Reflecting on Youth Forum Switzerland - as students from ISZL, around Switzerland and internationally considered the change they wanted to make in the world.
The sixth annual Youth Forum Switzerland (YFS) took place on Friday 13 January, with over 850 students from 24 schools taking part. Visitors came from local and international schools across Switzerland, as well as participants from the United States and the United Kingdom.
Youth Forum Switzerland was born when a small group of ISZL students visited the Open Forum at Davos in 2017. They came away feeling that the voices of young people were not being heard and resolved to do something about it.
With the support of their teachers and the Fund for Excellence, the students created a forum in which young people connect with changemakers from around the world. The event has grown to become a powerful part of the ISZL High School experience, and students from Middle School upwards can become involved.
This year’s event was entitled “Go Beyond”, and looked at a variety of issues including supply of water, humanitarian aid, the cars of tomorrow and youth in politics. You can see the full programme here.
Topics discussed in the forum align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including economic growth, reducing inequality and gender equality.
The forum was addressed by Swiss diplomat Markus Reubi, who attended the Youth in Politics session and was among the closing speakers, and polar explorer Jade Hameister, who at 14 became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole unassisted.
Students also participated in “Impact Labs” - interactive sessions on subjects such as sustainable wellness, LGBTQ+ mental health, upcycling and leading with empathy. The event also included its first Arts Festival, with students collaborating with a local artist to create a work of art.
Guest Eva-Maria Strobel, an attorney and partner at the international law firm Baker McKenzie, said “It was a pleasure - and true honour - to be lined up as guest speaker and contribute to this remarkable event. My personal bottom line: it is truly encouraging to see so many inspiring young students willing to “Go Beyond”. The future is bright!”
You can read a news article from one of the attending schools, Wellington College in the UK, here.