Our journey began in 2006, when Pravah and the Youth and Civil Society Initiative of Sir Ratan Tata Trust (YACS-SRTT) held consultations to develop strategies for strengthening youth development and active citizenship in India. It emerged that given the number and diversity of young people and youth issues in the country, people and organisations with diverse experiences in youth work needed to collaborate and put in place strategies for change. In 2007, Pravah and SRTT jointly invited a number of like-minded people from several development organizations and educational institutions to come together to form Commutiny -The Youth Collective (CYC).
CYC was envisioned as an organisation, which would play a key role in strengthening the ecosystem for youth development and citizenship in the country in a collaborative fashion. The collective provided the space for members to build a common vision and ownership, conceptualize, design and implement different programs in a way that all members could contribute their unique inputs. By January 2008, CYC launched its first initiative – the Commutiny Learning and Leadership Journey (LLJ) – a programme to strengthen youth led social change by supporting youth leaders to implement diverse social change initiatives. Since then this program has supported diverse change initiatives by young social entrepreneurs every year.
CYC also started piloting some new initiatives using media for engaging different stakeholders on the issue of youth. Learnings from these initiatives eventually led CYC to crystallize the Commutiny Media Network, a national level network comprising youth and youth facilitators committed to using diverse media to take issues relevant to youth to a wider audience.Simultaneous with initiatives on the ground, CYC also focused on establishing its identity as an independent entity and was registered as a Trust in December 2008.
In 2011, CYC in collaboration with Pravah, articulated the idea of a 5th Space and the collective decided to work to actively promote the co-creation and nurturing of these 5th Spaces by developing a serious media advocacy agenda around it. Going forward in 2012-13 the 5th Space became a shared vision in the collective.