Our societies are facing multiple high scale challenges: the future of our economy is uncertain; scientific opinion is ringing the alarm about the worsening state of our planet, and mistrust is rising between people everywhere on the globe. The recent COVID-19 crisis and the latest news (such as alarming temperatures in Siberia or sinking health care systems all over the world) give multiple concrete examples of how the climate crisis, global mistrust and economic crisis affect us in our day-to-day lives.
However, in this context of rising insecurity and fear for the future, youth seem to refuse the worsening of these conditions: Young people are becoming more vocal and more engaged in defending the causes they care about and raising awareness on the issues threatening the wellbeing of their communities. They are organizing world-wide protests and social media movements, gathering in associations, being innovative to find concrete solutions, and are overall willing to get involved. The message to older generations is quite clear: we need to do better; we need to take action now.
Yet the lack of concrete measures from the political and economic elites reinforces the crisis of distrust. Youth are left unappeased and frustrated. The actions taken to answer their concerns do not live up to their expectations. Moreover, the solutions proposed by the higher spheres of power are not sufficient to tackle the issues they are raising. These negative feelings and the overarching breach of dialogue between generations are leading to a new kind of activism. Fueled by mutual failure to understand each other and frustration from both sides, we can witness an escalation of violence in protests and a rise of extremism in discourses.
Young people are demanding to be heard. They want concrete and bold action to be taken now. They are aware that the issues we are all facing are of significant importance and need to be urgently tackled. They know how they will inflict unprecedented repercussions on the following decades, and even on future generations. Something has to be done to efficiently deal with the multiple crises threatening their future. The youth all over the world have ideas and solutions. They are driven by a willingness to do better and not to accept the status quo.
Your Public Value aims at giving young people the space they need to express their concerns and their needs, and to find solutions to these new global challenges. The project Youth Public Value Voices provides a space for action where the youth can co-create the future they want and reestablish the broken connection between generations. Such a space leaves room for them to develop their ideas to achieve universal wellbeing and common good around them. Young people are to be seen an asset, not as a challenge. We are aiming at filling the growing need for a new space for this potential to express itself and grow.
This Position Paper aims at highlighting the breach of dialogue between generations and the need to take immediate action to give young people a safe space to express themselves. Starting with Europe and Africa, such an objective also bridges and connects youth from the oldest and youngest continents. It encourages them to be innovative and co-create principles to establish the future they want.
Your Public Value believes in youth participation. Please contact us if you’re interested in participating in our next online discussion on 31st August 2020.