Youth participation in political processes - bridging youth and regional development

ProTromsø's CEO Gøril Johansen attended the Generations Barents side-event in Bodø today



The Barents Regional Youth Council hosted the Generation Barenst side-event under The High North Dialogue conference in Bodø this week. 

This annual conference brings together major stakeholders concerned with Arctic development. The purpose of the event is to encourage and facilitate dialogue between stakeholders to promote sustainable development in the Arctic, as well as information sharing and discussion of best practices.

Generation Barents aims to create a platform for young people in the Barents region. They welcome students, members of youth councils and youth organizations, young entrepreneurs and other interested youth (in the age group 18 – 30) to network, discuss and develop awareness around building the future of the Barents Region. 

CEO Gøril Johansen speaks to the participants at Generation Barents 2023 at Beddingen Kulturhus

Our CEO Gøril Johansen, as a former representative from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have for many years worked with involving youth in different political processes on both a national and international level. 

She spoke of the importance of including youth participants on an equal level, and not demote them to the «kid’s table». During her time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she invited youth to become involved in the making of the High North Policy, the Barents cooperation and the Development of Arctic Societies. 

This work is continued as the CEO of ProTromsø, where we have been partner in hosting the European Youth Parliament in Tromsø and including the Tromsø Youth Council to the relevant arenas for policy-making and discussions that involve regional development. We cannot simply speak about growth and development in the Arctic region, if we do not include the youth in the equation.

Presentation of examples of how youth participation in policy-making makes contributions to lasting solutions for the future.

Youth participation is according to Gøril Johansen, the key for developing solutions for the future in the work with attractive cities, recruitment, innovation and sustainability. 

She encourages to let the youth shine and to set their own premise for the participation. Include the youth from the start, in order to let them have their original footprint on the program or message. 

We invite you to read more about the work of the Barents Regional Youth Council by visiting their webpage .

Read more about the High North Dialogue conference here.