Agenda 2044: Building our Collective Emerging Future
We have initiated a holistic process toward the identification of our collective Organisation Purpose “ Our North Star” This engagement included:
- Empowered youth today: thriving communities tomorrow
A global digital conversation and series of polls to explore what sort of future young people want for their communities, and what they think needs to change
- 2044 Scenarios
A two-part workshop where 50 changemakers and 20 strategists developed seven possible scenarios for the world in 2044
- Journeys into 2044
A workshop in which over 250 YMCA stakeholders and partners at the YMCA175 World Café explored the seven 2044 scenarios, identified the challenges they present, and devised a set of activities in response, including specific roles for the YMCA.
As a result of these engagements, we have identified:
the trends which will shape the future, and potential focus areas for the YMCA, drawn from hundreds of activities suggested by participants.
We have also developed a Strategy Toolkit, comprising:
- Seven scenarios for communities in the year 2044, highlighting recurring themes
- Suggestions for how to facilitate conversations aiming building a shared vision and action plan for the YMCA’s journey to 2044.
Overview of the Findings
The three challenges most frequently mentioned relate to social cohesion: conflict and increasing societal divisions; over-population and migration; and job insecurity. Also frequently mentioned was concern for the mental health of young people in the future
Seven scenarios for 2044
1.‘Restorative advanced society’
Key trends: Biodiversity crisis meets Artificial Intelligence
- ‘Concentrated competition’
Key trends: Migration meets Artificial Intelligence
- ‘Climate breakdown’
Key trends: Climate breakdown meets Nationalism and Polarisation
- ‘Cross-cultural collaboration’
Key trends: Nationalism and Polarisation meet Migration
- ‘Crimson horizon’
Key trends: Climate breakdown meets Rise of Super powers
- ‘Migration to Perfection’
Key trends: Climate breakdown meets Biotechnology
Suggested areas for action
Here are the top _five areas for action suggested by participants
- Education and skills for conservation and climate change
- Safe spaces for sharing and cultural exchange
- Skills development and socialisation support for new migrants
- Digital skills and STEM training
- Mental health and spiritual guidance
Top Five Areas for Action
- Education and skills development for conservation
and climate change
- Safe spaces for sharing and cultural exchange
- Skills and socialisation support for new migrants
- Digital skills and STEM training
- Mental health and spiritual guidance
To become more relevant we must not be afraid to adapt to the world around us. Data is the new standard of relevance and we must look toward new technologies to ensure YMCA is keeping up with this trend.
Working together with 10 National Movements, we entered into the pilot phase of a new digital data gathering platform using industry leaders Vera Solutions and Salesforce. Using data from the latest Blue Book report as a baseline, YMCAs beta tested and fed back their findings to World YMCA and Vera Solutions. In year two, we will look to narrow down those data fields and bring 50 more YMCAs into the project to ensure the system is optimised for all National Movements.
Communities of Impact
At the NGS meeting in Brisbane, we announced our intention to build Communities of Impact (COI), led by National Movements, in each of the our key impact areas. In year one we launched three COIs – Refugees and Migration led by YMCA Canada, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship led by Y Care International, and Mental Health led by YMCA Australia. This global multi-stakeholder approach gives YMCAs already working in these areas the opportunity to share best practices with each other, test and refine innovative programmes and solutions, and drive impact by inviting external experts and partners to contribute to community goals. Two more COIs on Climate Action and Policy and Advocacy will be launched in 2020. These will be led by YMCA Asia-Pacific and YMCA England & Wales respectively.
Strengthen Movement Economic Sustainability
Our collective vision
Underpinning and connecting each of these pillars is our work to define the Movement’s North Star. Our priority is youth empowerment, but the question we keep running into is, youth empowerment for what?
To answer this question, we must look beyond the next four to eight years, and instead seek to ascertain what our Movement will like when it reaches its 200th anniversary. In 2019, at our YMCA175 celebration we invited Forum for the Future to host several workshops for young people in attendance which involved scenario building and design thinking exercises to help craft and set the agenda for the next 25 years. In 2020, we will share their findings with National General Secretaries and invite them to give their feedback and begin the early stages of crafting our North Star vision together.
In February, 48 National General Secretaries came together in Brisbane, Australia for their annual conference to learn from one another, develop their skills as YMCA leaders and look into opportunities to work better together. They also looked at better ways to enhance opportunities to work together in an effort to increase trust, and leverage the potential of YMCAs individually as well as collectively.
The conference concluded with a wave of renewed optimism about the potential of the wider YMCA family to achieve the organisation’s goals through its key impact areas – youth employment, civic engagement, health and environment.
UN Advocacy Group
In April we launched World YMCAs first UN Advocacy Group consisting of 12 young people from 11 countries. The group serves as our Movement’s voice with our partners at the United Nations. These young people began their journey together by representing YMCA at the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York. The UN Advocacy Group followed up by delivering a high-level position statement on social inclusion to the UN, bringing the voice of young people and the issues they care about most to the forefront. Learn more
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits. ECOSOC brings people and issues together to promote collective action for a sustainable world.
World Challenge 2019
To celebrate YMCA’s 175th anniversary, World YMCA challenged people across the globe to volunteer 175 minutes of their time on 8 June to better their community.
YMCAs all over the world prepared events for people in their community to volunteer their time as we paid homage to the millions of volunteers who have supported our Movement over the last 175 years.
YMCAs in roughly 40 countries participated in World Challenge, the majority of which focused their efforts on environmental causes cleaning up beaches and neighbourhoods. Others participated in community outreach such as feeding the homeless and visiting homes of senior adults. YMCA of the USA also took part for the first time with 35 of 50 states and more than 120 local YMCAs participating.
In August, YMCA celebrated its 175th anniversary by bringing together more than 3,000 young leaders for a unique four-day event. The festivities took place in London, the city where the Movement began in 1844
This global youth event was a springboard for global change, unity and celebration. Objectives for the event centred around connecting young leaders like never before, celebrating 175 years of YMCA, and creating positive change and new ideas to shape the future.
At YMCA, we know that young people have a passion and commitment to social justice and positive cultural change through promoting global equity and diversity. Therefore, this global youth event had the elements of a conference, summit and celebration, that was a living embodiment of YMCA. The event welcomed partners from the United Nations, globally renowned keynote speakers and young activists to share their stories and pay homage to the Movement’s history and heritage. Learn more
UN YOUTH CLIMATE SUMMIT
Young people from 93 YMCAs in nearly 50 countries took #ClimateAction on 21 September, as they gathered to watch the UN’s first Youth Climate Summit in New York.
Before and after their respective watch parties they ventured into their communities to clean up litter from the streets and beaches, took part in group learning sessions about how they could help stop climate change, and created artwork declaring their commitment for climate action.
During the lunch break in New York, YMCAs from Wales, Zimbabwe, the Philippines and the USA entered into a Facebook Live discussion with our Secretary General Carlos Madjri Sanvee, who was attending the Summit in New York.
Our Secretary General also took part in a live interview as part of the Science Matters SDG Live Media Zonewhere he spoke about YMCA’s commitment to achieving the SDGs and the importance of young people being solution providers in their communities.
With the number of people on the move now at a record total of 70 million – more than half of which are children – YMCA is stepping up its efforts to help refugees and migrants.YMCA’s Global Summit on Migration and Immigration took place, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA at the beginning of October. Led by practitioners, the international YMCA family came together to focus our efforts on more impactful outcomes and to stand up for a dedicated humanitarian approach in this critical time.
While YMCA already runs some programmes to help displaced people, we believe we can do more. In fact, we believe that it is our responsibility as our brothers and sisters’ keeper to do all we can to help, as they are some of the world’s most vulnerable. This is an essential part of our commitment to supporting young people and their families around the world.
AFRICA FUTURE SUMMIT
From November to December our partners Africa Future Summit embarked on a tour across the continent hosting tech summits at five local YMCAs. Through this collaboration, young people, were given the opportunity to learn from industry leaders and entrepreneurs.
These events were a prime example of how YMCA is using its spaces all over the world as a vehicle to give young people access to tools and knowledge so they can succeed in life and transform this world for the better. Throughout the tour participants learnt from tech entrepreneurs. Young people were then given the opportunity to practice their pitch skills to co-founders of Forbes 8. The tour involved the YMCA in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria culminating in its premier Ghana Tech Summit hosted at YMCA Ghana.
CHANGE AGENTS COHORT 4
Cohort 4 started in April 2019 and will run until April 2020. More than 150 Change Agents were originally registered with those from Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Canada and USA also being part of their Area/National leadership programme.
The year started with the global Task Force meeting at YMCA Fairthorne Group in Southampton, England. The group was comprised of members representing every continent and spent time together working on their recommendations, plans for the latest cohort and checking the venue ahead of the Global Gathering later in the year.
After the Global Gathering, the Change Agents headed north to London to participate at YMCA175 where they took part in workshops and panels while providing valuable guidance to World YMCA’s three-day North Star workshop.
As we head towards the end of this Change Agents cohort, participants are involved in delivering their projects back home and completing their e-learning content on time to earn their diplomas.
SDG Impact Report
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
The involvement of young people is crucial to the achievement of the Goals, as their main aim is to create and foster a better future for the generations to come. Therefore, at the request of YMCA National General Secretaries, World YMCA developed, tested and initiated a survey to map the work being done across the Movement to achieve the 2030 agenda. This report will serve as the baseline for our Movement’s collective global impact, delivered in a language NGO’s and corporations alike are using to measure their own positive impact on the world.
In total, 59 National Movements participated in the study, with 25 completing the project in its entirety. The results indicated that globally, YMCA is working in all 17 SDGs. The Movement’s greatest impact can be found in SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG 4 – Quality Education.
This first year has certainly been an eventful one with new partnerships, new avenues for greater collaboration and of course a wonderful anniversary event. We have achieved or are on schedule to achieve each of the goals we set out to deliver at the beginning of the year and this wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support from our Executive Committee and our friends from all around the Movement.
We continue to be humbled by your dedication and indeed the dedication of thousands of young people at local YMCAs around the world. Next year is set up to be another exciting and important time for YMCA and we look forward to sharing in that excitement with the entire YMCA family.