Participants in the Global Youth Forum on Cooperative Entrepreneurship (Malaysia, 3-7 February 2020) set out an ambitious Youth Agenda for Advocacy.
This Agenda was built through a participatory approach, making sure that everyone’s voice was heard. A ‘Declaration Wall’ installation was set up at the venue, enabling participants to share their input in a playful way. Two policy labs were facilitated for participants to discuss the content of the Agenda with their peers while a prioritisation list of recommendations was handed to all GYF20 participants. This enabled them to highlight their own needs and make the Agenda a tool for advocacy at multiple levels.
Adopted at the closing session of the four-day event, the Agenda takes into account the current political discourse around the Future of Work as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In his closing speech at the forum, Sébastien Chaillou, president of the ICA Youth Network, said: “You can’t change the system by convincing it. You can’t change it either by ignoring it, but by doing good things your own way. With what we have learnt here, and the connections we have made, we are ready to act more than ever. This is just the beginning.”
It looks at five main themes: sustainable economies, collective action, digitisation, education and just societies.
The Agenda calls for the creation of a democratic process to define and select social, environmental and economic accountability indicators that go beyond mere growth. Participants also pledge to promote economic models that aim to end precarious contracts and enable fair remuneration and decent work that conform to democratic processes.
In terms of collective action, the Agenda proposes creating a legal framework to include cooperatives in political spaces, bringing more diversity and transparency to the empowerment of communities. It also wants to redefine leadership using cooperative values, to promote transparency and ensure the population is informed and enabled to participate in decision making.
Commitments around digitisation include promoting cooperation among cooperatives by linking existing cooperatives to platform cooperatives, and using technology as an inclusive tool that complements participation in democratic decision making, rather than jeopardising it.
On education, the Agenda promises to work towards upgrading the education model for a more inclusive, democratic and interactive system, adding life skill development and a lifelong learning framework and including the cooperative model in educational institution curricula at all levels.
The GYF20 Agenda also touches on linking and connecting the cooperative movement with social and environmental movements, recognising intergenerational inclusiveness, solidarity, respect, and co-creation, and creating a cooperative fund for social, environmental and sustainability concerns, such as education.
Read the full Agenda here.
Photo: a GYF20 participant presenting the Youth Advocacy Agenda