What should the next Youth Assembly focus on to mobilize young people to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make a difference in their communities? On September 23, AFS convened a virtual dialogue titled, Reimagining the Future: Megatrends and the 2022 Youth Assembly with global youth leaders, UN and NGO experts, as a side event during the 76th United Nations General Assembly and a way to bring young people to the table and give them a voice.

The panelists emphasized the key role young people play in shaping the sustainable future of the planet, and starting their actions on the local level. They stressed the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on education, employment opportunities and mental health and wellbeing of young people, and encouraged youth to embrace diversity if they want to create social change. The panelists for the virtual dialogue included:

  • Hawa Diallo, Chief of the Civil Society Unit at the Civil Society and Advocacy Section, UN Department of Global Communications
  • Regina Honu, Founder and CEO, Soronko Solutions and Tech Needs Girls
  • Daniel Obst, President and CEO, AFS Intercultural Programs
  • Young leaders: Louise Mabulo (Philippines), Tatiana Buelvas (Colombia), Rebakaone Bowe (Botswana), Dana Al-Anzy (Qatar), and Moiz Lakhani (Canada).

Watch the recording of this virtual dialogue below:


The virtual event was an opportunity to present the results of the survey conducted by the Youth Assembly team to understand which SDGs are seen as key and most urgent by young people worldwide? The survey of more than 500 respondents from around the world found that young people are most concerned about SDG#4 on education, SDG#3 on health, SDG#1 on ending poverty and SDG#16 on advancing peace.

These priorities and inputs from young leaders will help shape the agenda of the next Youth Assembly, planned for August 2022 in New York City. This event will also be the opportunity to award the next AFS Prize for Young Global Citizens, including a $10,000 grand prize, and prizes for two runners up ($2,500) for their social venture plans. 

The Youth Assembly Ambassadors Program, Call for Program Proposals, and Delegation Program Applications open in November 2021, followed by early bird registrations for the event in February 2022. Subscribe now to get all the relevant updates about the Youth Assembly here. 


*The Youth Assembly will become a part of AFS Intercultural Programs, upon approval by the New York State Charities Bureau. Find out more here.