I spent part of Father’s Day yesterday working with one of the youth PODs at the World Urban Forum along with some friends like sara kendall.. We spent part of the morning in a circle, using a talking piece to discuss what should be in a final statement from the youth to the World Urban Forum leaders. The blog for the Youth leadership POD should have some of the final reflections.
In the room we had 50 youth from every continent, all of them investigating ways of engaging youth on the local, regional, national and global levels. What struck me was how the youth were adamant that parallel structures were useful to include youth, but what really needs to happen in many places in the world is that youth need to simply be a part of the decision making processes that affect them and the world they will inherit. Far more valuable than being stuck into advisory roles, youth a crying out for the ability to be active citizens, practicing care and compassion WITH their elders for a world that they will live with longer than any of us.
In my closing comment I thanked the youth for the Father’s Day present of showing up as good stewards for the world my kids would inhabit. And it led me to think about this question: where are you working with youth to co-create the world together?