On 13-15 October 2017, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and SDSN Youth convened the 2017 Vatican Youth Symposium bringing together young leaders from a variety of disciplines to Casina Pio IV, Vatican City.
This year’s theme prompted participants to consider how youth, by building on values like fraternity and solidarity, can envision and create a form of progress that—in the words of Pope Francis—is “healthier, more human, more social and more integral.”
Framing this important discussion around People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace & Partnerships, young leaders from around the world shared diverse experiences, best practices and local stories on their respective work on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Together in solidarity and in true partnership, we reaffirmed our commitment to ending poverty and hunger, to protecting the planet from degradation, to ensuring that human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives.
Together, we reaffirmed our commitment to peace; a commitment that has over time lost direction at the hands of those driving nationalistic and divisive agendas.The Vatican Youth Symposium served as a forum for intellectual and innovative discussion, on universal inequality, and the critical shift that is not only required but one that must be pragmatically driven by young people.
Rather than mere symbolism and idealistic commentary, challenges within local contexts were considered, solutions were posed and action commenced. Further in line with this call for tangible action, was the assignment issued to the entire cohort by SDG Architect, and Director of the UNSDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Working together and using any and all resources available, we were tasked with bringing practical actions to the table before the close of VYS17.