Around the world, more young people than ever are building a global culture focused on engagement, interaction and democracy. Whether building economies, promoting peace and nonviolence, creating educational opportunities or developing transnational cooperation, youth and globalization are tied together tightly. Culture, communication, science, peacemaking, the Arts and more can cross boundaries easily, and young people around the world today are more interdependent than any previous generation. By focusing on democracy and empowerment, they are changing the world right now.
An individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change.— Jack Johnson
Ways Youth Engagement in Globalization Happens
Facilitating Action — Creating and co-leading opportunities for themselves, their peers, young people and adults to become connected with each other globally is one way children and youth are changing the world. Engaging youth as facilitators means fostering substantive ways they can take the reigns and move forward with globalization in a positive, powerful way that moves beyond money and capitalism and towards a new economy focused on cooperation and connectivity.
Advocating Change— Simply and blinding accepting every economic, social and political decision made for them doesn’t work for many young people today. Instead, youth as advocates are standing up for what they believe in; engaging their friends and peers as allies; and fostering powerful new connections with adults and institutions to make a difference.
Going Mainstream — Youth mainstreaming is deliberately creating places and positioning young people throughout society in order to foster full, regular and normalized youth voice everywhere, all of the time. As it focuses on globalization, youth mainstreaming can happen in businesses, government, nonprofit organizations, places of worship, government agencies, and international policymaking organizations. Elected officials, policymakers, program staff, and many other people can benefit when young people are thoroughly and actively embedded in decision-making, research, teaching, evaluation, policymaking, and advocacy. Youth mainstreaming focused on globalization can unite far-flung cultures, create relevant strategies for cooperation, and foster new relationships in ways that adults have never been able to.
Needs for Youth Engagement in Globalization
Strategy — Working in youth/adult partnerships, young people can create powerfully disruptive strategies that promote globalized social change. Their creativity and energy combined with knowledge, ability and determination can shift organizational cultures, technological applications and social norms.
Education — Providing opportunities for children and youth to learn about the negatives and positives of globalization, helping foster critical thinking and building service learning into globalization education can be powerful ways to foster social change.
Opportunities — Creating practical opportunities for young people to engage with the issues and outcomes of globalization in an empowering way can change the world. Opportunities can include youth organizing, web development, engaging in local / global economics, and other action. They can also include infusing globalization learning into other programs, including those focused on the Arts, politics, community building, etc.
You Might Like…
- Check Your Head – A youth-driven organization that educates young people on global issues, by looking at the connection between global events and issues and local realities.
- Global Youth Connect – They build and support a community of youth working to defend human rights and social justice and to inspire and empower a new generation of youth to act for meaningful social change.
- “Globalisation and Youth-Led Development” by Global Changemakers /
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in globalization in your community or organization, contact us.