Young System Thinkers
“If you want to know what the future will look like - you have to look at the youth."
AlterContacts Young System Thinkers is the Youth Chapter of the Think Tank AlterContacts. The group consists of 12 members between 18 and 30 years old. It coordinates its work remotely, with members residing in Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the UK. In 2022 and 2020, the group was awarded Gold as “Team Hero of the Year” for helping young entrepreneurs in 42 countries during COVID. In 2021, the group was chosen by the European Parliament in the Netherlands to represent the country at the European Charlemagne Youth Prize. The group leader is Julia Skupchenko, the Co-founder of the Think Tank AlterContacts.
The Volunteer Team of Young System Thinkers
In October 2022, the Commission and the High Representative adopted the Youth Action Plan in the European Union external action for 2022-2027, the first-ever policy framework for a strategic partnership with young people around the world to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. It will help deliver on international commitments, such as the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, by enhancing meaningful youth participation and empowerment in the EU's external action policies.
Preparing the European youth to build and lead a more equal, diverse, and sustainable future of Europe.
AlterContacts Young System Thinkers is a collaborative program for young graduates of vocational and tertiary education. It is aimed to amplify the chances of success in the world of work. Using innovative methods of facilitation of personal introspection and participatory group dialogue, it helps students to analyze their personal, professional, and business strategy. It equips them with a new systemic approach to goal setting, problem-solving, ideation, solution design, project planning, and personal or business development.
- Equip students with system thinking skills and peer-to-peer network to head start their professional development.
- Collect and analyze various types of data for the generation of future scenarios: ideas, hopes and fears, vision of the future world, emotional and mental pulse of youth.
- Enable participating facilitators to contribute to youth education and sustainable development, while practicing their newly gained skills.
Impact on Sustainable Development Goals
Registered as SDG Acceleration Action (#SDGAction38582) in the United Nations.
The initiative is organized and coordinated by the Youth Branch of the Global Think Tank for Sustainable Development AlterContacts. It is responsible for designing, documenting and sharing the practices; developing an in-depth survey that would capture the vision of the youth on their ideas, vision of the future world, hopes and fears, emotional and mental state. Collecting and analyzing the data. Generating future scenarios. Reporting to the international community.
Studies in recent years show that 30% of graduates worldwide do not find work in the discipline they studied. At the same time, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that 30% of the positions advertised by companies do not find qualified personnel with the required skills.
Young people (16-30 y.) encounter problems in discovering, defining, and deciding how to enter the world of work and contribute to the economic development of the community of which they are a part. Whether it is as employees, independent professionals, or entrepreneurs - they require help to evaluate ideas, solutions, support for decision making or strategic and system thinking.
Unfortunately, young people in general and students, in particular, cannot afford trainings and workshops on professional development strategy or business design. Often that pushes them to make uninformed decisions about their occupation which in turn negatively affects the future.
Through AlterContacts Young System Thinkers, we are addressing this gap.