discussion was large- ly unproblematic, even though for the vast majority of participants it was not their native language. Whenev- er someone was unable to find the right term, the oth- er group members helped out, or they used an online dictionary. Some had made some notes in English in advance that they used during the discussion. However, none of the participants felt unable to engage in Eng- lish. All were more than willing to switch on their cam- eras unless there was a technical problem. Participants logged on to the Big Blue Button conferencing platform with an alias, which seemed to create a safe space for honest and respectful interaction. The young partici- pants let each other finish what they had to say, did not cut each other off and were respectful to those whose opinions differed from their own. However, this did not happen very often since they largely had the same opin- ions, attitudes and ideas.

Of the at most 28 young people expected to take part, 22 actually signed in to one of the transnational focus group sessions. The participants were keen to take the opportunity to voice their thoughts, desires and require- ments concerning climate change and mobility and, following the guided discussion, get talking amongst themselves. This enthusiasm is likely due to the fact that the groups consisted exclusively of young people with varying experiences of youth work, yet all with a shared interest in the subject, who were all recruited specifical- ly for these discussion sessions by the project’s partner organisations.


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