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Collaborative Circles

The Collaborative Circle structure is the unique framework that is implemented at all YMF Conferences, and has been a constructive highlight for students and facilitators that distinguish YMF Conferences from many others. The framework facilitates collaboration, communication, and innovation, through engagement with complex global issues which build upon and extend beyond the foundations and skills developed in the classroom environment. At each conference, keynote speakers give a short presentation that stimulates discussion and introduces students to each topic. Using these short, TED-style talks to pique their interest, students engage in Collaborative Circles in a university tutorial setting, with an emphasis on student-to-student discussion and debate. It is an opportunity for students to delve deeper into each topic, exploring complex global issues from a youth perspective. 

Guided Collaborative Discussion

The most important aspect of the Collaborative Circles framework is that it is primarily student-driven. At the heart of Collaborative Circles is the belief that young people should be encouraged to engage with complex issues. As such, the sessions are built around self-guided exploration that allows youth to explore and analyse topics critically and independently. Students are given 5 key questions to guide their discussion.

Areas of Concern

What are the areas of concern within the topic and why do they exist?


What are the challenges associated with the areas of concern, and who do they affect?

Current Action

What is being done at the moment to address these challenges, and who are the primary stakeholder involved?

Youth Involvement

In what ways can young people help address these challenges and areas of concern?

Impact of Youth Engagement

How can youth engagement in these areas address the challenges identified and society as a whole?

What People Say About YMF Conferences

  • I enjoyed the relaxed yet intellectual conversations, or more specifically discussion, that were held when dissecting each topic. I also enjoyed the talks at the beginning. They were deeply interesting and proficient in arousing interest in the topics.
    Marina Lima
  • Very mch enjoyed the conference! Each of the presentation were very interesting and the opportunity for the students to debate and work in collaborative discussion on one of these topics in the afternoon is a great opportunity and learning situation, and one that the students take up very enthusiastically! The setting at the University of Queensland is so uplifting, and an excellent opportunity to expose students to these surrounding at an early age - a place of higher learning, debate and mental fulfilment. We really enjoyed the day!
    Graeme & Johanne Bird
  • An amazing experience which allows you to interact with other young people who possess different perspectives on social issues. I had a brilliant time and I would definitely recommend it for someone who is interested in humanities subjects.
    Marina Hou
  • The captivating young minds of the future conference was a fantastic experience that both promoted and facillitated the development of effective collaborative skills. The event exposed participants to a unique environment that fostered the application of problem solving and critical thinking skills. Overall, young minds of the future successfully engaged audiences, irrespective of their age, though specifically serves as a cornerstone to the ongoing development of teen minds. Definitely a noteworthy experience that I recommend to all students, regardless of age or education.
    Malak Habib
  • I really enjoyed the conference. I liked the topics of presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations as a whole. It really helped me notice the full extent of these humanitarian problems from a different perspective. I enjoyed engaging in collaborative discussion and finding possible solutions to these issues. It was great to discuss with the group and hear the diverse opinions and contributions of others!
    Moira Cairns
  • I enjoyed learning more about the world we live in and how powerful the media and presentation is to influencing our beliefs and the perspectives of others around us. The speakers spoke very well and were certainly engaging!
    Tynnika Fulloon