Youth, Education and Power Seminar: Is Youth Empowerment a Chimera?

The position of young people in dominant social models has always been controversial. Surely, among other reasons that may have an effect, the consideration of the young people linked to the process of emancipation and autonomy is of great importance. The need of young people to make a place for themselves in established adult society is legitimate and at the same time necessary for society itself. There is, therefore, a mutual need, although not without conflicts, resistance and questions of balance of power.

The seminar that took place on July 5 and 6, 2021 was a space for dialogue, reflection and positioning in front of this significant and determining group in our society: young people. A group that in recent years has been the main victim of the crises that have taken place to the point of defining itself as the generation without a future.

Youth emancipation is finding increasing difficulties; the impact of the pandemic further exacerbates the difficulties of entering the world of work and many young people who had insecure contracts have lost them. Nevertheless, these same young people represent the most prepared generation in history. They have levels of education, mobility experiences and mastery of technologies and languages like no other generation has ever had.

he aim of the seminar is to contribute to the debate on the role that young people play in today’s society and to look for strategies that facilitate a more inclusive and equitable society. With the intention of contributing to this goal, the seminar started by presenting a proposal for a declaration in favour of the empowerment of young people, which it was ratified and approved in the same seminar. You can find more information about it in the Declaration on Youth Empowerment section.

The seminar was organised around two discussion panels, one formed by adults with long experience in reflection and intervention area with young people and, the other one, compose by youngsters from different sectors and personal career. Below we display some of the answers suggested by the questions raised:

In the next link, you can see the seminar program.

Discussion panel: The voice of adults and professionals

Are the youth empowered today?

The empowerment and transitions of young people.

How young people are accompanied by youth equipments?

Is power redistribution between generations possible?

What would be a favourable context for youth empowerment?

The digital era and the empowerment of young people.

Professionals working with young people.

School and community in the processes of empowerment of the youngster.

The participation of young people in the community.

Youth policies applied in the Spanish context.

Discussion panel: The voice of the active youth

Does society take advantage of the capital that youth represents?

Young people and youth policies through networks.

The most worrying issues for young people.

Are there any gender or class differences in youth empowerment?

What is youth?

What ingredients do young people need to start a life project?

Paternalism and youth empowerment.

Are young people individualistic?