Youth Workshop for a Responsible and United World
BikeAbout is the American coordinator for the Youth Workshop for a Responsible and United World, a global youth movement. It brings together, with total democracy and equality, individuals, organizations and networks working for a better world.
What Is the Youth Workshop?
The Youth Workshop for a Responsible and United World is not a structured and registered institution. It does not have any political, religious or commercial affiliations. The Youth Workshop is a global youth movement, a network without any central structure. It brings together, with total democracy and equality, individuals, organizations and networks working for a better world.
We, the youth of today around the world, are aware of the issues concerning the future of our society, and are motivated to help bring about changes. However, the political and economic institutions equip us poorly for this task. Thus, we feel that it is time for us to invent and then build a citizen's youth movement in order to effect changes in the system that was conceived and imposed on us by our elders, who lived in a different context. Their vision of the world is not ours. We have to make decisions for our own future. And we can do it! Today's problems and issues are not the same as yesterday's. To find solutions to our problems, we need a kind of organization that meets our needs. We have to contribute efficiently towards the building of a better human society for the future.
We do not accept any form of violence, inequality, exploitation or social, cultural or religious exclusion.
For a peaceful and equal world, we must respect the values of humanity and the natural environment in the face of all economic, political, religious criteria. Life is precious; we have to respect it!
What Is the Alliance for a Responsible and United World?
The Alliance is a collective dynamic linking people and institutions from all over the world. The Platform for a Responsible and United World is their common bond. It is an expression of will to work together to conceive and provide an impetus for the changes which need to be made in the coming decades. The next millennium is one of the opportunities for the Alliance to arouse a "2000 Citizen's Movement" which will gather men and women from all the continents and all professions. The Alliance is a way for institutions, groups and alternative movements to reinforce themselves mutually.
The Youth Workshop is a part of this larger citizen's movement including: regional groups; thematic workgroups focusing on agriculture, social exclusion, disarmament, value systems, biodiversity, etc.; social and professional organizations such as farmers, fisherfolks, journalists, trade unions, etc.
What Are We Doing?
Our goal is to identify youth movements from all over the world and to link them through regional or international workgroups on specific topics. We believe that all young people face many common problems. Of course, priorities and pressures differ. The Youth Workshop does not want to impose a project on any of the workgroups, but it is designed to give international support for young people to express themselves and organize their common and local challenges.
Since 1995, the Youth Workshop has addressed issues including peace, education, natural resources, democracy, higher education curricula, social exclusion, unemployment, drugs, youth empowerment, and poverty... to name just a few.
How Are We Working?
Having identified youth movements all over the world over the past two years, the Youth Workshop now has representatives in almost every region of the world. Every individual and group representative of the Youth Workshop is already involved in his or her own local organization. Our goal is to build a global patchwork of young people working on specific or local issues. These issues are not just a list of statements, but concrete proposals about the problems that youth are facing in that region.
We are using all communication tools available to help youth express themselves, but we are, however, aware that the latest technological tools are not accessible everywhere. Still, the Youth Workshop is open to all kinds of expression. We especially encourage artistic expression. We feel that the youth of today do not believe in classical meetings and speeches as an appropriate way to express themselves. Therefore, simple demonstrations are favored in the Youth Workshop to make the work and the process more alive and attractive for the young generation.
What Do We Expect?
Youth from all over the world need to meet in order to get to know each other and to understand better their different realities. We believe that this way of meeting can help to build friendship, trust and respect among the young people who are going to work together in the future. The Youth Workshop has already provided the opportunity for many young people to link up and to work together in a sustainable way.
The Youth Workshop's goal is to have a common voice with young people from all over the world, regarding many challenges and imbalances that we face in today's society.
Young people have to come forward and take part in the building of a harmonious human society for the future. The exchange of experiences and information, linking young people all over the world and forming regional and international youth workshops are the dynamics of the Youth Workshop for making this participation possible.
However, a workshop cannot be all discussions and no action. We are working together with concrete proposals in answer to some of the problems and issues that we face today.
We feel that youth's problems should not only be addressed as programs in Government's agendas, but that young people must be considered as an important part of society and not marginalized or "diagnosed and cured." The Youth Workshop is making young people aware of their capacities and their rights to be a part of the decisionmaking process.
The Youth Workshop welcomes all young people who want to join hands in working together for a better tomorrow for people of all ages.
Special thanks to the Foundation Charles Léopold Mayer for the Progress of Humankind (FPH, Switzerland) for its financial support.