Young people everywhere are known for their idealism, energy, and purity of heart. At the same time, youth must contend with the forces of materialism that are so prevalent in society today.

Youth are the future. But they are also very much present now, as significant actors in our communities, workplaces, and global spaces today. The way they understand themselves, their capacities, and their role in society therefore has significant social consequences.

“...the involvement of youth is not something to be sought for [their] sake alone, nor a tool designed to advance [their] needs as a specific population group. Rather, it is a component critical to the well-being of all of humankind, young and old alike.”

—Builders of Civilization: Youth and the Advancement of Humankind
    Statement of the Bahá'í International Community

Understanding the potential of youth

How can the qualities of youth be enlisted in the processes of community building and social transformation? What is necessary to encourage them along a path of selfless service to others? What are the moral and intellectual capacities that can best guide them?

Baha’is and like-minded collaborators are exploring these questions in villages and neighborhoods around the world. One promising area has been the development of upcoming generations, where teenagers are learning how to help those younger than themselves develop the personal capacities and attitudes needed to contribute to social progress.

Youth on the global stage

The Baha’i International Community seeks to share insights from efforts like these at the global level. It also works to foster the participation of youth in international spaces. Among these were the World Conference on Youth, youth events at Rio+20, and various side events organized for youth delegates at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and Commission on Social Development.

We welcome collaboration in exploring how youth can move to the forefront of a process that draws on the talents of all ages to work on behalf of all.