22 June

A vibrant transnational democracy lab driven by youth

While many youth organizations focus on youth issues and youth activation, the IYTT look upon youth as social actors with unique resources to handle over-all social issues thanks to their curiosity, future-orientation, visions, boldness, energy, and optimism. With this rampant force, in five years the IYTT has evolved into a vibrant transnational democracy lab driven by youth.

It has been a hectic spring semester with many activities. By the April-May month turn we ran OCDT:s Open Chair Democracy Talks in fifteen places in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, including talks with Ukrainian soldiers on leave, and a democracy workshop with Ukrainian high school students. On May 11 we showcased the second edition of our democracy handbook to around 500 local leaders at The Innovation in Politics Awards Convention and Gala in Warsaw, and seized the opportunity to run OCDTs with convention attendees and passersby in the streets. Eleven Youth Fellows from three conference batches ran two workshops at the European Parliament’s Annual EYE conference in Strasbourg on 9-10 June. We have also organized a public seminar on the lack of representation of young people in political assemblies, and published a new working paper which, with academic rigor and youthful boldness, questions the orthodox economic model with its focus on economic growth measured as GDP.

Looking ahead to coming activities, some Youth Fellows will contribute to an UNFICYP Networking event in July in Nicosia, Cyprus, by presenting and discussing the results from OCDT’s ran by a Youth Fellow in Nicosia in May. Another Youth Fellow will participate and present the results from this spring’s OCDT-campaign, emphasizing AI and democracy, at a two-day workshop in Montreal on September 25-26 organized by CEIMIA and GPAI. For the third year in a row, we are also contributing to the program for Athens Democracy Forum on September 27-29.

It is an amazing privilege to evolve the think tank activities together with all blazingly brilliant and good-hearted Youth Fellows, and it certainly gives hope for a much brighter future. A big thank to all of you! Speaking of giving thanks, our progression would be unthinkable if it hadn’t been for the support from our sponsor the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, our host Lindholmen Science Park, and our supportive international friends such as Athens Democracy Forum, International IDEA, and The Innovation in Politics Institute.

With this, the summer edition of our newsletter the Loop, comes an overview of the IYTT’s recent and upcoming events, activities, and publications. I trust you will enjoy it.

Wishing you a Happy Summer,