Updated: Oct 30
The XXV WFSF World Conference - Exploring Liminalities - Creating Spaces for Unlimited Futures, as part of their 50th World Futures Studies Federation Anniversary Celebration took place physically in Paris this past week with a special online showcase of the very first young voices entering the space of futures conversations.
The session "From Imagination to Will and Action: How Youth Voices Can Change the World" was an inspiring session focused on showcasing the innovative futures projects of young leaders from around the world.
Chairing the session was Lisa Giuliani of Teach the Future, who introduced an esteemed panel of Next Generation Foresight Practitioners - Young Voices (NGFP-YV) Award winners from 2021, and 2023.
First to present was Amna Habiba, the 2021 NGFP winner from Pakistan. Currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, 18-year-old Amna is the founder of BloomED Inc., where she designs innovation spaces and helps marginalized young women build their futures. We're honored to have Amna, a Lester B. Pearson scholar and UN/Malala Fund featured thought leader, as the youngest member of the Teach the Future team.
Next introductions were the 2023 first place NGFP winners, Andrew Kiviri and his team from Uganda, discussed their award-winning Community Book Clinics project, which promotes literacy at the grassroots. A passionate 16-year-old senior, Andrew has already made great strides in motivating children to develop their reading skills.
Sharing next was this year's NGFP runner-up winners, a group of changemakers from Peru - Luciana Chiu, Angel Guzman, and Andrea Ore. These 17-18-year-olds co-founded Sumaq Yachay, a volunteer program closing educational gaps across Peru. They exemplify how young people can drive social impact.
Rounding out the panel is Gabriela de Sá dos Santos, a 2023 top 10 NGFP honoree from Brazil. Gabriela has created tech education initiatives for low-income youth and taught languages to hundreds. Now 17, she's been an entrepreneur since 13, recognizing firsthand how education and technology can uplift lives.
Through their presentations, these youth leaders demonstrated how imagination and will can transform the world. Their stories no doubt energized and inspired.
When asked to describe a scenario in 2073, what had their future goals and project contributions done up until that year? Here are their responses:
“Sumaq Yachay aspires to extend its impact worldwide, having branches in more than 10 countries that will empower more than 50,000 students. We will be leading a movement for a transformative education in which students are equipped with high-quality, holistic education. In 2073, we picture children and youngsters who can express their ideas with clarity and develop plans to reach more fields with room for improvement. They are the next practitioners who will guarantee a future for themselves and their community by learning from our programs and their experiences. In 2073, we plan to leave our mark on the world while helping the youngest to leave theirs". - Team Peru
“Colorar envisions global expansion, beginning in Brazil and gradually adapting to diverse cultures and regional needs across South America and beyond. We anticipate strong collaboration with governments and non-governmental organizations to ensure cultural sensitivity in app customization. By 2073, we foresee a 25% increase in global female entrepreneurship, empowering women economically and fostering independence. We also aim to have a 40% increase in reported domestic violence cases globally and 35% of Colorar users will achieve financial independence, breaking free from abusive cycles. Over time, Colorar will symbolize hope, resilience, and women's collective strength for more than 100,000 women worldwide, marking a significant step towards a safer and more equitable world.” – Gabriela de Sa dos Santos, Brazil
"By 2073, we see ourselves having motivated more young people like us to become literacy champions to advocate for quality education all over the country, not only our community. We look at having initiated this project to all the community libraries in Uganda as a program to engage children and make use of these spaces. By 2073, we look at having created awareness and value of community led interventions and being supported by our government and other stakeholders in the field of education and social development. By 2073, we look at having a fully structured process for this program and having trainers of trainees to increase our reach and impact." -Team Uganda