‘A new narrative’: Vision 2030 as an invitation for YMCA global alignment

Date: 12 April 2022

‘Narratives can be false and fearful, and they can be hopeful’, said World YMCA Secretary General Carlos Sanvee at the National Conference of YMCA England and Wales in Warwick, UK, on Friday 8 April 2022.

‘The power of narrative is that it moves us from being observers to active participants. It helps persuade us that what we do matters. And the YMCA has a narrative which goes beyond our founding scripture ‘that all may be one’. It’s built on our commitment to bring dignity, equity and compassion to a world of indignity, injustice, and unkindness.  It’s embodied in YMCA Vision 2030 which is our collective invitation to align our YMCA journeys as best we can in pursuit of the same goals.’

YMCA Vision 2030 has been three years in the making, incorporating the views of over two-thirds of the Movement, and will go before the 20thYMCA World Council coming up in Aarhus and online from 3 to 9 July.

Mr Sanvee went on to explain that Vision 2030 encompasses three realities: Space, Time and Structure.

The Space is local, national and global: it has no borders, only frontiers: ‘frontiers which we can push and push and push’. He told the fable of the eagle and the chickens, encouraging YMCA staff worldwide to know their true identity and fly free.

The Time is the Kairos: the metaphorical and metaphysical ‘moment’, when the global Movement must stand and help the world deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

And the Structure is the collective vision, the collective mission, and the same shared four ‘pillars of impact’: Community Wellbeing, Meaningful Work, A Sustainable Planet and A Just World.

He spoke on Day Two of a National Conference which included debate on the YMCA England and Wales strategy for the period from 2023. Many delegates welcomed the global vision, and asked ‘how’, in practice, they should align national YMCA strategy with global YMCA strategy.

‘Coming out of World Council’, said Mr Sanvee in response, ‘there will be clear goals in each of the four pillars of impact of Vision 2030, and clear ways of reaching them internally (within our YMCAs), externally (within the communities we serve), and globally, as we use our advocacy voice on the world stage.’


Read YMCA Vision 2030.

Read the full text of Carlos Sanvee’s remarks