In today’s age of unparalleled connectivity and mobility, the youth benefit from vast opportunities to discover, to experience and to be involved in the global village. At the same time, young people are also most affected by the challenges and problems of today’s interconnected societies. They are posed by climate change, depletion of resources, unemployment, new security risks, and major demographic changes such as migration, the gender gap, or an ageing population. Addressing and adjusting to these changes will be a defining feature and task of future generations.
The activities organised and facilitated by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in the field of youth and education over the past decades showed one clear message: “The youth are prime agents for social and political change, economic development and technological innovation.” But how can the youth cooperate with the various actors in societies to improve the negative consequences caused by demographic changes given their relative position in many societies in Asia and Europe today?
The dialogue “Demographic Changes in Asia and Europe: Challenges for the Youth” brought together four representatives from the youth and education sectors to share their views and expertise on this topic from Asian and European perspectives. The panellists from Finland, Lithuania, The Philippines and Singapore discussed pertinent issues resulting from demographic developments, with a particular focus on the challenges posed by an increasing ageing population. Key areas of discussion dealt with potential initiatives, programmes and measures that could encourage solidarity between the younger and older generations.
During the programme, ASEF presented recent ASEF publications to the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius (Lithuania). About 115 books were donated, covering themes such as arts, culture, education, human rights, and youth.