Speak Youth To Power
Speak Youth To Power

To help new voices tip the scales, NDI has launched a global campaign to champion the political aspirations of young people, advance democratic practices that center the interests of young women and young people with diverse identities, and strengthen intergenerational political collaboration. The “Speak Youth to Power” campaign emphasizes the need for young people to translate their power into sustained influence over political decision-making today if they are expected to demand and defend democracy in the future.  

Young people around the world are set to inherit an array of complex challenges and their socio-economic opportunities are increasingly limited. They must also contend with entrenched power holders and limited opportunities to access and shape decisions affecting their welfare.  Young women and other youth with diverse identities are the most disadvantaged. Despite adult perceptions that young people are apathetic and incapable, young people are assuming leading roles in political demonstrations and movements around the world. Today’s young people are politically interested; they are simply less inclined to organize and engage using formal democratic avenues of participation or interact with decision-makers who are unwilling to acknowledge their needs and interests.

Through this campaign, NDI will lend support to a wide range of diverse young leaders seeking political influence and invigorate new democracy-assistance approaches that better meet young people where they are, in terms of motivations and preferred organizing methods. 

Join us over the course of the next year as we work with partners to Speak Youth to Power! #YouthToPower



Today’s generation of young people needs a new social contract - an improved relationship between citizens and government, guaranteed to be inclusive of diverse voices while taking clear steps to address sustainable development challenges. Read NDI’s piece on the state of youth political participation and what can be done to “meet young people where they are” and better support young people’s innovation, activism and leadership across sectors.

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Campaign Initiatives

Solidarity Across Generations

Intergenerational collaboration is an essential dimension of changing social norms and creating opportunities to share decision-making power. In order to transform politics, young people need acts of solidarity in both informal and formal political spaces that demonstrate a real commitment to changing the status quo. Through a multi-media campaign, NDI will highlight barriers to intergenerational collaboration and critical components of establishing meaningful partnerships, such as collaboration on shared interests and sustained mentorship. NDI identified several commitments that can shift norms of political collaboration between young people and older generations. Click the link below to learn more and join us in our efforts to support solidarity across generations!

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Youth In Focus Roundtables

To assist young people in their efforts to address complex social challenges, NDI is partnering with global organizations to convene a series of roundtable discussions composed of youth organizers and leaders around the world to share strategies for building power in their respective communities and across borders. Participants will discuss pressing issues, such as environmental justice, health inequity and peace and security. NDI will center voices that are most impacted by these issues but often excluded from decision-making spaces, specifically young women, young people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ youth, and Indigenous youth. Participants will discuss what’s working, where the challenges remain, and how international organizations can better support peer-to-peer and intergenerational engagement

NDI Programs

Bridging the Divide

Bridging the divide between young people and political parties requires new strategies that recognize young people’s legitimate concerns about formal institutions and the different ways in which young men and women want to organize politically. It also requires political parties to meet young people where they are. In response to emerging trends, NDI is examining:

  • Youth disaffection and its potential implications for democracy support;
  • The contextual factors to consider in identifying strategic entry points for meaningful collaboration between young people and political institutions;
  • The types of actors best suited to serve as interlocutors between young people and political institutions; and
  • The types of interventions and/or programming that could help bridge the gap between young people and political institutions.


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