Participation of young people in political and social processes is essential for the democratic health of all societies. With this understanding, the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) hosted the Generation Democracy Global Summit in Antigua, Guatemala, in November 2022 to convene young leaders from around the world to share expertise in the promotion, dissemination, and defence of democratic norms.  

In 2015, IRI launched Generation Democracy, an initiative that seeks to create a network of empowered young leaders, involved with their communities, and connected with youth around the world with the aim of sharing their experiences, expertise, and ideas around building resilient, democratic institutions and defending civic space. 

Through Generation Democracy, young people can access a complete set of tools to build the leadership skills needed to become the next generation of democratic actors in their communities and countries. Being part of Generation Democracy means being part of a movement of changemakers who evaluate and replicate good practices for youth participation in decision-making processes.  

In pursuit of this goal, from November 13-17, 2022, IRI hosted its Global Summit in the city of Antigua, Guatemala. More than 30 young leaders from around the world came together to convene and share their ideas, challenges, and experiences in promoting democracy within their own communities, countries, and regions. IRI has been holding the Generation Democracy Global Summit, its flagship annual event, since 2017. 

During the Summit, the participants reinforced their shared commitment to the promotion of democratic principles and values by participating in workshops led by GenDem members and on discussion panels of their peers. . These spaces allowed the members of the network to share strategies and methodologies to promote youth activism and mobilization, thus achieving positive changes in their socio-political realities. 

The participants also had group sessions in which they gave examples of their experiences advocating for more and better spaces for the participation of young people. In these group sessions, members of the Network proposed solutions to the challenges they face in their countries. 

Throughout the Summit, the members of Generation Democracy managed to identify necessary elements that allow young people to create and promote spaces for youth civic and political participation to build a stronger and healthier democracy. Some of these elements include:  

  1. Create governmental and non-governmental platforms in which youth can contribute their ideas and experiences for the construction of a comprehensive youth public policy 
  2. Promote spaces in which young people can be part of the decision-making process 
  3. Disseminate best practices that, based on experience and expertise, make it possible to build a more youth-friendly world 

At the end of the Summit a “cultural fair” was held, a space dedicated to sharing particularities about the cultures, countries, and regions of the participants, such as typical clothing, food, drinks, and artistic expressions. Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of Generation Democracy is the opportunity for all participants to learn about new cultures and customs and make new friends who have the same interest in transforming the world. 

About Generation Democracy   

The Generation Democracy Network is comprised of over 300 youth spanning across over 70 countries—all of whom are testing, replicating and scaling new ideas to advance the meaningful participation of youth in decision-making processes. 

Up ArrowTop