Vatican Youth Symposium Goes Virtual In 2020!

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Co-hosted by SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), the Vatican Youth Symposium (VYS) brings together leaders in global development to catalyze solutions and partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participants of the Vatican Youth Symposium in 2019
Participants of the Vatican Youth Symposium in 2019.

Traditionally held at the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City, the 2020 VYS will take on a virtual format due to the constraints of the global pandemic. While we will miss convening within the walls of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the ability to connect in-person, this virtual format has granted us with the opportunity to reach an even greater audience.

The seventh annual symposium, but first of its kind as a digital space, will create access for those who otherwise may have not be able to participate or attend such a momentous event. The theme, “New Encounters on Humanity’s Path Forward: Youth, Education, Nature, and Culture” will frame sessions devoted to the dimensions of youth empowerment and intergenerational leadership with discussions on how COVID-19 presents both an enormous challenge and opportunities for advancing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The global pandemic has caused major hardships for citizens around the world, especially for young people who are grappling with the constraints placed upon their futures, including that of access to education and employment .

Core sessions will be categorized into thematic areas split over two days:

Day 1 will focus on Education for Sustainable Development from primary schools through professional settings and include the launch of Mission 4.7.

Day 2 will host discussions on Human Rights, Dignity & Fratelli Tutti, Sustainable Cities & Communities, and Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Technology presenting inspiring messages of how the synergy between the creativity of younger generations and the expertise of older ones curate progressive change.

The 2020 Symposium will be opened by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Ban Ki-moon, Chair, Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens (BKMC).

The solutions discussed and generated at the Vatican Youth Symposium will be wide-ranging and multifaceted. It will have a special focus on the following themes:

  • Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development

  • Education for Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship, and 21st Century Skills

  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • Human Rights, Human Dignity & Fratelli Tutti

  • Role of Universities and Academia in Sustainable Development

  • Sustainable Cities & Communities

The Symposium will provide a space for professionals and young leaders to share experiences, success stories, and best practices in order to empower participants to commit to concrete solutions and deliver meaningful change in their local communities.

Follow the Vatican Youth Symposium live at @SDSNYouth and #VYS2020. The Symposium will stream live on SDSN’s YouTube.

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Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II (1 January 1994) with the aim of promoting the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science, thus offering the Church those elements which she can use in the development of her social doctrine, and reflecting on the application of that doctrine in contemporary society.

SDSN Youth In 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. In 2015, the SDSN launched its official youth division (SDSN Youth) to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions.