Meet the participants of the International Youth Conference 2021!

November 9

24 conference participants from 15 different countries have been selected.

After going through 184 applications, the conference organizing team has now finally selected 24 participants from 15 different countries to attend the yearly International Youth Conference 2021. “Among all the stunning applications it has been really hard to pick the two dozen to bring here to Gothenburg”, says IYTT Director Urban Strandberg.

The overall assignment of the conference is to come up with ideas that strengthen and renew democracy through innovation and empowerment. The participants will produce a final presentation of their ideas, to be delivered at the Lindholmen Democracy Talks on 25 November (14.00 EST). They will also be the authors of an exhaustive conference report. After the end of the conference, they are invited to stay on as Youth Fellows of the think tank, where they can continue to develop their ideas and promote them in a high-profile international context.

Though the conference only accepts participants living in Europe, the attendees have a wide variety of nationalities, from the U.S. to Russia and Japan. They have all been kind enough to say a few words about what they expect to bring to and learn from the conference.

At age 24, José Miguel Rojo Martínez from Spain is one of the older conference participants. “As a young man living in a rural area in southern Spain I think I can provide an alternative vision on some key challenges for the European Union”, says José. He believes that “our societies are dominated by a false sense of distance that separates and divides us. We are not as far away as we think and it is necessary to promote a discourse that reduces prejudices and emphasizes those who unite us”.

18-year old Raya Aksentieva, from Bulgaria, is one of the youngest participants. She wants to use artistic expression to describe the challenges of the open society. “Coming from a country in Eastern Europe I can share my personal experience from living in a place where problems in the democratic society like corruption, political fraud and instability are still present and hard to overcome”, says Raya.