Welcome to our first South African Youth Conference!

The call is now open to the 6th IYTT Youth Conference and Nobel Symposium

20 March

People, communities, and businesses flourish when there is peace, openness, and democracy. We live in times when these values are challenged. Observers worldwide fear that the super election year of 2024 will be the year when an already weakened democracy will lose even more ground. Citizens in 60 countries cast their votes in 2024, making up almost half of the world’s population (45%). The list of countries includes seven of the world’s ten most populous: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States.

In Africa too, the worlds demographically youngest continent, many countries will hold elections during 2024. The V-Dem Democracy Report 2024 identifies Sub-Saharan Africa as the part of the world which holds the world’s largest number of democratizing (N=5), but also, the largest number of autocratizing (N=13) countries. International IDEA’s yearly Global State of Democracy reports 2022 and 2023 stress that African youth drives new movements that claims better policies, challenge human rights abuses, and demands better economic outcomes and freedoms in politics and culture.

With these striking facts in mind, I am extremely proud that we are having the opportunity to run the 6th annual IYTT International Youth Conference in South Africa on August 25-29. This is the first IYTT conference being organised outside of Europe, with the hope and conviction that many more will follow.

The significance of the event is underlined by the Nobel Program Committee’s decision to award us the great honor of running the conference as a Nobel Symposium, kindly financed by The Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, and graciously hosted at STIAS-Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Study.

We are delighted to organize the conference together with the FVZS Institute for Student Leadership Development at the Leadership Centre for Student Life and Learning, Stellenbosch University, The Norwegian Nobel Institute, and STIAS.

The IYTT International Youth Conference format builds on a dynamic interplay between 24 young participants chosen in an open call, with scholars as wells Nobel Peace Prize Laureates giving inspiring talks and comments. The participants choose themes, and produce proposals for democratization, democracy renewal and peace keeping, delivered in a report, and presented at a final public seminar. Eventually the proposals from the conference will be published in the IYTT Handbook for Innovative Democracy to inspire leaders in the academy, civil society, industry, and politics.

The call for participation in the conference is now open. Anyone between 18 and 28, residing in South Africa at the time of the conference, is eligible to participate.


Urban Strandberg
Director & Co-Founder