What is the Youth Power campaign?

Youth Power is a campaign to achieve the Global Goals to end poverty, inequality and climate change.
The campaign supports young people and their collective power to turn these promises into reality.

What do we need? 

World leaders have signed up to Global Goals which promise to end poverty, inequality, and climate change. To make sure leaders turn promises into reality we need the collective power of young people.

How will we get there?

The promises made in the Global Goals will only be kept if:

  • Young people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to take action which influences leaders.
  • Young people are connected in a global network with the solidarity, support and power of collective action to influence leaders.
  • Young people have the opportunities to influence the way that leaders make the decisions which affect their lives.

We need the unique power of young people to achieve the Global Goals. Today’s young people are optimistic that these Global Goals can be achieved. They have to be. They are the ‘Peak Youth’ generation who make up the majority of the world’s population. They are the generation that stands the best chance of making these Global Goals happen. They are the generation most affected if the Global Goals fail.

But the Global Goals will stay promises unless young people are making sure those promises are kept. Youth have a right to ask how, when, and by who these ambitious Global Goals will be delivered. Young people being able to ask those questions and being able to turn the answers into action is how promises on paper become real changes for all of us. Governments, businesses, NGOs, and the rest of us all must get behind them because young people are our best chance of keeping these promises to ourselves.

As the youth-led international development agency, Restless Development has seen that when young people can use their power to make sure promises are kept, everyone benefits. We know what youth power looks like when it is done well, and how necessary it is for positive change in the world, and so our new global campaign is to support young people around the world to make it happen. The promises that have just been made by leaders in the Global Goals mean a world without poverty, inequality and climate change is within our reach. Youth Power is our campaign to support young people to turn those promises into reality.

Where does this campaign take place?

The Global Goals depend on action in the developed world as much as the developing world. Youth Power is a global campaign trying to make changes at local, national, and international levels, because the promises of the Global Goals can not be kept anywhere without young people acting everywhere.

Youth Power builds on the achievements of the worldwide youth movement which influenced the creation of the Global Goals, in particular the action/2015 coalition of 2,200 organisations worldwide which pressured world leaders to make those Goals ambitious. Restless Development was a global youth co-chair of the campaign throughout the year, and on International Youth Day 115,000 young activists from 80 countries joined in to show their Youth Power.

What are you actually asking for?

We know what youth power looks like when it put into practice, not just left as words. We are going to make sure young people have the power of confidence, knowledge, and skills; that they have a movement of other young people to use their power with; that they have the power to act together with their leaders and be listened to; and that those who are supposed to be ‘in power’ believe in the power of young people to deliver these promises for all of us. Young people will have different ways of making youth power work in each of their own countries, but Restless Development has detailed practical recommendations for governments, young people and others to have something in common to aim for across the world.

Why is Restless Development doing this campaign?

Restless Development is the youth-led international development agency, and we know that young people have to be able to use their power to make sure promises are kept if they are going to lead the development of their own communities. We operate in some of the hardest to reach parts of 10 countries across four continents as well as getting young people heard and involved at global platforms like the United Nations.That depth and reach means we can campaign at every level, from supporting young people in their communities, to campaigning for changes in each country’s systems, to telling the global story of how youth accountability makes a difference to all of our lives

How can I get involved?

If you're part of an organisation, and want to become a Youth Power Partner, click here

We are the Youth Collective. If you believe in the power of young people, join our movement.