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Fondation Botnar celebrates International Youth Day!

Fondation Botnar

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Today we’re celebrating International Youth Day, and with just 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, this year’s theme on youth engagement for global action is more important now than ever. As many young people put it themselves, “youthless policy is useless policy.“ 

At Fondation Botnar we strive to engage young people as both deserving contributors and leaders, and we strongly believe in collaborative relationships that involve their diverse voices at every stage. 

Below we are sharing some key achievements from the last year and next week we will also be sending out the first edition of our newsletter, The Catalyst, with a thematic focus on meaningful youth participation. If you haven’t signed up yet, do it here.

First of all, we want to share with you the approaches we take to co-create change with and for young people… 

Engaging young people as active leaders to create programs and policies based on their lived experience… 

Our very own Stefan Germann has co-authored a Lancet Planetary Health comment discussing the need to engage and include young people as leaders to transform planetary health. To meaningfully be able to contribute to planetary health the comment points out the importance of long-term governance mechanisms, equitable allocation of funds, and equipping young people with knowledge and autonomy. The comment was coupled with artwork by artist Estrid Lutz who brings research to life through art and the below piece shows mosquitoes disappearing in ground swells. Read the comment here and see more of Estrid’s work on her Instagram here.

In February, we attended the 10th World Urban Forum with the aim of catalysing discussions around how we can create inclusive, safe, and healthy cities for and with young people. We championed how frontier technologies, including artificial intelligence, innovative digital tools, and data-based platforms can advance the wellbeing of young people living in cities. Some of our colleagues from the Healthy Cities for Adolescents initiative participated, driving important conversations about co-creating urban transformation with young people. You can watch the video we created below. 

Sharing decision making power at the highest levels to create meaningful youth participation…

Young people are the changemakers of 2030, but their health is often left out of the conversation. Watch our animation below on why we need to make sure their voices are included so that we create health interventions that actually work.

Last year, together with our coalition partners we established a global youth council: Young Experts: Tech 4 Health (YE:T4H). This is providing a platform and mechanism for young people to shape the agenda around digital innovation for Universal Health Coverage. On World Youth Skills Day this year, we shared the thoughts, experiences, and ideas of three of the young experts. Meet them here.

Creating opportunities for young people to accelerate change with the power of digital…

Fondation Botnar is in partnership with Omdena, who with a team of 50 collaborators are conducting social listening on social media platforms to analyse young people’s thoughts and feelings on specific topics related to health and wellbeing. In this blog, you will get to meet some of these collaborators and better understand how they are using AI and digital technologies to gather important insights about young people’s perceptions.

These are just a few highlights of initiatives and mechanisms we have been implementing to increase young people’s participation, and we want more organisations to do the same. Together, let’s work towards creating a generation of empowered youth to support long-term impact, and achieve the 2030 agenda.

The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74