(By Tasnuva Mursalat Simran)

Commonwealth Futures: civic initiatives towards change

Published on 02 March 2020
Tasnuva Mursalat Simran
Tasnuva Mursalat Simran

Tasnuva has just finished her undergraduate program in Business Administration from Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is working as an academic counselor and marketer at a company that helps students to study abroad.

As human beings, we are all somehow linked to each other. Our problems may not be the same as each other, but with each other's help we must overcome all obstacles because in the end every dilemma affects us all. For me, collaboration means creating a whole new group with great ideas.

Recently I got this wonderful opportunity to attend the second Commonwealth futures: Inspiring Global Citizen workshop in India at OP Jindal Global University. There were almost 28 delegates came from 15 different countries to represent their ideas where we got to share our different perspectives on solving global problems.

Why this is important for me

When I heard about this particular program which was specially organized for young leaders around the world, I was immediately excited to attend, and I applied for it. Soon after that I was selected. From the very beginning, I always wanted to increase the Civic participation in every sector as well as promote social and economic development in our society. For me it is really important to work on the education system which will eventually help each and every individual to grow as a global citizen where they can learn about the pro-social behavior. 

Main concept

The workshop started with the ice breaking session where we first got to know each one of the delegates who came from a different region and they all are working on a particular dilemma where they desperately need to find a solution for making this world a better place for us.

We learned about Gandhian philosophy and how we can apply his methodology to our daily life where nonviolence can be the greatest force at the disposal of mankind, which can achieve the highest number of remedies in every field. Among the Commonwealth, youth is the main power and youth civic engagement matters for contributing meaningfully to social cohesion.

My ideas for building social cohesion, inspired by this workshop

  1. Everyone has their own ability to do something extraordinary for society. When residential involvement programs are implemented, more citizens can benefit by giving their views effectively.
  2. In my opinion sustainable development goals coordinators should be mandatory for every educational institution in the world. We only gain knowledge of social cohesion and SDG goals when we voluntarily engage with it. However, it should be an obligatory right for us to know all the information when we are really young.
  3. Each sector of the SDGs needs its own time for evolution. And we must make it understandable to the general public where everyone is able to consume the importance of working in this field.
  4. Some student representatives should work directly with management policies or policy makers to make the policies more realistic and beneficial to students.
  5. We need to link youth policy efforts with the inclusion of our current policy and potential policy evaluations.
  6. We need to encourage young people to identify their own interests where they want to bring positive change in their community.
  7. I truly believe that from the beginning of our lives, we need to develop where we can have a positive attitude towards solving our global situations, and the complications we are facing in our society that require immediate action.

Most importantly, we need to create new policies where we take immediate action against the climate change situation. For example, each country will have to pay a certain amount when it comes to the effects of climate change or pollution, and that amount will be added to the reserved financing to address these difficulties.

(By Tasnuva Mursalat Simran)

Tasnuva Mursalat Simran and some of her fellow Commonwealth Futures peers.

Our Group Discussion

If we want to do something truly long-lasting against these dilemmas, we need to work on civic engagement, which is an essential part of our society. Our group usually focused on this specific topic where a member of our group came up with an instant idea which is called The Youth Engagement Accord (YEA).

The agreement will create a positive environment, where youth and youth leaders of the 52 Commonwealth countries will share challenges, ideologies and recommendations, based on simultaneous activities within their own society.

My opinion

I especially think that this initiative will have an impact on those unhealthy situations that are out of our hands because of our lack of knowledge on a particular topic. We can improve social cohesion by creating activities that focus primarily on engaging young people, where young members remain active by sharing their insights on how to fight these challenges within their own society.

Importance of collaboration

As human beings, we are all somehow linked to each other. Our problems may not be the same as each other, but with each other's help we must overcome all obstacles because in the end every dilemma affects us all. For me, collaboration means creating a whole new group with great ideas. In order to have an opinion against the political parties, we need to first engage our youth in an organization or group to preserve democracy.

This particular collaboration was filled with young leaders, where I felt like my opinion could make a difference. Therefore, I could develop my own perspective by collecting all the innovative ideas from that collaboration where our core purpose is the same, which is doing something efficient for society.

How we all can contribute from our area

  1. Working process (for those people who are willing to work on it): We need to create a team full of young people who voluntarily want to engage in civic engagement. Of course we have to start from nothing and eventually our team will get bigger and stronger. We can create awareness by promoting young leaders, providing free quality education, giving information to unaware people about their rights and responsibilities, and doing social work activities with them.
  2. Speak up: We can make a huge impact by simply sharing and engaging with our friends and family so they can think and act on their own development and work on developing other sectors as well.

I would like to thank The Association of Commonwealth Universities, British Council, the Commonwealth and OP Jindal Global University for having me and letting me share my thoughts amongst you all. I made many plans for working together as a team.