Washington DC, June 18th 2016 - The World Bank Group (WBG) and its Global Partnership for Youth in Development (GPYD) with the support of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) hosted last June 13-15, the Global Youth Forum 2016. It aimed to move the youth agenda forward by building a sustainable Global Partnership for Youth in Development, comprising entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, and civil society organizations who understand that young people are central to the development process.
The three-day Forum explored:
1. What works, for whom, where, why, and - just as importantly - what doesn't work, to help young people enter adulthood successfully? What must we do differently?
2. How can we work together with young people in their desire to have a meaningful impact on their families and broader societies?
3. What is needed to form positive identities, or to build agency?
4. How can we be more open to youth-driven development and ideas, and to the role of young people in finding and implementing effective solutions?
More than300 people participated during the three days panels and activitieswhich include the participation as keynote speakers of Michał Rutkowski, Director External and Corporate Relations, World Bank Group, Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Special Envoy for Youth, Dr. Leana Wen, Public Health Commissioner, Baltimore City, Mr. Ian Scott, Oxford University, Jo Boyden, Oxford University, Young Lives Project, Bill Reese, President and CEO, International Youth Foundation, Mbogo-Wanja, Principal Secretary, Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs, Kenya among others.
The World Bank Group and its Global Partnership for Youth in Development (GPYD) have partnered with YABT in order to facilitate several participation channels for youth around the world. These channels elevated their voices and made sure that they were heard at the 2016 Global Youth Forum.
The consultation process prior to the forum aided in understanding the main concerns facing young people in their transition to adulthood. The engagement process and participation channels generated a space open to everyone who wanted to share their stories and recommendations on youth-relevant topics such as migration, employment, education, health and well-being.
It is important to involve youth at the highest possible level when planning a global youth forum. We cannot have a conversation on how to improve their lives if we do not understand their dreams, ambitions and where they are coming from. YABT facilitated various channels so that young people around the world could participate even if they could not travel to Washington, DC.
During the Forum itself, YABT was actively engaging young people from all over the world through social media. Young people from various countries participated in the Forum through the live web stream; they asked questions and provided their inputs through Twitter and other social media platforms. Social media interaction has had over 13 million impressions and directly reached over 3 million people worldwide.
The Global Youth Forum 2016 gathered more than 250 partners and representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society, and young people themselves, exchanging new and innovative ideas, and supporting the actions of the global community. The forum was designed around open discussions, based on evidence and experience, of the most effective ways to address both opportunities and challenges facing young people and to engage young people in development.
Participants learned new ways to support the transition of young people to adulthood, and to involve young people in efforts to achieve sustained, peaceful, and broad-based economic development. Key themes of the Forum included (1) the necessity of cross-sectoral collaboration, (2) the vital importance of evidence to designing effective programs, and (3) the need to find innovative new solutions to achieve these objectives.
This Forum addressed topics of fundamental importance to young people in the process of development, including the building blocks of education, health, and employment; the context-setting issues such as climate change, migration, and technology; and the areas where policymakers are most concerned with young people: voice, governance, peace, and violence.
The Forum also encouraged and built upon the active participation of young agents of change. Each plenary session included the voices and views of young people and new ideas from young social entrepreneurs, global influencers and activists.
The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is an international nonprofit organization, founded in 1999, and Works in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS). YABT supports the objectives of the OAS and the mandates of the Summit of the Americas to develop and implement programs and activities that support youth entrepreneurship and leadership in the countries of the Americas – combating poverty and creating more opportunities for young people.