Global Youth Summit for Freedom of Religion or Belief
Toward a future of social harmony
October 19-20, 2023 on Zoom
We live in an era of conflict. From partisan arguments ruining family gatherings, to genocide destroying entire communities, the world is suffering from a severe lack of respect for different beliefs.
To build a future of respect for all, we need more peacemakers, with better strategies, and more support.
For this purpose, The First Freedom Foundation, along with the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA), and Boat People SOS, are hosting the Global Youth Summit for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) this October 19-20, 2023. This 25 hour virtual gathering will employ Open Space Technology to empower the next generation of leaders to build a future where everyone can enjoy freedom of religion or belief.
About Open Space
Open Space Technology is a highly-effective system for organizing large groups of people with a shared goal. It fosters a dynamic, participant-led gathering where participants create their own agenda, self-select into subgroups to engage in interactive conversations, and then share summaries of their conversations with the full group.
This proven approach has been used over 60,000 times in 124 countries, including at NASA and Google Ventures. Its participatory nature makes it an ideal tool for achieving the goals of the summit. It is also well-suited to virtual events.
See here for more information about Open Space.
Increase and Expand: We aim to increase both the number and variety of young FoRB activists.
Connect and Collaborate: We seek to connect advocates with decades of experience with newcomers who have fresh ideas, to forge powerful collaborations.
Support and Sustain: We will equip youth-led projects with technical tools, comprehensive training, and essential funding, to set them up for success.
We will invite the Zoom limit of 1,000 FoRB advocates to a 25-hour virtual “un-conference” where participants will set their own agenda and self-organize into breakout groups. Invitations to participate will be issued strategically to maximize diversity.
Youth participants (ages 18-34):
We will select youth participants to represent the widest possible range of religious, cultural, and geographic backgrounds, with a priority for those with unique skills or experience to contribute, and a demonstrated commitment to FoRB. To ensure that this is a youth-driven event, 80% of the total seats will be reserved for young people.
Young Mentors: (ages 18-40)
We will also invite young people who already have deep experience in the FoRB movement to serve as mentors. These young FoRB champions know better than anyone what it is like to work in this movement as a Millennial or Zoomer.
Mentors (ages 41+):
We will also invite 200 “former youth” to participate as mentors. Mentors will be selected based on:
- enthusiasm for mentoring,
- deep institutional wisdom in FoRB,
- expertise in a country or countries of particular concern, or with less-developed FoRB movements,
- representation of minority religious groups
- diversity of skills and resources, particularly technologists, business-leaders, film-makers, philanthropists, lawmakers, and cultural influencers.
After the Summit
Open Space is powerful because of its ability to transform talk into action. Conversations that begin by sharing information naturally turn to “What can we do about it?”
We expect that the Global Youth Summit will produce new plans, partnerships, and projects. The trick is in implementing those plans, and then making the action sustainable.
To make this summit a long-term success, we will:
The Global Youth Summit may become an annual gathering, or maybe it will evolve as different needs and opportunities are identified. But the goal is to build a movement, not an event.
How you can get involved
Together, we can empower the next generation to create a world where people from all faiths and none can live together in mutual respect and social harmony.