The Vatican Youth Symposium is back online for 2021!

The Vatican Youth Symposium is back online for 2021!

Co-hosted by SDSN Youth and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), the Vatican Youth Symposium (VYS) brings together youth leaders and experts to strengthen the global movement for sustainable development.

Traditionally held at the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City, the eighth annual Vatican Youth Symposium will be held virtually on December 15-17.

While we will miss meeting in person within the walls of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, this virtual format has granted us the opportunity to reach an even greater audience.

For the first time, we are opening the Symposium up for public registration, creating access for those who otherwise may not have been able to participate in this annual event.

The theme, “Global Youth Movements; Leading Change for the Good of Present & Future Generations” will frame sessions devoted to the dimensions of youth empowerment and intergenerational leadership with discussions on how COVID-19 presents both an enormous challenge and unforeseen opportunities for advancing sustainable development globally.

The lineup of speakers includes:

  • Her Excellency Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie, Co-Founder, The AntiSlavery Collective
  • Her Excellency Minister Niki Kerameus, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Greece
  • Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus. Founder, Grameen Bank
  • His Excellency Monsignor Marcelo Sànchez Sorondo, Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS)
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
  • Ms. Alexandria Villaseñor, Founder, Earth Uprising

Core sessions will be categorized into thematic areas split over two days:

December 16

  • Transformative Education and Global Citizenship
  • Entrepreneurship & Technology

December 17

  • Human Rights and Dignity
  • Sustainable Cities & Communities
  • Launch of the SDSN Youth Seed Fund

On December 15, there will be a movie screening and networking session that provides participants to meet their peers from around the world digitally.

The Symposium will provide a space for professionals and young leaders to share ideas and experiences of how leaders of different generations can come together to create progressive change.

Media Inquiries

Amy Au, Communications Lead, at

Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) was established by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II (1 January 1994) with the aim of promoting the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science, thus offering the Church those elements which she can use in the development of her social doctrine, and reflecting on the application of that doctrine in contemporary society.

SDSN Youth is one of the world’s biggest networks of young leaders working together to accelerate solutions towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We connect young people to pathways of understanding and action - to shape a sustainable world for future generations. SDSN Youth was launched in 2015 by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, at the 5th meeting of the SDSN Leadership Council in Paris. Over the past 5 years, we have expanded rapidly, with 750 member organizations in 85 countries. Leveraging the work of partners in the UN, academia, civil society, business, and government - SDSN Youth has provided the training and resources to enable thousands of young people to make change. We lead a number of global and local initiatives on education advocacy for K-12; sustainable campuses; sustainable cities; and entrepreneurship. We believe that young people can make a difference in the world, and if we act now, we will create a better and more sustainable future for everyone.

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