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Commonwealth Futures workshop focused on Gandhian principles, writes Adam Vernon

Published on 04 March 2020
Adam Vernon Image
Adam Vernon
Adam Vernon

Adam is an undergraduate student at the University of Technology, Jamaica, doing a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. 

During this workshop I have learned the intricacies and necessity of participatory democracy, which I will divulge to the youths of my community, to help inspire them into the necessary non-violent reactions required to force the powers that be to address their concerns.

This February I was given the chance of a lifetime, to be part of a youth workshop which focused on the Gandhian principles of peace and non-violence. In our contemporary era, where we see the escalation of riots amidst the dissatisfaction of citizens to various ethical and political issues; it is crucial to ponder the powerful elements of non-violent response. I was honored to be part of such expansive dialogue, anchoring on the necessity for diversity and inclusion in our ever transforming societies.

I attended Commonwealth Futures as a Jamaican delegate, representing the University of Technology, Jamaica. I was ecstatic at the opportunity to be able to converge with other young minds of my generation, from different countries to discuss heterogeneous social issues and possible solutions. The theme of inspiring global citizens resonated with me on a core level, as I believe the fundamental principles of human life are universal. With the rise of social media and extensively the internet, the globalization identity is even more pronounced.

The focus on education and youth engagement to propel democracy and diversity are such key elements for today’s societies. Self-control, especially in a social and emotional manner, is highly essential for the practice of non-violence. This type of rudimentary learning has to be instilled through our education systems and practiced in homes and other social developing spaces.

The voices of young people are crucial for the necessary changes required within our societies. In the Commonwealth, 60% of its population are below 30. This is astounding and propels the need for our youth to be involved and inspired. The future will be shaped by decisions that are being made now, so youths should have full access to decisions that will shape their lives and those of their children. With such a huge proportion of our society being young adults, the task of social cohesion within our communities depends on these youths. Therefore, we must ensure we find measure to include them in decisions and to instigate pull factors that can attract them to be more socially conscious.

Adam Vernon Image

Adam with his group at Commonwealth Furtures.

At the Commonwealth Futures workshop, my group recognized the need for youth engagement, and we proposed a “Youth Engagement Accord”. The Accord will create a positive atmosphere, consisting of youth and youth leaders from the 54 commonwealth nations, sharing challenges, ideologies and recommendations, based on concurrent activities within their own societies. This will create a globalized center that focuses primarily on Youth Engagement, and allow its members to be both reactive and proactive in civil engagement, as the struggles and solutions of other members will give them insight on how to mitigate these challenges within their own society and nation.

In my community, there are many unattached youths that are outside of both work and school, and are dissatisfied with the political and social structure or our community. During this workshop I have learned the intricacies and necessity of participatory democracy, which I will divulge to the youths of my community, to help inspire them into the necessary non-violent reactions required to force the powers that be to address their concerns.

I applaud the ACU for their continuous support of youth future leaders and I would urge everyone to pursue the opportunities that are being offered at these symposiums. The experience is absolutely exceptional and provides such wondrous perspectives and initiatives from true global citizens.

I cherish every moment spent at this workshop, and hope the ACU continues on its quest to propel goal-oriented and inspired youth leaders for the perseverance and advancement of our society.