Activism, the SDGs and Youth
Welcome to the latest NYCI Resource for Global Educators, Youth Workers, Development Education practitioners, trainers, activists, changemakers of all shapes and sizes but in particular those working with the current generation of young people.
Tasked with taking the reins at the most critical time in the planets relationship with its human inhabitants, the so-called “generation change” have their work cut out for them. Despite the fact that they are the first generation in history who are economically worse off than their parents, regardless of the state of the planet they have inherited or the seemingly perpetual appetite for war and violence across the globe not to mention the gap between the wealthy and the poor…they are determined, they are optimistic, they are willing to take responsibility and they are not willing to wait for the invitation to take action!
Today’s youth are faced with the greatest challenge in all of recorded history. The unique and unprecedented burden we have placed on our young is that for the first time in recorded history they are aware of all of the problems of the world. The full extent of the current, imminent and near future dangers are available to any young person on any given day at the click of a button. We must not dismiss the significance of the impact on a generation who are acutely aware of the issues affecting themselves and their peers, whether it be from Bray to Beirut, from Oysterhaven to Osaka, Crossmolina to Cape Town, Derry to Dakota. Young people are connected and they are sharing their stories.
However, amongst the multitude of movements engaging in positive and transformative work there are two big things in our favour, two things that transcend all borders, two things to inspire our collective imagination for a positive future….
One is the road map! It is there, it has been created, it has been agreed, it is the culmination of the work of so many good people, and it is the UN Sustainable Development Goals!
The other is our Power. Defined as “the capacity to do something or to influence the course of events”, power is not a bad thing! How we use our power and how we make ourselves accountable for the impact of what we do with our power is what is fundamentally important.
This book is about harnessing power and using it for positive change. It is a book that represents an important contribution at this moment in time where activism and action within the Global Citizenship movement is gaining momentum. This resource invites those who will use it to resist the urge to see action as something that just happens in a spontaneous moment of outrage or injustice but rather action is part of a process, a plan, a conscious and strategic act driven by a sense of what is wrong and what needs to change.
For us the SDG’s are the new ‘social contract’, they set the standard for how our world and its inhabitants can flourish within a spirit of interdependence that is rooted in Human Rights. The success of the SDGs is inextricably linked to any ambition we have for the future.
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