Through the years, the Filipino youth has emerged as a powerful force in shaping the nation. We have witnessed them forward their agenda on various socio-political matters, whether out in the streets or within their own circles. Constituting 30% of the Philippine population, their civic participation is fundamental in realizing the values of democracy and good governance.
Even with this power, however, the youth today — the 40-year-olds and below — struggle to claim their space and fulfill their civic potential. Against the backdrop of democratic backslides and shrinking civic spaces, they are challenged by a growing disillusionment on politics and governance, which they attribute to political polarization, weak rule of law, weak political ideologies and parties, and the persistence of the experience of simply being ‘warm bodies’ in political mobilizations. This comes at a critical crossroads when the youth and its segments can potentially shift narratives and innovate on solutions in pursuit of development and democracy.
With the advent of the internet, the youth has made creative use of social media to amplify their voices. Such tool, however, can be detrimental more than helpful, as the virtual engagement space has reflected more negative and reactive standpoints, than help put together a constructive, solutions-seeking agenda.
With these challenges, what are needed are innovative ways and leaders to come up with a co-created youth agenda on governance: a youth agenda that will be generated by breaking the barriers of political colors and demographics for meaningful discussions, design thinking, and storytelling and; a youth agenda that will broadly raise awareness and engagement to forward an improved and more responsive government.
The Youth Agenda is generated as a collection of stories and innovations crafted by the INNOVATEGov Youth Network that responds to the 2030 Global Goals and the broad movement for good governance and democracy. This is the Youth Network’s initial effort to promote a positive space among the youth to talk and fulfill their civic potential. The ideas and solutions being forwarded by the Agenda are not mere demands from the government but concrete action points that can be initiated by the sector itself. This also stands as a call for allies and support from the private sector, the government, civil society, and other stakeholders to altogether work on the Global Goals and beyond.
The Vlog Series
Youth, Democracy, and the Global Goals. Opening the #thegovernmentwewant Vlog Series are iLEAD Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce talking about the initiative and its goals for the youth network; Prof. Cleve Arguelles of the University of the Philippines-Manila on current challenges to democracy and the responses these generate from the Filipino youth; and Eah Antonio of the 2030 Youth Force affirming the youth’s key role in addressing the Global Goals.
Climate Action. Youth leaders from Young Earth Scientists’ Society, WeGen Philippines, 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, and Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities share their initiatives and explore pathways towards sustainable development.
The Institute for Leadership, Empowerment, and Democracy (iLEAD), through the Innovations for Good Governance Project (INNOVATE-GOV) of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), is implementing a six-month program that seeks to facilitate such engagement among the youth and its segments.
This project springboards from the premise that with innovative platforms and issue-based, solutions-seeking, voice-giving conversations encouraging healthy and pluralistic discourse, the Filipino youth can reinvigorate its generation’s democratic project towards influencing the quality of politics and governance in the country. This hopes to serve as an opportunity for these different youth groups to advance each of their advocacies and visions, and be collectively heard by both our leaders and constituencies.
1.“The Government We Want: Invigorating Citizen Participation for Good Governance Reforms in the Philippines” by Tracey Fung (Center for International Private Enterprise)
2. “Realizing the Government We Want” (INNOVATEGov)
3.“Advancing the Youth Agenda in Achieving Good Governance” (INNOVATEGov)