New York (PRWEB) July 18, 2017
IBREA FOUNDATION and Brain World magazine are pleased to announce a Conference on Youth Resilience for Successful Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be held on Tuesday, August 8th, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 10 am to 4 pm. The event is organized in cooperation with the Permanent Representation of El Salvador to the UN, a country where IBREA FOUNDATION has carried out it’s brain-based holistic educational program in over 10% of public schools with greatly positive results in students’ and teachers’ mental wellbeing.
As a nonprofit having Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), IBREA FOUNDATION strives to offer its program as a tool to help advance the implementation of the UN's most pressing agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, or the so-called 2030 Agenda. In preparation of the UN ECOSOC theme for 2018, “from global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies”, IBREA FOUNDATION wishes to emphasize the importance of resilient mindsets among youth in our globalized world. The conference is centered around the idea that their attitude is essential in determining the positive or negative impact of our current interconnectedness. Young people’s mental stability and strength in navigating the global–local tensions they're immersed in will help them realize their potential to contribute to the UN goals of development and peace.
The world is so interconnected that it is becoming more and more difficult to even distinguish between what is global and what is local. It is undeniable that what happens at the micro level affects the global level and vice versa — in faster and more intense ways than ever before. Millennials are at the heart of this interconnectedness, as the most enthusiastic and savvy users of new media technologies. For some, this intensification of worldwide social relations can be a cause for great celebration and inspiration. For others, it can be a cause for great anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed and powerless. With half of our world's population being under 30, “The future of humanity and of our planet lies....also in the hands of today's younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations”, as reads paragraph 53 of the 2030 Agenda.
For young people, learning increasingly becomes a cross-cultural experience. Today, the sharing of ideas among youth from various cultures and parts of the world can occur instantaneously in the cyberspace. It is no longer possible to isolate learning experiences within the boundaries of local norms. Even in the most remote and/or poor areas, young people increasingly have access to phones and the Internet. If curious enough, they can see what is going on in any corner of the world. So to a certain degree, they can experience far-away realities directly. From a scientific viewpoint, the brain regions that are activated when we see or imagine something are the same regions that get activated when we actually experience it.
Millennials have evolved and developed through this exponentially growing digital world. While they have been heavily criticized for their obsession with technology, there is reason to celebrate the strengths that they have also gained. Today’s youth have been evolving as collaborators, multi-taskers and users of complex data and information. Providing a huge flow of information, the global connections described can be both healthy and unhealthy. They can make young people more frustrated, or they can help them dream bigger and take bigger action. They can ignite the creation of positive goals, or the development of unhealthy habits. They can spread extreme positivity or negativity in a matter of seconds. Looking at social media alone, as the most used platform in the Internet, Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology and head of the department of media and communications at the London School of Economics, highlights: “It keeps them constantly updated on what other young people are thinking and doing. It is the height of reflexivity.” She emphasizes how there is a constant awareness of the peer group conversation, and how this can make young people live in a more anxious, self-judging way than previous generations.
At the same time as they “go global”, this young generation still does retain their unique local identity. From a leadership standpoint, the key is leveraging these local-global connections and expanded peer reflections that Millennials are immersed in, in healthy, productive and impactful ways towards the achievement of the UN SDGs. How can young people raise their global awareness while staying grounded and rooted in their local reality? How to keep their own individual identity while interacting with a wider than ever network of peers? How to remember where they come from and what they want to protect, while expanding their scope and capabilities, and defining their contribution to the world?
There are no technical solutions to these questions. We cannot prescribe a solution that does not ask young people to change. And to change, young people have to go through a period of challenging adjustments. They need support as they go through this process of reshaping their loyalties to people they are familiar with and to cultures that they feel strongly connected to. As they expand their horizon, they might need to go through periods of experiencing some discomfort and even incompetence as they shape new competencies and sources of confidence. There is a need to educate young people on how to sustain themselves in this process, on how to discipline their own needs for control or safety or recognition for a wider benefit and outcome. This generation is the first in history to face the unprecedented challenge of how to thrive in this interconnected world, and live for the betterment of this interconnected world.
Commemorating this year’s International Youth Day, we invite everyone interested to participate and discuss on these topics. To attend the event, please visit http://www.ibreafoundation.org and register online.
For more information about the Conference on Youth Resilience for Successful Implementation of the SDGs, please contact IBREA FOUNDATION: Isabel Pastor Guzman, Program Director, isabel(at)ibreafoundation.org or 9178856758.