youth revitalise democracy?” will address the challenge of re‐building young people’s trust in democracy and re‐shaping institutions to give youth real influence on decision‐making in all social arenas.
The obstacles to meaningful youth participation are complex and dependent on national context ‐ from a growing demographic unbalance and inter‐generational values gap, to paternalistic and oligarchic systems where formal political structures are unwilling to share power and respond to the aspirations of youth for democratic renewal. The alienation of young people deprives society of their energy and optimism. It leads to political choices which lack a long‐term perspective, an equitable intergenerational distribution to resources, and impetus for change.
However, there are also political parties, businesses, media organisations, schools, local authorities, NGOs etc. which make a genuine effort to involve young people in a meaningful way in decision‐making. The World Forum for Democracy will highlight such examples and stimulate a dialogue between them in order to create a momentum for a wider take up and structural change towards a democracy where young people have a real say. The initiatives will be critically discussed at the Forum Labs.