The New Global Citizen: Harnessing Youth Leadership to Reshape Civil Society  Research Publication

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Focus Areas:

Good Governance and Youth

Good Governance and YouthSEE LESS


Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasiaand 3 MoreSEE MORE

Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America / Caribbean, North America and Middle East and North AfricaSEE LESS

The New Global Citizen: Harnessing Youth Leadership to Reshape Civil Society

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Global citizenship has changed!Youth are activated—just differently;their leadership is participatory, networked and based in locally-driven, globally connected social movements. Our report,The New Global Citizen: Harnessing Youth Leadership to Reshape Civil Society, exposes how the global development sector has not kept pace with the changing ways youth seek to create social change, creating a disconnect between formal civil society and the majority of youth leaders.

Without understanding the new model of global citizenship—what we call "participatory citizenship,"international development institutions will continue to miss the innovative, networked energy of youth leaders who are motivated, activated but need better support to achieve collective global impact. This report analyzes these gaps, opportunities and outlines a path forward through a new "Collective Civic Participation Framework".


  1. Build a stronger Architecture of Participationacross the sector in order to engage and retain youth leaders over the long term.

  2. Reimagine global leadershipto fit the profile of today's leaders who are active, engaged and innovating new methods for change.

  3. Embrace translocal as the new global infrastructureto build agency and autonomy to localize yet connect global issues (rather than centralize and direct)in more accessible, compelling and impactful ways.

  4. Adopt the Collective Civic Participation Frameworkas a blueprint for institutions to harness the leadership potential of the next generation of "global citizens" who are activated yet need support to flourish. Download the report.