Outcomes2016-11-22T09:10:49+00:00

Outcomes

The Kids Council has proven to be of great value for organizations that are intrinsically motivated to see how external parties view their internal organisation, especially when it comes to dilemmas concerning the social context in which organizations operate or dilemmas that require innovation and a long-term vision. In other words, institutions and organizations have to be flexible and willing to get involved.

Every participating party plays a role in the collaboration: the Kids Council inspires others by offering new perspectives, asks critical questions and identifies the essence of the problem. The Board of Directors/Management is responsible for specific solutions. Some organizations consider the Kids Council their ‘moral conscience’. In a way, a Kids Council is comparable to a supervisory board.

Each project has its own specific gains. Sometimes children make connections between different issues, coming up with refreshing new perspectives for solutions (such as in terms of safety and sustainability). Other times, children come up with concrete solutions, such as the 4°C campaign against food waste, or provide inspiration for the reconsideration of a chosen strategy (such as an external [communication] positioning with slogan).

In other words, the dynamics of a Kids Council can make a big difference. Every step in the process is productive on different levels:

Personal development

The interaction between children and adults, and analyzing and discussing dilemmas together, stimulate the personal development and leadership qualities of all parties involved. This applies to project leaders, board members, teachers and certainly children.

Children

  • Feel heard because they are truly listened to.
  • Get more self-esteem because they can contribute in their own way.
  • Find that their talents are valuable in the world of grown-ups.

Board members

  • Get inspired by unexpected knowledge and insights.
  • Leave their comfort zone as a result of unpredictable interaction.
  • Get confronted with the fact that their decisions have an impact on the lives of others and the world they leave behind.

Teachers

  • Get energy from the (thinking) power and individuality of every child.
  • Experience the added value of a facilitating role while children freely conduct research.
  • Develop their own interest in and knowledge of societal issues.

Organizational and group dynamics

Collaboration is key at every step of the project. Participants are inspired to make surprising connections within the participating group, between departments or with other colleagues. This leads to growth, development and positive dynamics within groups.

Kids Council

  • Works together actively which enhances the sense of group solidarity.
  • Learns from and with each other.
  • Gets the opportunity to try different roles, initiatives and characters.

Organizations/institutions

  • Break down organizational structures through intensive collaboration between departments and different levels of management.
  • Learn to identify basic frameworks through the children’s ‘can-do’ mentality.
  • Enhance the sense of community through intensive brainstorming sessions on long-term vision and strategy.

Schools

  • Overcome existing structures through intensive collaboration between children, teacher and management.
  • Get committed to new, socially relevant partners.
  • Experience the common learning process in a positive and surprising way.

Strategic expansion

The children’s insights lead to new perspectives about an organization’s strategy: Why do we do what we do and why do we do it this way? By asking questions and sharing their ideas, children often penetrate to the moral core of an organization. This results in new strategic directions.

Examples

  • Interpolis is going to examine, together with a mixed group, how to make their Interpolis-story ‘Glashelder’ (Crystal-clear) more authentic and communicate it better.
  • Together with the Voedingscentrum (Netherlands Nutrition Centre Foundation), supermarket chain Lidl launched the website Optimaal.nl, a platform that offers children a permanent voice in the fight against food waste.
  • The Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken (Dutch Banking Association) researches how banks can increase the level of customer trust by focusing on personal contact with clients in online and offline services.
  • TUI Benelux collaborates with children in the Netherlands Antilles to make tourist facilities on the islands more attractive for everyone.

 

Innovation

Collaboration with the Kids Council leads to concrete (product) innovation because children get the opportunity to share refreshing new ideas. Adults, inspired by the children, then develop new products. Many organizations also enter into new partnerships with children to achieve innovation through co-creation.

Examples:

  • Friesland Campina is currently developing a dessert based on insights learned from its Kids Council. The children pointed out that a great taste and health go hand in hand and that Friesland Campina has to accept its public health responsibilities.
  • HTM is developing a tram with the help of children. Apart from functioning as a means of communication, the tram also serves to engage the community in the city of The Hague. After all, public transport belongs to everyone. The tram is expected to be in service in the fall of 2015.
  • Aegon is incorporating the children’s input into the development and optimization of a children’s bank account at the bank Knab.