A European youth conference on democracy. This is the fundamental idea behind the International Youth Think Tank, an initiative that brings together young people and decision-makers to discuss the challenges of the future. The conference will be held for the first time this autumn as part of Kvalitetsmässan (Quality Fair) at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. The founders of the initiative include Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner, Pam Fredman, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, and Dennis Andersson, General Secretary of the Gothia Cup.
“The idea arose out of a strong frustration over the anti-democratic movements emerging around the world, which are a threat to an open society. There is also a strong conviction amongst many young people that this is wrong. Consequently, there is a need to bridge the gap between the establishment and its enthusiastic, insightful youths who are working hard to find ways of channelling their views, ideas and visions about the future. For this reason, I believe this think tank and conference could prove a ground-breaking initiative,” says Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner and one of the founders of the international initiative.
The International Youth Think Tank is supported by Global Business Gate and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, and aims to bring together the European decision-makers of today with the decision-makers of the future. The idea is to create a platform for discussing democracy, corresponding to the Gothia Cup and the Partille Cup in the field of sports or Side by Side in the field of culture. Young people from different backgrounds and different parts of Europe are now being invited to discuss and define the think tank’s future direction.
The first stage of this process will be to hold a 4-day conference during Kvalitetsmässan, Europe’s leading conference and trade fair for municipal quality management, at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre on 11–14 November.
“We’re delighted that Kvalitetsmässan has included our conference in the programme and very proud that our young participants, together with reference group members Monica Frassoni, Jan-Olof Jacke and Cecilia Malmström, have been invited to conclude the fair by presenting ideas and suggestions on how to maintain a democratic and open society,” says Urban Strandberg, initiator and project manager of the International Youth Think Tank initiative.
The international reference group met for an initial meeting in Gothenburg on 24 June. The group, which consists of experienced decision-makers from seven countries, will advise and support the International Youth Think Tank.
“Young people have huge potential. Today, too often we think they should look towards Silicon Valley. But there’s more to life than making money. And I think some of this potential could very well be channelled towards burning issues where your platform can be used for these solutions instead. It would be great if this initiative could help us to see solutions, platforms, initiatives and networks that promote the common good,” says Rainer Münz, Advisor at the European Commission and member of the International Youth Think Tank Reference Group.
The Reference Group members are Allan Larsson, Anna Terrón Cusí, Cecilia Malmström, Dennis Anderson, Jan-Olof Jacke, Lenka Rovná, Monica Frassoni, Pam Fredman, Rainer Münz, Rita Süssmuth and Susan E Owens.
Read more about the International Youth Think Tank at www.iythinktank.com
Contact, International Youth Think Tank:
Urban Strandberg firstname.lastname@example.org
+46 (0)730 59 55 15
Henrik Edman, Henrik.email@example.com +46 (0)31 708 80 65
Contact, The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group:
Veronica Nyblom firstname.lastname@example.org
+46 (0)701 69 71 42
Svenska Mässan koncernen drivs i stiftelseform och är en av norra Europas största integrerade mötesplatser med ett unikt cityläge i centrala Göteborg. Svenska Mässan har visionen att bli Europas mest attraktiva mötesplats genom att erbjuda den bästa helhetsupplevelsen. Koncernen arbetar framgångsrikt med mässor och möten, hotell, restaurang och underhållning. Varje år välkomnar vi cirka 1,8 miljoner besökare till vår mötesplats. Svenska Mässans huvuduppdrag är att främja näringslivet och årligen genererar koncernen drygt 3,1 miljarder kronor i besöksnäringseffekter till Göteborg. Läs mer på www.svenskamassan.se