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A “Youth Global Index” to involve young people in major decisions

Shaima Hamidaddin

Shaima Hamidaddin

As part of its work to educate and promote youth in Saudi Arabia and around the world, the Saudi philanthropic foundation MiSK has created a barometer: the Global Youth Index. Behind this name, a study on the economic prospects of the world's youth that aims to involve the youngest in major decisions affecting their future, according to Shaima Hamidaddin, Executive Manager of the MiSK Global Forum.

The MiSK philanthropic foundation has made Saudi youth and, more generally, the world’s youth its battle horse. Over the past three years, the institution – which is very influential in Saudi Arabia – has multiplied its initiatives in favour of youth training and emancipation through art, innovation and entrepreneurship. It is in this context that the foundation created the Global Youth Index last November, a kind of barometer of the prospects of world youth.

Shaima Hamidaddin, General Manager of the MiSK Global Forum, explains the motivations of this study at the VivaTech exhibition in Paris. “We live in a new environment,” she says. Young people are excluded from major discussions about their future, although they are disrupting the economy.”

Involving young people in major decisions

For this Global Youth Index, MiSK conducted a survey with 25,000 young people aged 16 to 35 from 25 different countries, including 19 G20 members, representing a total of 80% of global GDP and 70% of the total youth population. According to this study, more than half of those surveyed are positive about the impact of technology on their working lives, while only 4% see technology as a challenge for their generation. The study also shows the adaptability and change capacity of young people, with 60% describing themselves as adaptable and 65% as open-minded.

“(This study) tells us how these young people feel and how they are preparing to face the global economy,” says Shaima Hamidaddin. We can share these insights with government leaders or private institutions, to see how they can adapt to youth.” In the meantime, MiSK continues its efforts to highlight the potential of global youth and especially to add “the perspective of young people in scenarios where they are not traditionally involved”, as the Shaima explains.