We asked young people what changes they want for the future. Here’s what they said

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

  1. Author: Gayle Markovitz, Partnerships Editor, World Economic Forum

How do Millennials and Generation Z see their future?

Over the past year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community has organized dialogues and surveys on what young people see as the most pressing issues facing society, government and business.

On the Shapers’ tenth anniversary the community has published Davos Labs: Youth Recovery Plan – a series of 40 policy recommendations on 10 key issues to help policy-makers integrate the voices of the next generation.

In parallel, the Millennial Manifesto offers a modus operandi to young people as they mobilize to shape an inclusive post-COVID period.

Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

Transparency, accountability, trust and a focus on stakeholder capitalism will be key to meeting this generation’s ambitions and expectations. We must also entrust in them the power to take the lead to create meaningful change.

—Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Why are young people critical to the recovery?

15% of the world’s population – some 1.2 billion people – are aged between 15 and 29.The world gets ever younger, with 10 billion more people yet to be born in this century.

This exponential growth will continue to be uneven, with concentration in more populous and less developed countries, resulting in more mouths to feed, more young people to educate and more jobs to provide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected young people, and especially young women and girls. It has disrupted their education, their training, their jobs, their relationships and their mental health.

On last week’s International Youth Day, the YMCA, together with other key youth organizations, called for this to be redressed and for young people to be given a platform, “They knew all these challenges prior to the pandemic, and then they became its pariahs: largely ignored in policy response and often blamed for the spread.”

Youth express greatest concerns about mental health, disposable income and employment impacts of the COVID-19 crisis Image: OECD

What changes do young people want?

The Youth Recovery plan: 10 pillars

1. Conscious consumerism

Current global rates of consumption require the resources of about 1.6 earths. At this rate, we risk exhausting our planet’s life support systems that provide us with fresh water, nutritious food and clean air.

—Bianca Goebel, Melbourne Global Shapers Hub, Australia
  • Incentivize sustainable consumption and penalize production that’s not
  • Corporate accountability and executive compensation to follow specific ESG targets
  • Investors to work with consumer groups to transform the way big business operates
  • All stakeholders to take urgent action to safeguard nature and future food production.

2. Digital access

  • $2 trillion Digital Access Plan to increase global internet connectivity to over 80%
  • Telecoms to provide affordable data priced at no more than 2% of monthly GNI per capita
  • Sanctions against institutions that resort to internet blackouts to supress citizen freedoms
  • Activists to share connectivity indicators to put digital inequity higher on the global agenda.
Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

3. Digital literacy: Tackle misinformation

  • Tech companies to be transparent about misinformation and its spread on their platforms
  • Governments to implement policies to protect individual citizens against harmful content
  • Media entities to appoint trusted flaggers and experts to identify misleading information
  • Capacity-building programmes and education to help citizens better identify fake news.
Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

4. Democracy with a future

  • Philanthropic donors to support young progressive voices into government
  • Strengthened laws against media monopolies to protect democratic freedoms
  • A Global Convention for Cybersecurity to uphold the integrity of political systems
  • Capacity-building and incubation programmes to ignite ambitious policy-making.

2021 can be a turning point but only if inclusive political participation is prioritized.

—Sikander Bizenjo, Karachi Global Shapers Hub, Pakistan

5. Inclusive jobs and social safety nets

The turn of the decade has given rise to the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression. Nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods, with the most acutely affected being the working poor, youth, women and minorities.

—Enrico Nano, Rome Global Shapers Hub, Italy
  • A global wealth tax on assets worth more than US$ 50 million to fight growing inequality
  • Tax credits for companies and investors who spend revenue on reskilling employees
  • Universities to end the exorbitant tuition fees that stifle social mobility
  • Universities to reformed curricula for job acquisition in today’s labour market.

6. Mental healthcare

  • Governments to guarantee universal access to mental health services
  • Investors to support mental health awareness campaigns to reduce stigma
  • University curricula to tackle the mental health crisis growing on campuses
  • Media entities to shape positive perceptions and attitudes about mental health.
Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

7. Net Zero: Limit global warming to 1.5°C

  • Governments to invest in communities most at risk from climate change
  • Financial institutions to stop bankrolling companies initiating fossil fuel exploration
  • Companies to significantly reduce the GHG emissions of their operations and supply chains to help keep global heating within 1.5°C
  • All stakeholders to ensure accountability for urgent green recovery plans.
Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

8. Next generation ESG: Stakeholder capitalism

  • Governments to implement fit-for-purpose policies and regulations on big tech
  • Universities to ensure ESG literacy is integrated into business and tech curriculums
  • Companies to integrate technology ethics into the design of their products and services
  • Incubators to provide ESG upskilling to early-stage founders to deliver long-term value.

9. Equitable access to healthcare worldwide

  • World leaders to safeguard equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines
  • Governments to prioritize the immediate needs of healthcare workers and their families
  • Companies to drive digitalization in healthcare services to improve patient care
  • Increased support for community health workers to rebuild public trust in health systems.
Youth Recovery Plan Image: World Economic Forum

What is a Global Shaper?

The Global Shapers Community is a network of young people under the age of 30 who are working together to drive dialogue, action and change to address local, regional and global challenges.

The community spans more than 8,000 young people in 165 countries and territories.

Teams of Shapers form hubs in cities where they self-organize to create projects that address the needs of their community. The focus of the projects are wide-ranging, from responding to disasters and combating poverty, to fighting climate change and building inclusive communities.

Examples of projects include Water for Life, a effort by the Cartagena Hub that provides families with water filters that remove biological toxins from the water supply and combat preventable diseases in the region, and Creativity Lab from the Yerevan Hub, which features activities for children ages 7 to 9 to boost creative thinking.

Each Shaper also commits personally and professionally to take action to preserve our planet.

Join or support a hub near you.

10. Public safety

Public security policies involve rethinking the educational system, drugs policy, fighting structural racism that targets black and poor people’s likings.

—Kamila Camilo, São Paulo Global Shapers Hub, Brazil
  • Governments to end qualified immunity in law enforcement for police officers
  • Increased action against gun violence, including bans on homemade firearms
  • All stakeholders to take a stand to end domestic sexual and physical violence
  • Criminal justice training reform to protect the safety of vulnerable communities

How will young people achieve those changes?

The Millennial Manifesto

To mount the response required to usher in this new world, the Millennial Manifesto team – a component of the Davos Lab – held dialogues on what a matured form of youth activism could look like. Through a process that engaged diverse Global Shapers from every continent, some of the world’s most impactful social entrepreneurs, and experienced grassroots activists, the purpose of the dialogues was to devise principles to guide young people as they advocate for a more inclusive post-COVID period.

Two critical questions guided these dialogues: What are the barriers that have hindered progress? And, what key values, principles and practices will enable us to foster long-lasting systemic impact for the next decade?

6 principles for a Millennial Manifesto emerged from this process:

1. We will create space for intergenerational dialogue

2. We will ask big questions to advance bold solutions

3. We will pursue systems change and collective action

4. We will make space for diverse lived experiences

5. We will embrace uncomfortable conversations

6. We will care for ourselves, others and our ecosystem

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Any doubt?

From funders to partners: elevating community expertise to help communities thrive

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

Yemen consultations have started, insists top UN negotiator

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

From raised fists at the 1968 Olympics to taking the knee: A history of racial justice protests in sport

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

Do all you can to resolve climate change ‘sticking points’ UN chief urges South-East Asian leaders, in Bali

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

Australian homes are turning to solar power in record numbers

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

Meeting the basic needs of our healthcare workers

Mental health: a medical school’s demand

Embracing the diversity in a multicultural city of Romania

The EU Commission lets money market funds continue the unholy game of banks

How the power of sport can bring us together and drive social justice

EU Blue Card: Commission welcomes political agreement on new rules for highly skilled migrant workers

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

This is how New York plans to end its car culture

Progress against torture in Afghan detention centres, but Government needs to do more, says UN report

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Anti-vaccers: does the empty can rattle the most?

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Political power of women suffering ‘serious regression’, General Assembly President warns

7 top things to know about coronavirus today

How global trade can save lives and livelihoods – and help protect the planet

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

COVID-19: Save European culture and values, MEPs tell Commission

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

We need to rethink ESG to ensure access to water and sanitation for all

International Court of Justice orders Pakistan to review death penalty for Indian accused of spying

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

How can the world end viral hepatitis by 2030? 5 experts explain

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

Failure to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia is a mistake

Myanmar doing too little to ensure displaced Rohingya return: UN refugee agency chief

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

EU-UK relations: solutions found to help implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Croatian Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Media and entertainment in flux: it’s time for the close-up

5 droughts that changed human history

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

European Youth, quo vadis?

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

EU institutions agree on priorities for coming years: A common agenda for our recovery and renewed vitality

Coronavirus Global Response: EIB and Commission pledge additional €4.9 billion

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s