Youth Good Governance Series—Let’s Talk
Future civil society development will depend on the civic capacity of young people. Youth empowerment is a central component of youth policymaking in Taiwan and other democracies around the world. To encourage young people to participate in public affairs, the Youth Development Administration (YDA) of the Ministry of Education has promoted the Let’s Talk program since 2018. By training young people in deliberation and encouraging them to join Let’s Talk activities, the YDA gives youths opportunities for their opinions to be included in government policies. Since 2020, the project has coordinated with the Executive Yuan’s Taiwan Open Government National Action Plan to further build youth capacity to engage in policymaking and enable young people to play a more active future role in civil society.
To empower young people with the skills to organize deliberative meetings and chair discussions, the 2023 project will prioritize post-training mechanisms for participants to practice and build up experience. By running a training program to complement Talk events, the discussion process at meetings will be more in line with the spirit of deliberative democracy. Apart from self-run youth discussions, the project also embraces the spirit of government-civil society partnership. Cooperation between government agencies and young people will produce concrete and feasible policy recommendations.
1. Encourage youths to organize Let’s Talk deliberations on public issues
To raise young people’s interest in public issues, we encourage CSOs, corporations, or youths aged 18 to 35 who are passionate about public issues to form their own teams and submit proposals to hold Let’s Talk deliberative events on public issues. Through active interactions between young people, we motivate youths to understand and contemplate public issues, and create further policy dialogue with the government.
2. Organize deliberative democracy talent training
To help Let’s Talk discussions follow the spirit of deliberative democracy, we train youths who are interested in holding public issue deliberations in basic deliberative democracy skills. They learn how to lead deliberative discussions so when talking about public issues, they can encourage rational dialogue and informed, attentive, and diverse conversation in a deliberative democratic space that respects diversity.
3. Offer a co-creative and results-sharing platform
To realize the spirit of open government transparency, participation, and accountability, relevant government agencies respond to suggestions raised by youths in each session. Issues that deserve further deliberation are collected and discussed in depth by corresponding government agencies and young people. Together they produce practical and feasible recommendations or proposals that can be referenced in follow-up policymaking initiatives.