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The Poverty Challenge in a New Millennium: Defining Roles for Youth and the Next Generation of Leaders

Submitted by: World Bank, The

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Jan 25, 2004 – 11:00 PM EST


The World Bank Institute Global e-Conference February 9–27, 2004

Jan. 25 /CSRwire/ - The World Bank Institute and its partners are pleased to announce a global e-conference on the broad theme of strategies for successful poverty reduction involving the ideas and energy of young people.

Background The online discussion is open to all young people around the world and is part of a broad program designed to share young people’s viewpoints at a major World Bank conference on poverty reduction to be held in Shanghai, May 23–25, 2004. The global learning process will allow key development actors to share their experiences and policy lessons from poverty reduction initiatives around the world. This e-conference will continue the dialogue launched during the global e-conference on CSR for Future Leaders in April 2002.

Objective The e-conference will capture the views of young people on the importance of building sustainable development with a new kind of leadership and in turn alleviating poverty. These ideas will be shared with key decision makers at the Shanghai conference.

• Week One: Reinventing Leadership for the 21st Century
The initial discussion will focus on the importance of ethical leadership in all sectors of society. Participants will seek to identify what they see as important qualities of leadership to tackle key development challenges, such as the importance of promoting good governance, transparency, responsibility and accountability to build sustainable development.

• Week Two: Youth Must Not Be Forgotten
What are the key challenges that poverty presents to young people? What are the key barriers to the social inclusion and empowerment of youth? This week will emphasize the importance of providing young people with access to services, markets, and being part of the solution. Further points for discussion will include:

  • the relevance of the current educational system to social realities; the potential value of curriculum
    development in shaping the understanding of future leaders
  • the need to increase the credibility of youth to be seen as equal partners, in part by providing
    youth with access to relevant knowledge
  • the value of reviewing self-organization, improving the governance structure, transparency and accountability of young entrepreneurs and student organizations.
• Week Three: Searching for Solutions and Harnessing Our Potential
Participants will share details of projects that have been successful in addressing poverty. All will be invited to comment on the case studies to be presented at the Shanghai conference and consider how they might better involve young people and meet the needs of youth. Participants will also be asked for ideas of projects that involve youth directly as catalysts of change in both in developed and developing countries. Key questions will include: What are the models we can learn from? Can ideas be successfully
replicated in other countries? Can projects be scaled up and still remain effective?

The discussion will emphasize the importance of learning to a) build understanding of the issues and hence enhance youth credibility, and b) develop sustainable organizational structures.

Participants will develop action plans for implementation of ideas at the country and institutional level and make recommendations to influence the outcomes of the Shanghai conference.

• Post E-Conference
Participants will be encouraged to finalize action plans and to build networks to implement their ideas. A final report containing participant recommendations will be prepared and shared with young people at planned activities in advance of the Shanghai conference, including a one day event for young people at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 2003. The final version will then be presented to decision makers at Shanghai.

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