Taking sensemaking to Torit
The Accelerator Lab Network, scattered across 60 countries worldwide, works in rapid learning cycles based on four protocols: sensemaking, exploring, experimenting, and ultimately, growing and scaling solutions outwards in a variety of directions.
Our Lab is introducing this learning cycle to tackle the inter-connected issue of unemployment and underemployment. Sensemaking, as we are executing it, aims to build a shared understanding emanating from the young people themselves.
In consortium with South Sudanese young people, we want to deeply consider the system of driving forces and different dimensions of unemployment, and their implications on the lives of young people. These engagements will lead to discovering and co-creating more varied and dynamic solutions which address real needs.
It is vital to understand:
- What the young people of South Sudan themselves aspire for their lives,
- What they are trying to do to solve their own problems, and
- What immediate support they need to jumpstart progress on their goals.
Our first priority – get out of Juba, the capital, and connect with young people around the country.
Due to a serendipitous solidarity mission of the UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Accelerator Lab team ventured out to Torit, both a county and a municipality in Eastern Equatoria State, located approximately 90 miles away from the capital, Juba.
There we worked with 60 “young peace-makers” during a two-day engagement spanning Accelerator Lab protocols, including exploration of young people’s role in peace and development.
Importantly, we witnessed a shift in problem framing and mindset among the participants from enumerating requests and needed actions by external partners (donors, agencies, and the like).
“Young people’s voices and perspectives should be accounted for when designing policies and programmes. They are the future of this country’s growth and development,” UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake said while participating in our solutions mapping exercise with young people in Torit.