Today, young people are digital natives, used to high-speed, instantaneous interactions on social media and other online platforms. Many established organisations – like the OECD – face a challenge: to be more agile in listening to young people so their vision and their needs are reflected in our work.
The OECD goes to Global Perspectives every year to hear from civil society organisations active across the globe and understand the main concerns of the people they aim to serve. It’s a space where we can speak face-to-face with people, gather insights from current civil society engaging with young people and think about ways to do better in our own organisation.
This year, Global Perspectives was also an ideal setting for tackling a subject at the core of the OECD’s current agenda: the future of work and skills. This conversation has many stakeholders, but it’s particularly important to grasp the next generation’s needs and concerns so our policy recommendations are fit-for-purpose.
In a workshop, OECD and Global Perspectives participants discussed what it takes to deliver an inclusive world of work – and the implications for civil society. Civil society organisations care a lot about their role as employers, youth mobilisers and policy shapers. In addition to helping amplify the voices of workers and future workers, part of the discussion focussed on how CSOs need to cultivate the right skills and the culture in their own organisations.
Thanks to the International Civil Society Centre, we also heard from young people in other workshops. What we heard encouraged us to move beyond the question of “how the OECD engages young people” to “how young people can engage and activate the OECD”. Youth is not a group “to reach”. They are essential partners for anyone – including organisations – who want to change the world. The OECD is serious about delivering “better policies for better lives”, and we are excited to learn from and partner with civil society organisations for greater and more positive impact on the world we share.