Applications invited for Open Space Fellowships
Â Nurturing civil society leadership and action among young people
Open Space, the unique civil society and youth outreach initiative managed by the Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS), uses several different strategies to involve citizens in debate, discussion and action on social justice and development issues.
Our pilot civil society outreach project has been operational in Pune for over four years. Open Space engages citizens - particularly young citizens -- through film screenings, theatrical performances, literary readings, music concerts, art, storytelling, activity-based workshops where participants can learn new communication skills, discussion and study forums, public lectures, youth festivals and campaigns etc. These strategies have ensured that Open Space has become a vibrant place for youth to volunteer, learn, share ideas, and express themselves. Equally, Open Space has become a public forum for CSOs and citizens to 1) take their work/ideas/processes to a wide audience of concerned citizens, and 2) build action networks.
CCDS is now extending the Open Space idea and process to other cities in India through the Open Space Fellowships. We have been working in Lucknow, Chennai and Kolkata for the last six months, and are now looking to award more fellowships in other growing metropolitan cities such as Bhopal, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Nagpur etc. These are full-time fellowships for a period of 12 months.
We are looking for individuals who are well-informed on social justice and development issues, with a background in the social sciences/human rights/development/media or allied fields. The Fellows should be dynamic, energetic, resourceful and excellent at communications, moderating discussions, training and capacity-building. A passion for the arts and ideas will be an added advantage.
The Fellows will use and adapt in their own cities some of the Open Space "software" (such as a traveling film festival on HIV/AIDS, or a package of programming for college festivals, or a package of films and lectures on social communications for media institutions, or activity-based workshops on gender, sexuality, human rights, globalisation, etc). They will also develop their own strategies for outreach and activities/campaigns specific to their own cities. The Fellows should be well-networked with NGOs, CSOs, educational institutions and community groups in their own city.
Over the 12-month period, several regular networks, partnerships, events and forums should have been initiated and publicised, and these activities should continue to operate and be strengthened on a voluntary basis by citizens after the 12-month period.
Open Space Fellows will organise programmes and trainings at multiple venues, in collaboration with educational institutions, communities, campaigns, partner CSOs etc.
The Open Space fellowships will be awarded to individuals preferably below the age of 40.
The fellowship carries a monthly honorarium of Rs 20,000, inclusive of communication and conveyance costs incurred by the Fellows.
Applicants are invited to send in their CVs and a detailed statement of interest in these fellowships, expanding on 1) their suitability for, and interest in, these fellowships; 2) the social justice/development issues most integral to their cities which they would like to work on in the course of this fellowship; 3) strategies they would employ for outreach, including likely partners and networks in their cities.