The Symposium of Young People in the Vatican ended October 16, after an intense day of work and enriching experiences. In its new version, and with the motto “Inter-Generational Leadership: Laudaot Si’ and the Sustainable Development Objectives” (SDO), it counted on the participation of 85 experts and hundreds of young people from all over the world, who have been developing projects around those of the SDO and who hope to promote them in the moral framework described in the encyclical Laudato Si’.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Youth Division of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) — a global initiative launched by the former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012 –, organized the Symposium.
Taking part in the event’s opening session, held in the Casina Pius IV, were: Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Antonio Guterres, Special Adviser on SDOs and Secretary General of the UN; Lorenzo Fioramonti, Minister of Education, Universities and Research of Italy; Dho Young-Shim, President of the Sports and Tourism International Organization for Peace and Prosperity; Jose Maria del Corral, global President of the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation; and Siamak Sam Loni, Founder of the SDSN’s Youth Division.
The session reflected on the importance of the role of youth leaderships in inculcating the SDOs, specifically Objective 4, which advocates for quality education. “If we think that education passes by the school and is a problem of the docent, we are completely mistaken; it’s a reductionism, an encyclopedism.
Youth leaders have an important role in inculcating the SDOs, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ among young people worldwide. Thanks to the Symposium, an effort is being made to strengthen the Global Youth Movements for Sustainable Development by bringing together youth leaders in sessions dedicated to the dimensions of youth leadership.
Emphasizing this year’s motto, Inter-Generational Leadership, dozens of leaders of civil society, Religious Communities, business and academy leaders responded to the Symposium’s call, to offer their orientation and association with youth leaders and build a solid worldwide network of generators of inter-generational changes, which work to forward the 2013 Agenda.
The Scholas Occurrents Foundation joined this group of organizations to share its experience and methodologies, through valuable dialogues and debates with youth leaders on practices and lessons that can be used to mobilize SDO projects.
Among the participant organizations, in addition to Scholas, were the Ban Ki-Moon Center for Global Citizens; the Climate Leadership Group, known as C40; the United Nations Institute for Professional Formation and Research, UNITAR; UNLEASH, the UN’s Global Innovation Laboratory, as well as elite Universities of the world, such as Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, and University College London, among others.