Young people have been a driving force for change throughout history. It makes sense that they should also be deeply involved in imagining the future – their future, our future, the future of the planet. In fact, young people have right to be part of any conversation about the future they will inherit. And they need to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Far too often, however, young people are left out of critical discussions about the future, often due to a lack of access, skills and tools for engagement. This represents a significant gap in the resources and knowledge required for young people to meaningfully participate in shaping future strategies.
Designing a Youth-centred Journey to the Future: A Youth Foresight Playbook, this document you have in your hand, is meant to fill that gap. It is a tool for encouraging the safe and meaningful engagement of young people in foresight processes. It is a living, breathing online resource that UNICEF Innocenti will continue to build on as it learns more about how to engage young people safely and ethically in conversations about the future.
It was created for foresight practitioners, youth-focused and youth-led organizations, as well as think tanks and United Nations agencies. But it could also be valuable for other groups, including young people themselves. The ultimate goal of this playbook is to inspire young people – and those who work with young people – to not only embrace foresight methods and tools but to make them accessible, thereby fostering a collaborative environment where youth are engaged as equal partners in shaping all our futures.