“The large youth populations in the Philippines and through much of Asia will shape the future of their countries for better or worse. From them will emerge the next generation of leaders so their education is of critical importance. This means not only literacy, but also a moral compass and qualities of character that will help them become responsible citizens and leaders of positive change in their communities.” –Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon

With the power to influence popular culture, an innate ability to inspire people of all ages and the energy to aspire to lofty dreams, the youth are a powerful driving force to transform societies, nations and the world.

Youth today are already taking great strides to advance peace through moral and innovative avenues, becoming entrepreneurs and activists in human rights, education, environmental responsibility and many other areas of social and economic advancement.

Young Crowd, 2016 Global Youth Summit

Thousands of young people fill the stadium hosting the 2016 Global Youth Summit

The Philippines is home to many leading examples for youth advocacy. With programs like Global Peace Volunteers, the Global Peace Youth Summit, and the Moral and Innovative Training Camp, self-motivated young leaders willingly take on challenging training courses to cultivate the qualities of resilience and determination needed to make a meaningful impact in the world.

The combined efforts are a call to youth leaders around the world to aspire to the title of “Peace Generation,” using their knowledge, skills and passions to contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within their lifetime.

In a celebration of youth leadership, young experts and peace-contributors from around the world are gathering in Manila, Philippines for the 2017 Global Youth Summit, being held in conjunction with the Global Peace Convention.

Speakers include innovative leaders like Rupert Ambil, the Director of MovePH, which supervises major information awareness campaigns that promote peace through unconventional methods, like the Football for Peace program with the Philippine Marines and Agos-eBayanihan with the Office of Civil Defense. Agos-eBayanihan is a disaster information management platform that crowdsources bottom-up critical information for better top-down decision making. In 2015, Rupert Ambil also headed the creation of a nationwide network of citizen journalists for the social news network Rappler.

Youth leaders at the 2016 Global Youth Summit in the Philippines

Youth leaders at the 2016 Global Youth Summit in the Philippines

Another speaker, Dr. Edgardo Rodriguez, will add an academic voice to the Summit but a message that goes beyond the classroom. Presently the President of Enderun Colleges and the Dean of the College of Business, Technology and Entrepreneurship, he advocated for students to increase their real-world experience before graduating through internships that cultivate innovative skill-sets through learning to apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. Dr. Rodriguez also served as the head of the Washington DC World Bank’s Corporate Budget Unit and was a management specialist at the Asian Development Bank.

Among those attending the Summit is Filipina youth advocate and leader, Elizabeth Bautista, a graduate of the International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA). The Global Ambassador takes pride in her service as the project head of Grassroots Governance, a community-based initiative providing civic education on basic government in rural areas. As a Program Officer for Makati Business Club, Elizabeth is devoted to her work and research in policy, trade and investment.

The Summit is part of the Youth Track at the 2017 Global Peace Convention that will provide a platform for influential youth leaders like Elizabeth to network and collaborate while exploring new models for peace and development together. The youth-led models and best practices shared will become a catalyst to inspire even more young people to take leadership and ownership over the vision of One Family Under God, helping to raise a generation best equipped to establish peace in their communities, nations, and the world.