Vatican Youth Symposium

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The Vatican Youth Symposium gathers a diverse group of young people from different backgrounds and disciplines for an annual event at the Vatican. For two days, these young people will work towards solutions on the biggest challenges facing our world today.

Co-hosted by SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), the Vatican Youth Symposium (VYS) brings together leaders in global development to catalyze solutions and partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Traditionally held at the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City, the 2020 VYS will take on a virtual format due to the constraints of the global pandemic.

The seventh annual symposium, but first of its kind as a digital space, will create access for those who otherwise may have not be able to participate or attend such a momentous event. The theme, “New Encounters on Humanity’s Path Forward: Youth, Education, Nature, and Culture” 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 opportunities for advancing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The global pandemic has caused major hardships for citizens around the world, especially for young people who are grappling with the constraints placed upon their futures, including that of access to education and employment .

Core sessions will be categorized into thematic areas split over two days:

Day 1 will focus on Education for Sustainable Development from primary schools through professional settings and include the launch of Mission 4.7.

Day 2 will host discussions on Human Rights, Dignity & Fratelli Tutti, 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.

The 2020 Symposium will be opened by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Ban Ki-moon, Chair, Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC).

The solutions discussed and generated at the Vatican Youth Symposium will be wide-ranging and multifaceted. It will have a special focus on the following themes:
– Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development
– Education for Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship, and 21st Century Skills
– Sustainable Cities and Communities
– Human Rights, Human Dignity & Fratelli Tutti
– Role of Universities and Academia in Sustainable Development
– Sustainable Cities & Communities

The Symposium will provide a space for professionals and young leaders to share experiences, success stories, and best practices in order to empower participants to commit to concrete solutions and deliver meaningful change in their local communities.

The Symposium will stream live on SDSN’s YouTube.

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