Young Consultants Group
According to the United Nations, almost 85 percent of the world’s youth live in developing countries, with approximately 60 percent in Asia alone. This percentage is predicted to increase to 89.5 percent by 2025. The Young Consultants Group was established according to the vision of Iran for 2025, and the milestones of the Fifth Development Program of Iran.
The Young Consultants Group facilitates interaction between the youth and local authorities with an apolitical, non-profit and non-executive approach to upgrade youth-scientific cooperation in urban management.
•Providing effective communication between universities and research centers with industry and other parts of the society
•Reaching economic development
•Developing advanced technology
Goals of the Initiative
The main goals of Young Consultants Group are to:
•Increase social capital
•Increase human capital
The goals mentioned above will be achieved via following policies:
•Youth active cooperation and effective collaboration;
•Youth involvement in decision-making.
Parties and Partners to the Initiative
The Young Consultants Group involves public-community partnerships. The leading partners are the youth and urban managers.
The Young Consultants Group has three main connections including urban mangers, young citizens, and scientific community.
If local authorities want to solve urban issues and youth issues in cities, they should use the capabilities of youth. Since more than 80 percent of the youth in Mashhad are educated our model is based on scientific cooperation. Urban managers, young citizens and scientific communities are the core stakeholders of YCG.
Resources Used for Implementation
The municipality of Mashhad allocates a budget to the Young Consultants Group according to an action plan. There are many bilateral programs between YCG and different parts of the municipality (via young consultants working as regional and organizational deputies), or other institutions such as universities and research centers. Consequently, the budget is allocated cooperatively.
With regard to the human resources of YCG, there are 39 young consultants, 744 activists cooperating in special committees and 4000 young volunteers.
Innovation for the Initiative
The Young Consultants Group is an evolutionary initiative.
YCG commenced a new initiative and devised strategies and policies that include the enhancement of knowledge and skills, upgrade of social status, economic support of research, experiments and initiatives and improving commercialization.
The Idea City of the Young Consultants Group of the Municipality of Mashhad has been the first and the most successful experience at regional and national level. It has improved accountability and a sense of belonging among citizens.
Innovation has been applied in
The innovation is applied in policy and strategy, as the youth play a role in decision making in order to build their cities.
Obstacles and Solutions for Innovation
In the beginning, one of the significant problems of YCG was to gain acceptance of the youth’s role in urban management. The average age of the municipality was rather high, and did not accept the creativity and new ideas of the youths. Moreover, the youth themselves did not initially participate in urban management and did not provide solutions.
More than half of the proposed studies did not satisfy managerial needs, and some of the youth’s perspectives were not practical. We finally concluded that the studies and ideas should not be only presented to mangers, and instead the experts and deputies should be involved in order to make the studies more practical. We asked the managers to propose their challenges and issues, then we provided special committees of students, professors and experts on urban management to provide ideas and new studies.
Another problem was that students and academics are not familiar with executive problems in the city, which lead to the gap between universities and urban managers. YCG held training courses and technical visits of urban projects to solve this problem.
Outcomes and Assessments
YCG recently achieved satisfactory outcomes:
•224,000 scientific studies, ideas and innovations conducted by the youth in urban management arena
•Cooperation with 72,000 educated youth in urban management
•3000 scientific articles collected on urban management
•15 books published and 13 software developed on urban management
•Ideation Council established in Mashhad urban management
•Checklist of metropolises discourse
•Contracts with scientific and academic centers
•17 student festivals with 16,627 participants
•31 seminars held in urban management arena
•Urban Management Summer School held with 115 students
•184 meetings with urban managers and 98 special meetings with professors and teachers
•118 articles and thesis supported financially
•283 technical visits to urban projects, and 72,95 students participated
•6,484 students attracted as activists to the municipality and empowering youth in urban management to provide human and social capital.
The Idea City Platform was established in order to facilitate ideation (the formation of ideas and concepts) through virtual communication. It is a user-friendly website designed for citizens so that they can provide and share their creative ideas with people in charge of local urban management. The platform is also considered as a youth think-tank for urban management.
The Idea City Platform helps to upgrade public services and the implementation of new ideas in urban management.