Vatican Youth Symposium 2021
16-17 December 2021
Youth leaders have an important role to play in promoting human dignity and our common home by instilling the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Pope Francis’ social teachings in his latest speech to the Fourth World Meeting of Popular Movements – through producing awareness, expertise, entrepreneurship, and moral engagement around the world. With just 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, no country is currently on track to do so. People everywhere need to be equipped not just with technical knowledge and skills, but with a deeper understanding of the values needed to forge a peaceful and sustainable future. The Vatican Youth Symposium aims to strengthen global youth movements for sustainable development by bringing together youth leaders and experts in various fields in sessions devoted to the dimensions of youth empowerment and progressive practices and workstreams that promote the advancement of the 2030 Agenda.
Our eighth annual Symposium, taking place in a virtual setting, will convene youth leaders from around the world with the support of SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The Symposium brings together some of the world’s most renowned thought leaders to connect with young people to create pathways of understanding and action - to shape a sustainable world for future generations. Leaders of civil society, faith communities, businesses, academia, celebrity activists and members of the UN Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates, will join the gathering to offer their guidance and partnership with the youth leaders. As the world continues to chart out the roadmap to recover from one of the most defining moments of the 21st century, we must be even more cognizant of the realities that COVID-19 has pushed onto us and its implications for addressing the most pressing issues of our time.
The theme, “Global Youth Movements; Leading Change for the Good of Present & Future Generations ” will frame sessions devoted to the dimensions of youth empowerment and intergenerational leadership with discussions on how COVID-19 presents both an enormous challenge and unforeseen opportunities for advancing sustainable development globally. Core sessions will be categorized into thematic areas split over two days and includes discussions surrounding Transformative Education and Global Citizenship, Human Rights and Dignity, Sustainable Cities & Communities, and Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Technology presenting inspiring messages of how the synergy between the creativity of younger generations and the expertise of older ones curate progressive change.