Youth Future Zone: Tunisian Symposium on Youth and the Future
Aliens, drones, smart cities, intergalactic travel and robots everywhere... The future imagined by children, dreams, movies and science fiction novels. Dreams and nightmares about the future of technology, digital transformation and resource scarcity are becoming a reality for the planet and a certainty for future generations.
As world leaders are overwhelmed by the consequences of the pandemic, the two-tier development process, ongoing conflicts and shortages of food, water and energy, the involvement of young people in the formation of the future they will endure can no longer be ceremonial or performative.
Tomorrow's problems cannot be solved through the prism of yesterday's policies or today's vision. To this end, and to promote inclusive and transdisciplinary discussions about the future, on November 24, 2021, the 41st General CONFERENCE of UNESCO unanimously decided to proclaim December 2 as World Future Day.
Futures Day reflects the world's concern about the different scenarios to reshape and redefine the predictions for the future of the planet, for the next generations.
The world is constantly evolving and changing, and with shifts in power dynamics, the emergence of new social norms, the blurred lines between reality and virtual spaces, we have space for new speculations, imaginable futures and possibilities.
The Arab region is not immune to these scenarios and implications, as it is one of the hardest hit by the climate crisis . The region is heavily dependent on food imports and its renewable water resources are increasingly stretched and could decline further.
The prevailing dry climate, unpredictable cropping patterns and low levels of knowledge and technology in the agricultural and food sectors are the main issues currently influencing food production systems in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian contexts and migration patterns in several countries in the region, as well as the heavy effect of the pandemic on social, health and economic levels, continue to challenge governments, communities and young people, with impacts heavier on women, girls and young people from vulnerable backgrounds.
As part of Tunisia's commitment to carry out reflections and initiatives on promoting active and meaningful participation of young people in the development of policies and strategies for their sustainable and egalitarian future, we are launching the first edition of the symposium on youth and the future " Youth future zone".
The symposium will bring together thought leaders, grassroots innovators, policy makers, activists and influencers from across the Arab region to rethink and reimagine future scenarios for:
● Education and entrepreneurship
● Climate change and nutrition or food
● Sustainable and peaceful future cities
Young people are encouraged to share and learn about these issues, to reflect on their role in countering emerging threats and seizing the opportunities available to us today. Young people from the Arab World region will have the opportunity to learn and are therefore invited to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams throughout the symposium to achieve the desired results.
The symposium will also highlight existing initiatives in Tunisia and in the Arab region addressing the identified theme.