The event took place over a two day period and focused on the two most prevalent youth issues of today: education and unemployment.
Unemployment was the topic for Day I. The opening session started with a very informative speech by EU Economic and Monetary policy advisor Dimitris Psarrakis, who unveiled some very interesting figures.
«Funding for the youth guarantee program was 6 billion EUR for 6 million young unemployed people in Europe. So it was 1000 EUR per unemployed person. It was actually a two year program, so 500 EUR per unemployed person per year. What the EU needs to do is to invest 4 times more than they invested so far – 21 billion euro. But nobody wants to pay this money.» Watch full speech of Mr. Psarrakis
The second speaker was a reformed PR executive, co-founder of Youthonomics and Founder of the Al Kawakibi Foundation, Felix Marquardt, who had some noteworthy ideas.
“Let’s have a global two-year work visa for young people, valid around the globe.”
“No country in the world can prosper without Youth. If you begin to pack your bags and go to places where you find better opportunities, this will get the attention of powerful politicians in your country.“ Watch full speech of Mr. Marquardt
Two other speakers, the Manager of the Macroeconomics Policy Unit of the International Labour Organisation, Ekkehard Ernst, and the Founding president of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilisations” Vladimir Yakunin agreed that there are really a lot of things governmental institutions should do in order to reduce youth unemployment, but they stated that there is plenty of room for youth action, too.
«There are many more young people in the world who actually need to develop this spirit of entreprenurship. To develop their own careers and take more responsibility for their own lives, to overcome this crisis.» Watch full speech of Mr. Ernst
“You should not wait for the politicians to come to you. You should take initiative to find those of them who will understand you and will support you. You, today’s young people, are responsible for the future, and not only your future, but also the future of those generations for whom you very, very soon will be the older generation.” Watch full speech of Mr. Yakunin
Day II was about education, and it seemed that the first day shaped both speakers/experts and participants.
Jonathan Fritzler, the author of the book Hack Your Education, from Hawaii, looked very impressive and spoke with emotion. His main question was:
“Eighty percent of the knowledge we get at school we forget after graduation. So what is the point? Educational energy is the energy source we can’t waste anymore.” Watch full speech of Mr. Fritzler
Academic manager and trainer from the UK, Mr. Mark Thomson, saw the reasons for the current problems in education in the system itself.
“Universities give teachers no pedagogical training. When they go to the primary or high schools they get trained to become teachers. At university you have a PhD and you come to teach. No study in the world will show a correlation between a PhD and the ability to teach. There is no correlation. Universities have to change that culture and become more supportive of investing in pedagogical training.» Watch full speech of Mr. Thomson
And the final speech/conversation about identity was perhaps the most challenging and provocative speech during the whole event.
Professor of international trade and strategies at the University of Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Josep Bertran, encouraged young people not to let to anybody categorize them or make assumptions about their identity.
“I challenge you to be a new generation. You should know that we are not identified by one color. Don’t let other people determine your identity. We are not one thing, we are a puzzle of things. The minute you realize it, you can make universities go ahead, because they will not identify you strictly by color. The moment when you practice all the colors of your personal identities you can export that new reality to the broader society.” Watch full speech of Mr. Bertran
Doctor Yakunin was had his word to say on that:
“Self-identity means the possibility of diversity of the world. And the world can exist only because it consists of diversities, differences. That is the rule, philosophy and nature. To prevent nationalism, fascism, exclusiveness, that is the proper way to address the clash of civilizations.”
You can find more videos from the discussions and project presentations from the participants on the topics of education and employment (including the winner Swekshya Neupane from Nepal) at our official YouTube channel.
Moreover, we are glad to announce that the next Youth Time event will be an annual Summer School, which is going to be held next summer in China. Follow the updates at www.youth-time.org or www.youth-time.eu.