Date: 19 July 2023
Co-hosted by: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the School of International Futures (SOIF)
How can nations develop national strategies that are fit for the next generations? The shaping of a national strategy (or ‘grand strategy’) has traditionally been the domain of government elites – top-down and ‘behind closed doors’. But around the world, that is starting to change. From Wales to Singapore, the past decade has seen a growing awareness of the need to govern in the interests of both current and future generations, giving people a say in the world their children or grandchildren will inherit. Citizens are asked their views about the future, both in terms of desired outcomes (visions) and the key trends, challenges and strategic choices the country will face. This event, held halfway through the Commonwealth Year of Youth 2023, explored what this means for Parliaments and young people across the Commonwealth.
The event offered an overview of recent developments around the involvement of young people in political processes at a national and multinational level, as well as initiatives – including the UN’s Our Common Agenda and 2024 Summit of the Future – to support policy and decision making that reflects the rights and interests of future generations more broadly. We reflected on the significance of these developments, identified key impacts and success stories, and considered how lessons might be applied in other Parliaments and political systems. We also explored SOIF’s ‘A National Strategy for the Next Generations’ programme, which works to connect youth-led, intergenerational citizen dialogues into formal national strategic planning processes in the UK.
The event was chaired by Sarah Boyack MSP (Scotland), with contributions from Hon. Michelle Jan Slack, President of the Nevis Island Assembly, Senator Ledama Olekina, Senator for Narok County in Kenya, and from young people from across the Commonwealth.