10th November was a big day for Positive Money because it was the first Positive Money Youth Training Day! 15 amazing young people from across the country came together at the University of York to see for ways that they can take action against an unfair monetary system.
The day began with the young people identifying how the money and banking system affects young people. Some of them found that the biggest problem was the fact that young people are starting life with debt, students leaving university with debt up to £57,000. Another issue that they identified was the prevalence of mental health issues and how this is directly linked to a system of inequality. After us identifying the issues faced by young people in the current economy, we asked them to think about what young people can do and the obstacles that stop us as change makers from making change. The recurring answer to these problems was the need to explain the system to people and to support campaigns with concrete progressive ideas.
This provided the perfect segway to the next section of the day, where we introduced Positive Money and our concrete progressive ideas to system change. Rachel, Positive Money’s lead organiser, gave a great presentation which explained how and why Positive Money came about; how the 2008 crash had empowered us as organisation to give alternatives to a broken system. This was brilliant as it showed that like them, we have noticed how the system affects people, we have thought of ways to address these inequalities, empowered people to take action and launch successful campaigns.
What blew their mind (and continues to blow my mind too) was the statistic that showed that only 85% of MPs know where money comes from. This made them very angry and demand ways to start their campaigns to divest power from the pale, male stale MPs and into the hands of the people. This led to us showing them the speakers presentation, giving them the skills to go out into their communities to share our message and empower other young people. Many of the young people felt that they did not have the confidence to speak about economics. The speaking skills session helped them to develop their confidence as well as anxiety handling mechanisms that stop people from feeling that their voices are just as important as MPs.
The day ended with the young people giving their own presentations, in preparation for them to go out into their universities, schools to empower people. It was great to see them grow in confidence and believing in their voice and the importance of their opinion on issues that affect young people disproportionately. It was also great to hear them making plans to do talks after the day!
All in all, the Positive Money team left feeling very excited to see what the future of the Positive Money Youth Network holds after being surrounded by such great young people! We are looking forward to working with them and for future Positive Money Youth Speakers Training Days.
Lastly, a special shoutout to Tim Donehy-Adams from the York local group who helped us in setting up the event and even running the event!