2018 Global Youth Trends Forum - Our common Future, was held today at the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Taipei’s International Ballroom. Youth participants from 19 countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, the UK, the US, Vietnam and Taiwan, over 300 youths have come and joined this exciting event. Among them, 7 were New Southbound countries, creating a platform to further strengthen the connection and exchange between young people from Taiwan and New Southbound countries. This is the 6th year in a row that the Youth Development Administration, Ministry of Education has held the Forum, which has a different theme every year based on global trends and vital youth issues, aiming to provide an opportunity for local youth to connect with a global network, bring the world to Taiwan and eventually introducing Taiwan to the world.
Taiwan Vice President, Mr. Chen Jien-jen and Political Deputy Minister of Ministry of Education, Ms. Fan, Sun-Lu, came to the event to greet the youth participants, encouraging them to broaden their horizons and particularly those from Taiwan to proactively interact with foreign delegates and help Taiwan continue to shine on the global stage. Additionally, the Vice President urged the youth to explore current issues through international activities, take actions, give back to society and become a driving force for the world to improve and develop. In recent years, New Southbound Policy has been a priority for the Government. Vice President encouraged young people to interact with outstanding students from the friendly neighboring countries and build a bridge for further collaboration. He also mentioned that based on the three sub-topics—Global Office - Talent Mobility Beyond Borders, Be a World Traveler - Grand Tour Globally, and Speak up for Our Future - Participation in Society and the World, the Youth Development Administration put a lot of effort into organizing various visits for the participants for them to have a better understanding of Taiwan and unforgettable experiences. He lastly urged everyone who participates in public affairs to keep “the value of life” in mind, think what they can contribute to society, stay young, be willing to take challenges and have courage to make a change.
In order for the participants to have more concrete ideas about the common future, the special opening ceremony included an activity which invited the delegates from 19 countries to write down their wishes for the future on cards based on the core value of “the youth moving the future forward” and put them on the “Ferris Wheel of the Future”. Vice President and Political Deputy Minister of Education waved Taiwan’s national flag to kick start the opening ceremony. The turning of the Ferris Wheel by Vice President marks the official beginning of the Forum. Together with the chief delegates from 19 countries, Vice President and Political Deputy Minister of Education shouted “We rock the future” and encouraged young people to build a network for continuous exchanges and turn the initiatives into actions so everyone can share a better world.
This year, the theme of the Forum is Our Common Future - Youth Cultivation and Development of Youth with 3 sub-topics, focusing on the youth’s active participation in public affairs, exploration of the world and adaptive career plans to achieve self-development through diverse ways. In addition to 2 days’ themed presentations and post-conference discussions in which the foreign delegates will have lively and inspiring dialogues with 200 Taiwan’s youth participants, cultural booths were nicely set up by each delegation to showcase their unique traditions, clothing or musical instruments for a deeper understanding of different cultures. In this big cultural carnival, the participants experienced a mini world tour through interactions at different booths. Noteworthily, Taiwanese cultural booths showed the unique beauty of Taiwan to impress the whole world!
In the morning panel discussion, Mr. Luis Alvarado Martinez, President of the European Youth Forum, Mr. Cameron Hunter, Board Director at UN Youth Australia and Ms. Chen An-Nung, co-founder of IMPCT Corp. shared their experiences in promoting international youth exchange from different perspectives. Mr. Martinez stated the impact of Millennials on each aspect of current society and important responsibilities for sustainable development; Mr. Hunter shared his work of talent mobility in transnational regions, brought attention to the importance of cross-cultural understanding, international relations and possible solutions to the issues; last but not least, Ms. Chen shared her life experiences of stepping out of the comfort zone and her days living in El Salvador building the first pre-school in an urban slum of San Salvador. She also talked about how she sees herself as a change maker and how she would like to create a bigger impact. The session received an enthusiastic response and profoundly motivated the participants. Moreover, the 8-day exchange activity includes visits to a series of local youth organizations and YDA’s Youth Travel Spots, enabling foreign young people to better understand different aspects of Taiwan and Taiwan’s young people to tell their local success stories to an international audience for future development on the global stage.
Through the in-depth discussions and sharing on the 3 topics, the youth participants broke geographical boundaries and transcended cultural differences to pay attention to diverse issues around the world and come up with solutions as global citizens. This annual Global Youth Trends Forum has a lot more to offer. For more information please go to the YDA (http://www.yda.gov.tw) and iYouth (https://iyouth.youthhub.tw/main.php) websites.