Over July and August, Forum for the Future and the World YMCA are reaching out to young people across the world to ask what they want for their future communities, and what roles they want to play in them. Follow us and share your ideas on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #youthforchange.
Here’s what we learned in the first week.
First of all, what are young people concerned about? Their voices are getting louder, and so these top issues shared on Instagram should not come as a surprise:
- Plastics pollution, with initiatives such as plastic-free july
- Deforestation and the impact on wildlife
- Melting ice caps and global warming
This correlates strongly to the findings of our poll. We asked “Which factors are most important to you about your future community?” We had 14 responses, from the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Haiti, Norway, Mexico, the UAE, Nigeria and France. Their top priorities, in order, were:
- Social cohesion
- Access to resources
Some respondents also emphasised equitable access to resources, indicating an awareness of rising inequality as a dividing factor.
Inclusiveness and openness to self expression were also mentioned in the comments as desirable attributes: one respondent called for a “safe place for people to express themselves and find community [for] actionable outcomes”, making a link between freedom of expression and the capacity to take action. Another user also emphasised self-determination for local communities.
We asked for specific suggestions to increase local capacity to take action. Replies included decentralisation of politics, and avoiding too great a dependence on big data (limiting the influence of the companies that own this).
This week, we’re asking how young people can start creating their future communities in line with their own visions. It’s evident that many are already taking actions for their future, through:
- Fitness activities, such as waste-picking
- Community activities, such as the inclusion of the elderly
- Actions to promote better understanding, overcoming barriers such as mental illness.
What more support do young people need to take action? What resources are lacking? Who needs to come alongside them?
Share your thoughts with us now: #youthforchange.
If you’re aged 25 or younger and want to share in more detail, get in touch to be featured in an interview.