The Future Of Youth Activism

Founded by Ziyad Broker and Zeina Broker, The Global Spectator provides a much-needed platform for youth opinions and initiatives

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More than half of the world's population is under 30 years old. Unfortunately, political participation does not reflect this: youth continue to be underrepresented in parliament, voting and policy making processes. The Global Spectator is here to change that. As Ziyad Broker, founder of the platform, writes:

Ziyad Broker and Zeina Broker, Founders of The Global Spectator

"Academics have long debated the distinction between 'civic' and 'political' engagement. I believe that while youth participation in politics is relatively poor, civic engagement - social media campaigns, petitions and journalism to name a few - represent a popular outlet for the youth of today."

That's where The Global Spectator comes in. A social and political platform for youth, The Global Spectator allows students around the world to explore the issues that matter most to them. It is an ecosystem of eager high school and university students dedicated to deepening their understanding of international relations, social issues and ultimately, the world around them.

So far, as an organisation, we have managed to amass contributions from students in 15-plus countries and 40-plus institutions including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and more. But it is our readers, who themselves hail from more than 80 different countries, that help to cultivate a mutually beneficial environment. Incredibly, we have found that our platform allows for a self-sustaining cycle of learning: one where writers can further explore the social issues they care about and readers can learn from the writing of their peers.

This system feeds directly into our mission. Youth are often blamed for their lack of political participation: their voter turnouts are regularly the lowest of any demographic. But the truth is not that they don't care about politics; rather, many of them have lost faith in traditional systems. The Global Spectator provides a modern, cutting-edge platform for them to have their voices heard.

These days, 'activism' is perceived to be little more than a buzzword; a desperate facade borne out of a need for social approval. But the social action that can arise out of activism - including platforms like The Global Spectator - are symptoms of discontent. To put it simply, The Global Spectator strives to live up to democratic ideals and principles; it was created because youth simply aren't represented enough.

The future is bright for The Global Spectator. As part of a larger 'civics' based movement, the hope is that youth across the globe will have made a powerful enough statement. If this were the case, activism - in its newly defined capacity - would have behaved as a form of checks and balances.

Moving forward, we can only hope that the efforts of organisations like The Global Spectator eventually pave the way for change. With a growing movement and trust in youth, people are slowly starting to take note of the next generation. Because, before we know it, the youth of today will become the adults of tomorrow.