THE YOUTH FORUM

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The voice and point of view of young people within the Pontifical Council for Culture  

Eleven young men and eleven women, aged between 18 and 27, believers and non-believers: these are the members of the Pontifical Council for Culture Youth Forum, created by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi to represent the voice and point of view of young people on the key cultural issues of interest to the Dicastery, the Church and contemporary society.

Gathered for the first time on 18 February 2019, the Youth Forum is a permanent body that offers an active and critical contribution to the activities and projects of the Pontifical Council for Culture, formulating opinions and proposals on issues and initiatives that affect the world of young people. The Manifesto of the Youth Forum outlines the guidelines of their action towards the difficulties of the younger generations: listening to understand, dialoguing to unite and building to overcome.

To ensure a multidisciplinary approach to the work, and to represent the macro-areas of interest of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Youth Forum is divided into four thematic areas, namely: Culture, Sciences, Society and Spirituality. Each area is led by a member of the Directive Board, a board which is elected by the Forum members and directs the Forum according to the principle of shared leadership.

The twenty-two members, selected on the basis of their academic profiles and their personal skills, stand out for their passion, creativity, ambition and commitment in different fields and contexts. A heterogeneous group, with different paths and perspectives, united by one aspiration: the desire to give a voice to their generation, in the awareness that concrete commitment, research and active participation are critical prerequisites for facing prospects and challenges of the future.

Among the young members there are, therefore, students of classical and artistic high school and university students of Law, Economics, Cultural Heritage, Political Sciences and International Relations, but also Psychology, Medieval History and Paleography. There is no shortage of scientific paths, with graduates in Medical Engineering and Environmental Engineering as well as enthusiasts of bioethics and biotechnology.

There are sportsmen, musicians, lovers of literature or photography. Some of them write on blogs and online newspapers, collaborate with associations and research institutes, volunteer abroad and pursue careers in the world of information, diplomacy, politics or in business. Some were born in Rome and moved to Europe to continue their studies, others come from different regions of Italy and have chosen the capital as the basis for their academic and life path.

Pope Francis, in a speech addressed to the Congregation of the Clergy in June 2017, stated that often "young people are judged in a somewhat superficial way and too easily are labeled as a liquid generation, devoid of passions and ideals". He then stressed the importance of "recognizing that young people are able to bet firmly on life and to get involved with generosity; to look towards the future and thus be an antidote to the resignation and loss of hope that marks our society; to be creative and imaginative, courageous to change, magnanimous when it comes to spending oneself for others or for ideals such as solidarity, justice and peace. With all their limitations, they are always a resourceā€.

The members of the Youth Forum undoubtedly represent those proactive, courageous, generous and passionate young people of whom the Holy Father speaks.

For more info on who they are see here.