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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 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
  • The YMF FPS Conference was an excellent opportunity beyond the standard school curriculum to collaborate with like-minds on a range of creative and innovative topics. An amalgamation of communication and collaboration, the conference truly challenged students in a unique and collaborative environment.
    Emily Selleck
  • 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
  • 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
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative sessions. They gave me the opportunity to voice my opinions and expand my knowledge on the topics. It was a very eye opening experience!
    Helen Kwon
  • It is great that students and teachers are able to experience this high level of presentation and interaction, and UQ is an excellent location! I like the format of having presenters at the start followed by the opportunity to discuss afterwards. The added final session of coming back together to shape feedback is wonderful, especially with such interesting topics!
    Simon Canfield