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6th IYTT Youth Conference and Nobel Symposium

Nobel Symposium

STIAS is pleased to host the 6th Youth Conference of the International Youth Think Tank (IYTT) and the first in the series to be held in Africa.

The IYTT Youth Conference, for the first time also held as a Nobel Symposium in Peace will be co-organised with the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert (FVZS) Institute for Student Leadership Development at Stellenbosch University, The Norwegian Nobel Institute, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS).

The Conference is referenced as The NOBEL SYMPOSIA NS 203 “African Youth Show the Way Towards Peace and Democracy, 6th IYTT Youth Conference”.

IYTT Youth Conferences give conference participants one overall assignment: to develop their best arguments for why an open and democratic society provides the most desirable conditions that promotes a humane development of the world, and to come up with tangible proposals on how an open democratic society could be sustained in challenging times.

The Nobel Symposia NS 203 is thanks to the permission of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and generous support from the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation.

Background: People, communities, and businesses flourish when there is peace, openness, and democracy. We live in times when these values are challenged. Observers worldwide fear that the super election year of 2024 will be the year when an already weakened democracy will lose even more ground. Citizens in 60 countries cast their votes in 2024, making up almost half of the world’s population (45%). The list of countries includes seven of the world’s ten most populous: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States.

In Africa, the world’s demographically youngest continent, many countries will hold elections during 2024. The V-Dem Democracy Report 2024 identifies Sub-Saharan Africa as the part of the world which holds the world’s largest number of democratizing (N=5) countries, but also, the largest number of autocratizing (N=13) countries. The International IDEA’s yearly Global State of Democracy 2022 and 2023 reports stress that African youth drive new movements that claim better policies, challenge human rights abuses, and demand better economic outcomes and freedom in politics and culture.

Purpose: When too many people are unheard or excluded from decision-making, and authoritarian regimes work to manipulate and roll back democratic processes, young minds are indispensable. The 6th IYTT Youth Conference and Nobel Symposium will engage 24 participants in the 18-to-28-age-span selected from an open call. Building on a dynamic interplay between the 24 participants, scholars, professionals, and Nobel Laureates the overall goal is to inspire people and innovate democracy for a brighter future. The 24 participants choose themes, discuss how to understand the ideal of democracy, and produce a dozen proposals for democratization, democracy renewal and peace keeping, delivered in a concluding presentation and report. Besides providing explorative ideas to research, the results will be published in the IYTT Handbook for Innovative Democracy to inspire leaders in civil society, industry, and politics. The 24 participants will leave the conference trained in democracy entrepreneurship, with broadened knowledge, strengthened voices, and enhanced network capacities.

Click here to read the 6th IYTT Youth Conference and Nobel Symposium Call for Applications.

Draft programme to follow.

Date and time

Sunday, 25 August 2024 —
Thursday, 29 August 2024

All Day​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre

STIAS, Marais Road, Mostertsdrift

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