An Address to WPF “Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions” by Julia Kinash

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.