Youth, Economics and Violence - Implications for Future Conflict

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Apr 26, 2015
by Stuart Milne
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Youth, Economics and Violence - Implications for Future Conflict

Youth leaders, researchers and policy-makers come to Salzburg to address the future of global youth Image by Murplejane, depicting a protest in Greece in December 2008. This image has been cropped.

Over 60 researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and young people will gather at Schloss Leopoldskron on Sunday for five days of intensive discussion of the issues affecting marginalized youth around the world.

In partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Session 549 | Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict aims to produce a prioritized policy framework for countries and regions most affected by changing youth demographics and related challenges.

Youth are supposed to embody a country’s hopes for the future, but in many parts of the world young people are being denied opportunities to achieve their full potential due to limited access to education, health care and jobs.

Marginalized youth, young men especially, have long been associated with revolution, protest and social disorder. In many countries young people are being left at the margins while their governments focus on maintaining law and order at the expense of their needs and wants.

As the percentage of under-25s in developing countries rises above 50% and urbanization accelerates, there will be interconnected problems of high youth populations in urban areas without access to jobs, livelihoods and pathways to economic security. Without holistic strategies, these will have major implications for social cohesion and broader security issues, particularly in failing social systems.

This Salzburg Global session brings together representatives of a wide range of disciplines and sectors to create a network of stakeholders related to large youth populations, economic insecurity, and social conflict to find ways of assisting areas in greatest need.

The session will be co-chaired by Ahmad Alhendawi, the first UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth; and Alfred Blumstein, J. Erik Jonsson University professor of urban systems and operations research at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The broad range of researchers and policy-makers coming to Schloss Leopoldskron include representatives from the fields of public health, anthropology, economics, crime prevention, international development and psychiatry.

They are joined by leaders working directly with young people in countries such as Pakistan, Uganda, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Over the next five days they will together address pressing issues surrounding the future of global youth in a variety of group discussions and plenary sessions. Topics include civic and social systems for and expectations of youth, innovation for and by youth, and lessons from America’s war on drugs.


To read and join in with all the discussions in Salzburg, follow the hashtag #SGSyouth on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The session Youth, Economics & Violence: Implications for Future Conflict is being held in partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.