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Our future is open

We are looking for 10 incredible young people from across the UK, to join a creative journey of discovery into a future imagined by and for young people – and to help shape a major new investment into Britain’s youth and their future.

We are living through an era of extraordinary change and complexity. Cuts to education, health services and youth facilities, the cost of living and mental health crises, and deepening climate and ecological crises are just some of the many things making today a challenging time for young people.

Yet these times are also ones of transition and transformation. The old systems and ways of doing things are not able to create the future young people deserve and dream of. Young people, in relationship with each other and with their elders and ancestors, are central to the new approaches and new thinking that are desperately needed. 

Recognising this, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation – one of the UK’s leading charitable foundations working on issues related to young people – is embarking on a new programme focused on young people and hope for the future. Kinship Discovery, which you can read more about here, will inform where the Foundation directs a significant amount of funding to ensure different futures are possible for young people in the UK.

As part of this, Paul Hamlyn Foundation has invited New Constellations and Northern Soul to create an experiential journey for 10 carefully selected young people and the Foundation’s Trustees.

We believe there is an urgent need for experimentation, creativity and courage. The future is open and as much as we see very significant challenges ahead, we also see extraordinary possibilities for action, for imaginative solutions and for hope.

Tony Hall, Chair, Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The Invitation

We are looking for 10 young people (aged 18-25) from across the UK to join us, and five Trustees from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, on this journey in January 2024. 

Held in beautiful countryside in the South West of England, the journey will be a unique opportunity to come together with a group of amazing peers from many walks of life and locations across the UK, and to help inform how the Kinship Fund will create meaningful change for young people in the UK.

This journey could be for you if most (not necessarily all) of the following descriptions resonate with you:

  • You know deep down we’re in trouble and that things need to change 
  • You share our belief that a brighter future is possible, and are hungry to join others to share ideas and dreams about what that future looks and feels like 
  • You are creative and imaginative and are keen to think about things in a different way  
  • You are open-minded towards new experiences and people who are different to you
  • You are willing to step out of your comfort zone and open yourself to challenge 
  • You are excited about the possibility of shaping an initiative that can have a positive impact for young people

If you are interested in joining us, please fill in this Google Form as soon as you can and before 12pm on the 27th November. If you would like to submit answers to the questions in audio or video format, or any other format that works for you, please email us at [email protected]. We will then be having short conversations with everyone interested before selecting the final group of people in the second week of December. 

  • What is the journey?

    This journey will be an immersive, residential experience hosted by New Constellations and Northern Soul, based on the New Constellations journey methodology, which you can read more about here.

    We will invite participants to come together to:

    • deepen our shared understanding of the moment we are living through and the nature of the many interconnected challenges young people are facing
    • discover bold new visions for the future we want to help shape, and that we might want Kinship Discovery to enable, and articulate the principles and values that animate these 
    • share with, learn from and be enriched by a diverse group of exceptional people
  • Journey details, timings, and important info

    The journey will run from the evening of the 23rd- morning of the 27th January 2024 at an accessible residential venue in the beautiful countryside in the South West of the UK. The process will combine individual, partner and group work, reflective practices, storytelling, sound, and learning from and in nature.

    We will ask big and tough questions to which we won’t always have answers, and to which there will be very different opinions and perspectives in the group. Powerful emotions may arise and our experienced facilitation team will support participants closely throughout – but this may not be for you if you are not ready to be in a space which may include challenge and uncertainty.

    Thanks to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, all costs, including travel, meals, refreshments and accommodation are funded. We know that a five-day process is a big commitment, and should you be offered a place, a £500 honorarium is available for each participant as well as any further support we can provide to enable participation. 

    The journey will be held in a comfortable, accessible venue in beautiful countryside close to Bristol and Bath. Locations, precise timings and logistics will be shared with participants once the group is finalised, but before you put yourself forward please ensure you can commit to being present and offline for the entirety of the journey, from the evening of Tuesday 23rd January – morning of Saturday 27th January 2024, including travel time to this part of the country.

  • What do I need to do if I want to take part?

    If you are interested in coming on the journey, please fill in this google form by 12pm on the 27th November. If you would like to submit answers to the questions in the form in audio or video format, or any other format that works for you, please email us at [email protected]

    We will be conducting conversations with all those who have filled in the Google Form the weeks commencing 27th November and 4th December. 

    Following that, they will shortlist 10 young people to go on the journey. 

    We regret that we will not be able to accommodate everyone, but will keep those who are not selected informed of future opportunities that arise out of the project. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us: [email protected].

  • Who are the organisations behind this?

    New Constellations is an experimental non-profit holding new spaces for people to examine the moment of upheaval we are living through, and to imagine and begin shaping the better futures we believe can emerge from it. We take people and communities on immersive journeys of reflection and discovery, to examine the reality of the status quo, explore expansive possibilities for the future, and consider what true transformation will take at the levels of self, group and system.

    Northern Soul Consultancy was founded in 2018 to provide training, development and support to changemakers in their communities and those seeking greater levels of social justice. We are a non-profit organisation that supports and celebrates the people driving positive social change across the North and beyond.

    Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. He died in 2001 and left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. We use our resources to support social change, working towards a just and equitable society in which everyone, especially young people, can realise their full potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.