November 20

Another stunning Youth Conference

This week, Monday–Friday, we concluded our second International Youth Conference. We gave the participants one overall assignments: to develop their best arguments for why an open and democratic society provides the most desirable conditions that promotes a humane development of the world, and to come up with tangible proposals on how an open democratic society could be sustained in challenging times. The blazing youth stood to the challenge, and carried out a fabulous conference, even though all work and socializing had to be done over Zoom because of the Corona pandemic.

Thanks to the conference participants’ strong and convincing applications, and a program that included contributions from many competent scholars and executives, the expectations for the turnout was high. I am happy to say that the conference was an amazing event that in every respect exceeded these expectations! The conference was concluded on Thursday evening, 19 November through slide-showed live presentations in two distinguished venues: International IDEA 25th Anniversary Stockholm Webinar Democracy for a Sustainable Future. Discussing the nexus between democracy, youth and climate change, and Gothenburg Democracy Day 2020 Futures of Democracies: The Power of Citizens. Facts, Stories, Visions. The latter presentation can be viewed here.

During the conference, the participants not only prepared this stunning presentation, but they also wrote a preliminary conference report which we publish in a preliminary draft today (link below). Now the youth will ponder on the experiences from the conference as well as comments from the live presentations. Within two-three months from now they will produce the final report.

It stands to reason from the slides and the report that the conference participants have been amazingly successful. They have moved far beyond the simplistic buzz words around current challenges, and instead come up with strikingly wise and well-founded analyses of current developments. Equally inspiring is that the issues span a breadth of policy areas, and that the issues they bring go far beyond the self-interest of young people.

The second International Youth Conference has been a grand success and lays the foundation for the continued creative process of the International Youth Think Tank as an innovative organization that brings up democracy entrepreneurs.

My warmest thanks to the fabulous conference participants which I am now proud to call my new friends. Extended thanks to my three co-moderators Erik, Jon, and Mimmie who made stunning contributions, to everyone who contributed to the various conference sessions, to International IDEA and the fellow organizers of the Gothenburg Democracy Day 2020 for inviting us to convey the concluding presentation, and to Peter Örn, Head of Swedish Democracy Committee, for coming to Gothenburg to receive the preliminary conference report handed over by conference participants Jouman and Sara. Finally, many thanks to Lindholmen Science Park and Visual Arena Lindholmen for graciously and competently hosting the moderators’ team.

Read the preliminary conference report here!