March 14, 2006

OPPORTUNITIES: How to enter the J8 competition - for young people (13-16) from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the USA and Russia

How to enter the J8 competition

The J8 competition is your chance to represent your country, and to tell world leaders what you would do if you were running the world!
The J8 competition 2006 is running for students aged 13-16 across the G8 countries. In Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA, students can enter the J8 competition, and for students in Russia a national competition will be launched by the Russian Ministry of Education in February.

To enter the J8 competition 2006 you and a group of your friends will need to submit a Communiqué on four of the key themes which are going to be discussed at the G8 Summit 2006. The four topics are:
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • Education
  • Energy security
  • Infectious diseases
How to enter

Step 1: On your marks!
Form a group of up to 8 school-friends (you must all be aged between 13 and 16 on Friday March 31st 2006) and give your group a name. Find a teacher who could help you, for example by booking a room for you to meet.

Step 2: Get set!
Have a look around the information on the J8 website, register your team, take a look at the template for the Communiqué and the J8 Communiqué 2005 so you know what your final entry must look like. Also look at the criteria the judges will be looking for in the winning Communiqués. Once you have registered your team you can look at the competition entry process and see what you will be doing to submit your entry. Think about what resources you could use to research the issues, for example, the J8 website, the internet, books, the news, teachers, friends or family. Your group should research each of the J8 topics so you can answer all four questions. The questions are:

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS): How should we support the growth and development of the Commonwealth of Independent States?

Education: What should we do to ensure the level of education in the world rises?

Energy security: How can we ensure that all nations have a secure and sustainable energy supply that does not cause harm to us or to the rest of the world?

Infectious diseases: What should we do to reduce the impact of infectious diseases around the world?

Work out how your group is going to research the issues. You could meet up each week and work together as a group or you could work in pairs or present what you've found out that week to the rest of the group. You could change the topic your group is researching every few weeks, or you could divide the group so each pair has a different topic to work on. Ask a teacher for their advice as well.

Step 3: Go!
Get started! Find out about the topics and develop your Communiqué. Why not start by finding out what has been discussed on these topics at previous G8 Summits, or see if you can find anything about them in the news.

The deadline for entries is midday on Friday 31st March 2006. Any entries received after this date will not be considered by the judges. You must submit:
  • Your Communiqué (it must include 8 points, 2 on each of the 4 topics, as well as an introduction)
  • Support material (evidence of the work you have done for J8 e.g. bibliography, places you have visited, speeches you have heard, programmes you have watched, people you have spoken to)
  • Group personal statement (a personal piece explaining how you organised yourselves as a group, what you learnt through J8 and why you are interested in the issues)
  • Personal details (a form with details including names and ages of group members, contact details of your school etc)
Your entry must be submitted online, and entries must be in English, the official language of the G8. Don't forget to look at the template for the Communiqué to see how your Communiqué will look when it's finished.

Then what?

Once you have submitted your entry it will first be vetted to ensure your group fits the entry criteria. The entries from each G8 country will then be short-listed, and those Communiqués displayed on the website. Your group will receive individual passwords so you can look at the Communiqués from your country online, and vote for the one that you think would best represent the young people of your country at the J8 Summit 2006. To keep things fair you won't be able to vote for your own Communiqué. The entries will then be judged by a panel of independent experts and through this joint judging process a winning group from each G8 country will be selected.

The winning groups from each of the G8 countries will win a place at J8 St Petersburg 2006, an all-expenses-paid, 3-day Summit in July 2006, and the top Communiqués from each country will win prizes. That could be you!

Judging criteria

Judges will look for competition entries that are:
  • Innovative - this is your chance to demonstrate that young people look at things from a different perspective from adults and can find new and interesting solutions to world challenges
  • Ambitious - your ideas should be based around solutions that could make a real difference rather than simply stating facts and information on the issues
  • Realistic - although the judges are looking for ambitious solutions, your ideas must be ones that could be implemented
  • Backed-up - you should give evidence of the work you have done for J8 in the 'support material' section. The judges will look for proof that you understand the issues
  • Well-communicated - even if you have a really good idea, it won't be taken up if people don't understand it. Make sure you explain your thoughts clearly and make the judges really interested in everything you are suggesting!
  • Personal - the personal statement is your opportunity to show how you have worked as a team and why you are interested in global issues
    There are some testimonies from teachers who took part in J8 2005 here.


    Chris Schuepp
    Young People's Media Network - Coordinator

    Youth Media Consulting GbR
    c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
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