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Schloss Leopoldskron
Early Childhood Development & Education

Youth, Economics and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict
26 Apr - 01 May, 2015
 Global LGBT Forum - Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion

Ahmad Alhendawi - United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, United Nations, Jordan
Alfred Blumstein - J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Nicholas Carlisle - CEO and Founder, No Bully, USA
Burkhard Hasenpusch - Crime Prevention Council of Lower Saxony, Germany
Edward Mulvey - Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA
António Silva Mendes - Director, Youth and Sport, DG Education and Culture, European Commission, Belgium

Additional Session Support:
Karen Colvard (Resource Specialist) - Program Director, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, USA
Patricia Moore Nicholas (Resource Specialist) - Patricia Moore Nicholas is a program officer in Carnegie Corporation’s International Program, where she focuses on grantmaking concerning a range of peace and security issues. She developed and implemented ...

Today's youth face an identity crisis. Youth should symbolize rising hopes, endless possibilities and the energy to reach personal goals. Yet societal systems in many countries are failing young people, as reflected in poor educational, professional and health forecasts - especially for youth on the margins. Too often, economic and policy frameworks struggle to promote social and educational mobility at scale, despite the opportunities supposedly opened up by globalization. What does this mean for our future social infrastructure? Historically, marginalized youth have played a prominent role in revolution, political unrest, and social disorder, with young men - often those with limited education and/or restricted economic security - at the fore. In countries with youth experiencing rising inequality and unreliable job prospects, there has been a notable increase in internal conflict, crime, and other markers of instability, including the rise of extremist networks. Recent studies on high youth populations and political violence show a statistical relationship between the two. However, there are conflicting opinions on the relative impact of other factors, including the urban/rural distribution of youth populations, access to employment and education, and the scale of political discontent. 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. Youth in stressed contexts are torn between being "the future" (with no clear pathway to get there) and being kept at arms' length (as potential instigators of civil discord). Too often, policy makers give lip service to youth support but focus their efforts on cracking down on delinquency, protests, and crime. Whilst public safety demands an effective response to crime and disorder, 21st century strategies need to get beyond fragmented and reactive interventions to fully leverage next-generation human and social capital. Looking forward, policy makers must develop a more sophisticated understanding of their disparate youth populations in order to design and implement preemptive and responsive systems to nurture youth potential in constructive ways. In partnership with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Salzburg Global Seminar is convening a strategic program to address the interconnected problems and opportunities of burgeoning youth populations and marginalized youth in key regions around the world.


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