If the message of The IV National Youth Forum on Volunteering was a call to action for youth to become active citizens, it was certainly a success. The eight students presentations reflected promising initiatives on climate change and poverty-reductio, while small-group workshops were dominated by concepts like “participatory citizenship”, “commitment to society” and “leadership in sustainable development.”
What was missing from the picture was how to get from an existing initiative to a sustainable and effective one. Better said — once these students went out and did great things, how would they demonstrate the impact of their initiatives? How would they make it sustainable? How would they make a pitch for further support?
Little was said on this topic. And while a call to action is the first critical step, the next step – evaluating and become financially sustainable – is just as important and needs to be present in future conversations.
Nonetheless, there was an undeniable silver lining with the line-up of speakers and the knowledge they imparted on the crowd. Top-tier speakers such as Pedro Medina, founder of Yo Creo en Colombia, delivered the perfect mix between action-packed inspiration and concrete take-home message such as up-your-sleeve tricks to befriend just about anyone. After, all you never know how important the friendee can be). Another character that made us laugh while mastering the art of touch a deep-down nerve was Yokoi Kenji, colombian-japanese motivational speaker, that left us with key take-away points on how to achieve the elusive “success.”