An Address at the 10th Anniversary of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” by Julia Kinash, President of the International Movement “Youth Time”.
Dear Colleagues! Dr. Yakunin, Prof. Dallmayr.
Dear participants of the World Public Forum. On behalf of the International Movement Youth Time I want to thank the World Public Forum for this amazing opportunity to be here with you and to carry on a dialogue. I am sure our team-work on the Rhodes Forum will be useful both for the older and younger generations, as our young community is as ready for the changes as you are. I would like to, once again, stress that the dialogue of generations is vital to us. Yes, the future belongs to the young. Young people have tremendous energy. But without wisdom, experience of the elders, transferred to future generations we can hardly talk about a positive change. During the last three years we held debates concerning the most important and painful questions for young people. Participants of our third forum really wanted to share their thoughts and wishes with you. Unfortunately, not all were able to stay for the 10th session of the Forum, but some of them recorded their wishes on video for the older generation. The world we live in became complex. The world became small and connected. The world is changing very fast. And the speed of change is accelerating. As one of our participants said here a few days ago, the world looks like a huge airport, where everything moves and changes constantly. Global environment problems, resources, unstable peace, political and economic crisis, etcetera, produce the feeling of insecurity about our future.
This is the one of the primary concerns of young people today. This is partly caused by the global economic recession and loss of moral values which the world is facing, as well as by the realization that lots of things have been dealt with using the wrong attitude, thinking more about the present rather than the future. This leads to a high number of well-educated young people with no real employment prospects. Young students and professionals cannot buy their first house or car, like their fathers could, we are trapped inside a financial system that inflates prices and makes us slaves to lifelong debts or mortgages. Under such circumstances, the youth need advice and support from their elders, starting with simple and uninterested advice up to the possibility of acting as trustees.
We, as young people need to develop the power of collective action. It is important for us to accept the traditions and principles of a dialogue in order to pass them to future generations.
Leadership is impossible without personal audacity. We really need your moral support. We have to admit that today we don’t have a clear solution for the challenges of the modern world. How to achieve harmony in geopolitical relations, how to establish effective social institutions. There is no silver bullet for that. Nevertheless, we must keep on living in this world.
In this world which lacks deep reasoning. In this world that has a lack of love. In this world with false promises of easy happiness. In this world where our life experience became disrupted. Where traditions, cultures, and faiths are hostages of mass media and markets.
This is the second concern of the young people. How do we live in such a disrupted and disoriented WORLD? No one can answer this question but us. It’s only us, only our own activity can make one common social space possible. The future depends on our decision and on our ability to act together. We, the young people, seem to be slower than our fathers and mothers, when it comes to taking serious responsibilities, such as creating a family or building a house. But on the other side we are crossed by more information and social pressures than ever before, having to deal with many moral dilemmas that may not existed before.