Youthwise: An initiative by the OECD

Here at Cowork4YOUTH our focus is on young people and how to reinforce their employment opportunities, but we also take a look at movements that involve youth in a broader aspect, such as inclusiveness and participation in policy-making. Therefore, we follow closely any initiative and plan that involves this age group – and one of them is Youthwise.

Youthwise is an OECD initiative launched in 2021 with the aim to promote “youth perspectives and ideas” within the organisation, as well as to “improve youth understanding of the organisation’s work and international policy making”. The focus of the 2021 campaign was learning and unemployment, and, as stated in the initiative’s website, the input was also provided to the Youth Action Plan; an EU initiative with the goal that EU external action enhances the place of young people on a political, social and economic level and supports them into getting involved in policy and decision-making.

Youthwise consists of a Youth Advisory Board of 24 young (aged 18-30) delegates that get selected by an inter-generational OECD jury each year, and come from countries-members of the OECD. The selection criteria include to be between 18-30 of age, be fluent in english and be highly interested in the theme of the year they are applying for (for instance, for 2022 is for “an inclusive and green future for & with young people”). Regarding the activities, Youthwise delegates provide their generation’s ideas and insights to the OECD, participate in the organisation’s closed-door meetings and consultations with a variety of topics, speak on panels and attend webinars on behalf of the initiative, write documents and create audiovisual material on behalf of Youthwise, participate in workshops, and get to know how international policy-making works through networking.

In the framework of these initiatives, a workshop was organised by the 2022 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), where members of Youthwise were brought together along with representatives of youth organisations like Youth Ambassadors Society, UNESCO and Les Jeunes Européens, as well as OECD experts, where proposals regarding youth participation, policy action for future generations and environment and the planet were recommended. Specifically for youth participation, the proposals entailed promoting diversity in government and other public institutions concerning youth participation, improved access to information that are of high importance to youth, and giving the space to young people to create jobs that mirror their perspectives and offer them the chance to achieve change. As for policy actions for future generations, the proposals included for schools to prioritise essential skills, including creativity and problem solving, so that young people are not “only good workers but also fulfilled citizens”.


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