Committed voices for global justice meet national politics

At the Development Policy State Conference x Mindchangers Summit with State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, the focus was on young people and their ideas for shaping a just world.

At the State Development Policy Conference x Mindchangers Summit in Stuttgart, 170 people entered into an exchange with state politicians

Stuttgart, April 25, 2022.

There was a big turnout at the “State Development Conference meets Mindchangers Summit” event, which took place on April 23, 2022 as part of the Fair Trading trade fair. Around 170 participants came to the Messe Stuttgart congress center for the conference to discuss with representatives of state politics what development policy impulses the future needs, how global injustice can be reduced and what motivates young people today.

“We are really impressed by the commitment of the nine young volunteers who helped organize this event and showed so much commitment. A total of four digital meetings were held in preparation and everyone is very happy that they now had the chance to present their demands to the political leaders and participants present. Finally, the voices of young people are being heard on development policy issues,” said Ronja Kern, who accompanied the event as coordinator of the Young Engagement Network from the Baden-Württemberg State Youth Association. In addition to the organizations and participants from the area of ​​young engagement, State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, who is responsible for development policy in the state government, members of the state parliament and numerous development policy actors as well as experienced people involved in the development policy map in Baden-Württemberg were there. After a musical introduction by the singer Yeama, the conference started with two program items prepared by the young volunteers. In the living statistics, all participants positioned themselves in the room and in this way illustrated how they live sustainability in their everyday lives. As a result, the majority of participants pay attention to local products when shopping and set themselves the goal of leaving the car at home more often than before. In the subsequent fish bowl format, which was moderated by the young committed people, the participants discussed a wide range of topics with State Secretary Hoogvliet and specialist experts. The young activists made various demands on political leaders, such as having a say in politics without party affiliation and raising awareness of volunteer work in schools. In a World Café, concrete solutions were then developed for how to deal locally with issues such as climate justice, flight and migration as well as fair trade and sustainable consumption.

In the final round “#CreatingChangeBW – We make appointments” the focus was on the jointly developed results and suggestions for action from the World Café. “Despite the pandemic, we finally had an in-person event again, with over 170 participants. This shows how strongly the young people in Baden-Württemberg are committed to international cohesion and climate protection. I am particularly pleased that we have made concrete progress: The Stuttgart project, We are the 2030 Agenda! Young commitment to sustainability!' for example, organizes a cross-generational dialogue on the SDGs and makes a campaign video. There will be a sustainability festival in Heidelberg under the motto 'Change Your Mind'. And the MINDCHANGERS discussion forum started with the summit: young people are helping to shape the country's development policy. These examples make it clear to me: If we support young people, work with them on an equal footing and take up their ideas, then that is a big plus for development policy in Baden-Württemberg,” emphasized State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet.

Various initiatives that are part of the EU Mindchangers campaign in Baden-Württemberg made an active contribution as table moderators in the World Café and the Market of Opportunities with a total of 16 exhibiting organizations. The Mindchangers Summit also formed the first regional networking forum for young people who are actively committed to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda. The “Mindchangers: Regions and Youth for Planet and People” campaign supports young people who are committed to climate protection, respect and cohesion around the world. The project, funded by the European Union with a total volume of 8,3 million euros, brings together young committed people across Europe and is coordinated in Baden-Württemberg by the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry and the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ). Asked at the annual state development policy conference as part of the World:Citizens dialogue format! The development policy base has the opportunity to contribute their ideas and initiatives and thus actively shape the country's development policy. The SEZ coordinates the Council for Development Cooperation, which advises the state government on development policy issues and invites people to the state conference.

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