Tag Archives: youth

If you are 25 and under Edmonton is the place to be this weekend

As a kid (and my whole life really), I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel. Initially, my parents work took them, and thus me, abroad so that, at a young age, I spent time in Europe (including a week behind the Iron Curtain before it fell) and America.

This international exposure at a young age was critical in my development. It got me interested in the world and there is no doubt that it prompted me to head to Queen’s (where I was told Foreign Service officers “went to school”) and it propelled me to pursue a Master’s in International Relations.

All this to say that bringing the world to Canada and to young Canadians in particular is a gift that cannot be undervalued. So I’m excited to note that the Global Youth Assembly is taking place in Edmonton this weekend. Young people from around the world (and many from Canada) will be getting together to talk about what matters to them.

For me, the opportunity for young Canadians to have the chance to meet people like Acii Ojok and Martiatu Kamara is invaluable. Acii, a human rights lawyer, fought as a soldier in Uganda.  Mariatu in contrast was captured and her hands cut off in Sierra Leone at the age of 12. To be exposed to stories such as theirs is way to kindle an interest an care in the world, and to stir a sense of global citizenship that I think is found in many Canadians I admire the most.

Congrats to the Global Youth Assembly team. I hope you radicalize some young Canadians. In a world of myforeignpolicy.ca where individuals have a bigger and bigger impact in the international sphere, don’t underestimate what seeds may be planted.

The Fraser Institute – a case study in how not to engage young people

This video is so shockingly bad, on so many levels, that it almost deserves a facebook group composed of its target audience dedicated to mocking it… Be warned: what you are about to watch will feel like a low-budget angry, mid-80’s government sponsored don’t do drugs commercial.

Well you can thank the Fraser Institute – publishers of an enormous amount of unthinking nonsense – for releasing this video.

I especially enjoyed the use of hip “SMS” styled messages that are guaranteed to alienate the very people it is designed to reach out to. However, what I loved best is the thing that ensures this video will fail: it does the very thing that young people hate most – it treats them like they are stupid. It makes no cogent argument, overstates the few facts it references, and fails to cite experts or personalities a young person could relate to.  For an organization that spends 80% (!!!) of its budget on advocacy and communicating its agenda one would have thought they’d have a more refined strategy.

Thankfully, they don’t.