Faced with a political system that doesn’t respond or reflect them, young people are trapped in a vicious circle of disengagement. When young people don’t vote, politicians feel they can be ignored, and policy reflects this – right across Europe, responses to recent economic crises have disproportionately affected lower age brackets. Disenchantment and mistrust increase further, and the result is a system where young people’s perspectives simply aren’t considered.
How can the will of the people be represented when such a large part of society simply isn’t accounted for?
But far from being apathetic or disinterested, young people are rejecting out-dated formal political structures in favour of more direct action, such as campaigning for causes that matter to them, like in Greece with the anti-police protests, or participating in social movements, online and offline.
It’s not that young people aren’t political – they’re just sick of structures that don’t deliver. Democracy needs to be rethought in response
#youthup is an open-source, youth-led campaign with three main priorities:
1. Crowdsourcing & researching the best ideas, with workshops, and a freely downloadable toolkit, as well as detailed empirical research on youth participation, democracy and social movements.
2. Building a community of campaigners of youth activists from all across Europe, who are working on common causes.
3. Proposing concrete actions for political change. The best ideas from the #youthup workshops will be voted on at youthup.eu, and brought directly to decision-makers in a high level event in 2016.
To learn more about #youthhup, visit their website here, or watch the video below:
Photo credits: Youthup