2019 Global Youth Trends Forum - American Youths in Taiwan! Youths from 26 Countries Talk about the Future

With global youths from 26 countries across five continents gathering together, the 2019 Global Youth Trends Forum was held in Taiwan from November 5 to 11. This international event has been held for seven consecutive years so far. This year, the numbers of participating countries and young people both hit a new high. Several hundreds of young people from Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Canada, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam came to participate in the event. Among them, the United States delegation formed by six youths from world Youth Alliance—Julia Kenney, Ethan Mack, Margaret Snyder, Gabrielle Castello, Ashton Weber, Walker Ray Dornish, all expressed full satisfaction for this exchange visit to Taiwan and they would return to the United States with fruitful results.

This year’s forum focused on three topics: Educational Creativity, Regional Revitalization, and Smart Living. The United States delegation was led to visit Tainan, Changhua, Hsinchu, Taoyuan and other places. The first spot was a case of Regional Revitalization—Togo Rural Village Art Museum, a non-traditional museum that wowed the American youths in the very beginning. Then, they visited some other brilliant spots, including Chimei Museum, which was on Parenting Magazine’s Thinking BIG of Learning Top 100 list in 2018, Youth Travel Spot in Fangyuan Township of Changhua County to experience the oyster culture and the unique oyster shell art, Natural Way Experimental Educational Elementary School that combines oriental humanities and ecology, and Sha Yang Ye Robot Wonderland (Pavilion of Future), the representative of Smart Living, to DIY a robot with simple mechanical transmission devices. Through the rich and diversified activity arrangement, these American young people obtained a further understanding of the local ecology, cultural heritage, scientific and technological innovation of Taiwan, and they also sparked ideas and gained cross-border friendships during the visit.

The highlight of the 2019 Global Youth Trends Forum was the forum conference on November 9 to 10. Vice President Chen Chien-jen made the opening ceremony speech, encouraging the young people present to give full play to their creativity and exert their influence with the original intention of “what we can contribute to society.” Audrey Tang, Minister without Portfolio of Executive Yuan, who was selected as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2019 by American Foreign Policy Magazine, was invited to serve as the panel host. In the panel discussion, Ms. Tang and three other guests, Chebet Lesan, founder of Kenyan smart-energy company Brightgreen Renewable Energy in, Toshiki Abe, founder, and CEO of Japanese social enterprise Ridilover, and Justin Yu, co-founder of Taiwanese consulting company Plan b, shared their rich practical experiences, serving as successful models for the global youths present on how to integrate the forum’s three topics to practice the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of SDGs.

For the group discussion, the United States delegation focused on the topic of Smart Living. They used case studies to explore the current problems faced by the country from different perspectives, and proposed an action plan. The US Delegation asked a centered question, “how can technology improve quality of life by improving the access quality healthcare?”They combined technology and the idea of health education, encouraged the idea of volunteering in community engagement, and promoted the telecommunication solution, including telemedicine.

After two days of brainstorming, these young people from all over the world had contributed to the sparks of wisdom and creative exchanges. At the end of the forum, the Cultural Night was held to enhance the friendship between these global youths. The US Delegation made every effort to present outstanding American Idol and dance performance, bringing a World Expo vibe to the audience. With their joyful music and brisk steps, all the distinguished guests and participating young people could not resist but to feel excited and tap along.

In today’s globalization trend, global youths have interacted more frequently in public participation and international exchange. This year’s forum is not the end but the beginning. International issues depend on young people’s long-term attention. They can only be improved and solved by global youths through continuous thinking, communication, and implementation with a common intention of bringing a positive change to the world. The Ministry of Education of Taiwan government also will continue to actively promote the cross-border exchange of young people. Through diversified channels such as overseas volunteer services, international experiential learning, international conferences, and exchange and study, Taiwanese youth are provided with more opportunities to participate in the international community, sow seeds of international friendship, cultivate an international vision, and strengthen the knowledge and action in international affairs.

Feel like to jointly build an ideal blueprint for our generations with young people from all over the world? If you want to know the most updated information of the Global Youth Trends Forum and international exchanges, you must not miss next year’s Global Youth Trends Forum! For more information regarding the event, please visit the official website of Youth Development Administration of the Ministry of Education (http://www.yda.gov.tw) and the Global Youth Trends Forum (https://iyouth.youthhub.tw/2019ypp/tw/index/index.html).