Some of the complex transitions that separate childhood and adulthood are universal but the unprecedented scale and speed of demographic, economic and social changes in emerging markets since the 1980s mean young people (aged 10-24) in these countries face unparalleled challenges and unprecedented opportunities. The symposium considered what is at stake for them and their societies, economies and polities. The agenda was broad rather than narrow, holistic rather than segmented and embraced the fact that more than half the young people in emerging markets today live in Asia.
The programme looked at this agenda through sessions on:
Demographics of 10-24 age cohort in emerging markets; inter-country contrasts and similarities in age and gender profiles, fertility, cognitive and physical development and population origins.
Health of young people in emerging markets including issues of reproductive health; HIV-AIDS, obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, addiction, accidents, suicide and other causes of premature death; emotional, mental and psychosomatic illness; access to and adequacy of primary and specialized healthcare for young people; opportunities to improve the health and well-being of young people.
Access to and quality of education opportunities for young people in emerging markets; gender inequality in education; role of technology and other innovations in education; aligning education and training with development of hard and soft skills for changing demands of jobs, occupations and careers; reforms that could and should not be emulated
Macro Perspectives including:
Causes and consequences of differences in economic welfare of young people within and between emerging markets. Impacts of trends in workforce size and composition; evolution of formal and informal economies; changing information and industrial technologies; globalization (including global relocation of manufacturing and service industries, global trade agreements and international flows of capital and labour).
Micro Perspectives including:
Future of work in the 21st century including changes in content, organization and design of jobs, occupations, careers and business processes; changing roles of leaders and managers; changes in nature and location of workplaces; implications of trends in labour/capital substitution; issues arising from excess supply of graduates in some emerging markets; life course perspectives on work, retirement, social security and pensions; opportunities for youthful economic leadership and entrepreneurship.
Policies, Practices and Promises including:
Opportunities for the public and private sectors and civil society to address economic challenges for young people in emerging markets including changes in population, education, training and employment policies; business practices; and civil society interventions taking account of experience of emerging markets and richer countries
Young People in the Family including:
The session will focus on: the changing roles and responsibilities of young people in families; parent-child and intergenerational relationships; impacts of family poverty, deprivation and inequality, external and internal migration, unstable parental relationships, urbanization and spatial dislocation and electronic communications/mass media; challenges of child and elder care.
Young People in Society including:
Causes and consequences of secular, religious and cultural alienation and disaffection of young people; contrasts between emerging markets; social isolation; high risk behaviour; demonization of young people by older people; impact of globalization and social media on attitudes, values and behaviours of young people; impact of youth led initiatives (e.g. creation and development of youth movements and campaigns to address perceived threats and seize opportunities; issues of personal and group identities.
Gender Issues for Young People including:
Male and female puberty, sexuality, exploitation, early marriage, trafficking, feticide, infanticide, gendercide including impact on individuals, families, communities and societies; gender and sexual bias and discrimination in schools, universities, workplaces and; scope for public, private and civil society interventions
Political Issues including:
Ideological and political radicalization of young people in emerging markets; comparisons with richer and poorer countries; opposition to existing institutions by young people; reactions by older people to protest movements led by young people; extreme alienation, violence and terrorism; disenfranchisement and disengagement of young people from political life; government, business and civil society initiatives to address political issues.
Country Contrasts including:
Recognizing demographic, cultural, economic and political contrasts between emerging markets how do conditions and prospects for young people vary between them, what do they have in common and what are the outstanding issues and options?