At the end of May 2022, the staff of CIESPI at PUC-Rio under the coordination of professor Irene Rizzini, held the international seminar “Youth in action for the creation of inclusive cities”. The seminar was held at the Department of Social Services of PUC-Rio.
This meeting was the result of the project Shaping Youth Futures: Livelihood Options in Creating Inclusive Cities, coordinated by Sukanya Krishnamurthy of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland with CIESPI at PUC-Rio and the Youth Forum of South Fluminese in Action (FJSFA) in Brazil, and Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Fields of View (FoV) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in India. The project aimed to stimulate the participation and protagonism of young peope in the contruction, implementation and monitoring of public policies especially those connected to entry into the workforce.
The research project and the seminar were supported by financing from the British Academy’s Youth Futures Program Global Challenges Research (Grant YF/19004) and the CAPES-Print Institutional Program for Internationalization of the Brazilian Ministry of Education (#41/2017).
Representatives of all the organizations involved met in Rio to discuss the results of the study and share the experiences in Brazil and India.
On the first day, youth from FJSFA and YUVA presented the results of their research accompanied with dramatizations, music and dances. They inspired the participants with the information they reported and their enthusiasm. It became apparent that the young people in the two countries encountered similar difficulties on the issues of entry into the world of work and social participation. Among the principal challenges were the implementation of rules and regulations and overcoming prejudice and discrimination.
On the second day, Fields of View conducted an interactive session called City Game. The session divided the participants into groups of two and three to think about the construction of an ideal city. In the debate that followed, we could see how we tend to reproduce what we live and how we need to learn to think collectively how, despite the present social order, we can construct genuinely participatory and inclusive cities.
To conclude, we had a panel of specialists from different countries, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Mexico, to give their ideas about the results of the project. They stressed the need to develop strategies to enlarge the debate with other social actors, youth and non-youth, discovering common points to advance the common interest. We also discussed how to measure the impact of these actions. The need to expand institutional limits and to find alternative strategies to change state and society were explored. We noted intergenerational conflicts and the necessity to transform the unsustainable economic, social and political systems which produced global forms of exclusion.
CIESPI is grateful to all those who attended for their considerable contributions and we will continue to work so that children and youth can exercise their right to social inclusion thus contributing to a more just and democratic society.
To see the complete seminar program, click here
To learn more about the project, click here.