The first questions to the Fontys “communication” students were “how does a community arise?” and “how do you keep a community alive?”. These questions were a warm-up for the essential question why we as AiREAS and study group had come together, namely “how can AiREAS involve young people in the challenge of health and air quality”. Five groups of three people, aged around 23, mixed male and female, sometimes only ladies due to the large amount of female presence in the group, set to work on the challenge. The initiative for this challenge had come from the students themselves, especially Hannah van den Hurk, who had participated in the recent AiREAS executive conference as youthful challenger of the management committee. After the introduction of Jean-Paul Close, people had about 90 minutes to come up with concrete proposals.
In those 90 minutes, the young people had to master the challenge of AiREAS because it was unknown territory for them? Then they should discuss together whether they could come up with a project for connection and communication? And finally prepare and deliver a presentation. Both the teacher and Jean-Paul Close did their rounds to assist the students with their questions or background information. They set to work with enthusiasm in an extremely relaxed and creative way. And the result may be there. Five applicable and executable project propositions were presented in a professional manner. It is unimaginable how free, open and creative these young people can be if they are given the space and incentives.
Naturally, these creative young people were challenged to implement their 4 x WIN ideas with the help of the AiREAS community. Without exception, they accepted the challenge. Hats off to these beautiful, involved people. They give us hope and trust in the future!