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Amplifying Young Voices: How Youth Talks Shapes the Future of our Societies

With groundbreaking techniques and a people-centric approach, this global youth consultation is revolutionizing how we listen to the next generation and propel their voices on the global stage.

As a tool for change, the Youth Talks aims to inform the decision-making of key stakeholders at all levels of our societies: educational institutions, governments, international organizations, youth associations, businesses, media, and the general public. 


A New Chapter in Youth Empowerment

As the world transforms rapidly, fresh perspectives and innovative ideas have become essential to building a sustainable future. Recognizing the untapped potential of young minds, Youth Talks has emerged as a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to amplify the voices of the global youth.The changing economic landscape, the growing social inequalities, and the increasingly complex geopolitical climate call for bold decisions. More than ever, the youth feels pressured to change our societies inside out, so we can’t make effective decisions without listening to them. Youth Talks gives them the platform to express their aspirations & concerns to be part of the change they want to see, bridging the gap between generations and creating a more inclusive, forward-looking future.


Rethinking Surveys: The Open-Ended Revolution

Traditional surveys often fail to capture young people’s aspirations, concerns, and expectations. Closed-ended questions stifle creativity and limit the expression of diverse viewpoints. Youth Talks addresses this issue by employing open-ended questions, allowing 15-29-year-olds to share their thoughts and ideas. This innovative approach has resonated with participants, amassing over 550,000 contributions from 33,000 youths across 209 countries and territories. The consultation’s multimedia platform, which accepts written, audio, and image submissions, further enhances the richness and diversity of responses.

Real-time map of visitors on April 6th, 2023
Real-time map of visitors on April 6th, 2023

Youth Talks’ unique approach to engaging with young people is an excellent case study using open-ended questions.

The initiative encourages participants to express their ideas, concerns, and aspirations without limitation by posing questions that allow for unrestricted responses. This format captures the latent needs, weak signals, and emerging trends we need to project ourselves into the future, putting into perspective the real challenges we must urgently address. 

Moreover, Youth Talks fosters a sense of agency and self-efficacy among participants, empowering them to take an active role in shaping their futures.



Global Ambassadors: Bridging the Digital Divide

A robust network of 2,300 volunteer ambassadors, hailing from every corner of the globe, drives the success of Youth Talks. These passionate individuals, armed with skills and toolkits acquired through comprehensive training sessions, play a crucial role in spreading the word and ensuring that young people from all walks of life can make their voices heard. By overcoming the digital divide, Youth Talks can reach marginalized communities and amplify underrepresented voices, ultimately fostering greater inclusivity and diversity.



Harnessing the Power of Partnerships

Youth Talks has built a vast network of partners, ranging from international organizations like the Scouts movement to local student associations. These collaborations have been instrumental in amplifying the reach and impact of the initiative, guaranteeing that the insights gleaned from young people reach the desks of policymakers and international institutions. By working with diverse partners, Youth Talks can facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and promote shared understanding among different youth populations, paving the way for developing more sustainable  models.

Network of partners
Network of partners


Embracing the Visual Language of a New Generation

Recognizing the power of video in shaping the narratives of today’s youth, Youth Talks has launched an unprecedented video campaign featuring young individuals from around the world. The initiative effectively bridges the gap between generations by showcasing their raw, unscripted testimonies, fostering a greater sense of empathy and understanding among decision-makers and the wider public.

Crafting a Visual Identity that Resonates

In the era of social media and visual storytelling, creating a solid visual identity is crucial to connecting with audiences. Youth Talks has adopted a visual identity that mirrors today’s youth’s dynamism, authenticity, and activism to captivate and connect with its diverse audience. This distinctive branding, combined with the initiative’s multimedia platform, has made the consultation process more engaging, relevant, and accessible. In doing so, Youth Talks has successfully bridged the gap between young people and the institutions that shape their futures, fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment among participants.

yellow baseline social media ads
yellow baseline social media ads


The Crucial Role of Listening in Building the Next Generation of Education Models


Initiated by the Higher Education for Good Foundation and recognizing that Education is one of the critical elements to enable humanity to meet the current challenges, Youth Talks aims to play a specific role in transforming education models. As educational institutions grapple with the challenges of the 21st century, incorporating youth perspectives into decision-making cannot be overstated. By actively listening to young people and engaging them in meaningful dialogue, Youth Talks collects unique viewpoints and experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. This rich tapestry of perspectives can inform the design of more innovative, effective, and equitable education models. 


One of the ways Youth Talks sparks education innovation is by organizing large-scale hackathons, where students from different cities come together to brainstorm and develop disruptive solutions for the education system. Youth Talks encourages other academic institutions to adopt and build upon these ideas by making the resulting frameworks and methods available under a Creative Commons license.


Final Thoughts: Redefining Engagement and Co-Creating the Future

As we reflect on the groundbreaking initiative of Youth Talks, several key takeaways emerge for leaders seeking to engage effectively with younger generations:

  1. Embrace Open-Ended Dialogue: Youth Talks’ use of open-ended questions has empowered young voices with a freedom of expression that traditional surveys often limit. It’s a testament to the power of open dialogue in unearthing fresh, unscripted insights.
  2. Champion Digital Inclusivity: By leveraging a global network of ambassadors, Youth Talks has bridged digital divides, ensuring voices from diverse backgrounds and regions are heard. This strategy reinforces the importance of inclusivity in any engagement effort.
  3. Leverage Strategic Partnerships: The project’s success in building a vast network of partners, from global institutions to local student associations, emphasizes the potential of collaborative efforts in amplifying reach and fostering diverse conversations.
  4. Cultivate a Resonating Visual Identity: The distinctive visual identity of Youth Talks demonstrates the power of brand resonance in today’s digital age, mainly when targeting younger demographics. Leaders should ensure their branding resonates with their audience, encapsulating their spirit and aspirations.
  5. Prioritize Active Listening: Youth Talks has placed active listening at the heart of its operations, emphasizing its importance in shaping policies and initiatives that are genuinely responsive to the needs and aspirations of the youth.
  6. Foster Collaborative Innovation: By organizing hackathons and openly sharing the resulting ideas, Youth Talks has demonstrated the power of collaborative innovation in generating disruptive solutions and driving transformative change.
  7. Give Centre Stage to Youth Narratives: The initiative’s video campaign, showcasing raw, unscripted testimonies of youth worldwide, drives home the point that authentic, youth-centric content can effectively bridge generational gaps and foster understanding.


As leaders, the challenge is not just to hear but to listen, to understand, and to act. Youth Talks exemplifies an innovative approach to fostering youth engagement, providing valuable lessons for those looking to build a more inclusive and sustainable future.



Marine Hadengue , Executive Director & Board Member, Higher Education For Good, Youth Talks Director

Kristy An, Chief Technical Operations & Products Officer, bluenove