Youth as Policy Makers in a Negotiations Simulation
Describe the problem that you want to address. How does this problem effect people in their daily lives?

Often citizens, and particularly youth aged 13 to 24, hold back from engaging in the discussion of complex societal problems, thinking strategically, negotiating collaboratively, and getting involved in the decision making process related to politics and public policy making. As a result their views and visions for the future are never heard or considered. For our society to navigate crises, we need to empower the engagement of youth in the above processes embracing their differing views and encouraging them to share their visions for the future. Within the Technology for Citizen Engagement Challenge, our project seeks to build a Negotiations Simulation to bring together different individuals or groups of young people to draft a common vision for the future as if they were policy makers or members of a council. Our Negotiations Simulation will include an opportunity for participants to edit, debate, and vote on specific proposals of vision plans, and share the results on social media.  

Describe your proposed solution – How does your approach build on or add to more traditional ways of dealing with problem?

Our proposed simulation is both a tool and a service with utility to the society providing the means for youth to engage in shaping a vision for the future as if they were policy makers.The simulation will allow the participating groups to edit, debate, and vote on specific proposal plans aiming to reach consensus on a shared vision for the future. Visons will be shared on social media for wider impact. For exaple, Greek and Turkish Cypriots can work together to create regional solutions on issues such as drug trafficking, trade agreements, migration, sustainable development, effective communication, while attempting to shape a common vision for the future of the Republic of Cyprus. We believe that fresh and stimulating ideas and positions of the youth can help navigate crises in our society and have the power to influence politics and public policy making. Our project will allow these voices to be heard, thus contributing to changing and improving our society. 

Which technologies are you planning to use and why? Please make reference to other similar uses of your proposed technology.

Our Negotiations Simulation will run on a typical browser via a computer or smart devise (e.g. smartphone and tablet). Anyone with internet access will be able to access and participate in our simulation from anywhere, anytime. The simulation will be designed to accommodate a number of participating individuals or groups of various sizes. In the simulation, participants will share their views for the future in the form of proposal plans, edit plans, debate, and vote as if they were policy makers or members of a council. Participants’ consensus vision plans will be shared on social media, such as twitter and Facebook, aiming a broader audience and wider impact.