YOUTH THINK TANK
A PILOT INITIATIVE BY THE CIVIC EDUCATION SOCIETY
Mark your calendars! YOUTH THINK TANK #2 is happening on Saturday, October 15th from 3pm to 5.30pm at Mount Pleasant Community Centre (1 Kingsway, Vancouver BC). Find us in Multipurpose Room 3. The topic for the day will be Housing.
The current political landscape does not have an avenue for young people to openly discuss their views on the important issues. More importantly, there is no opportunity for their views to be heard by those in power. Occasionally, there are crafted events where younger people are invited to discussions within a narrow scope of “youth issues”, but these rarely lead to real impact. Instead, partisan political machines engage youth only in the context of winning a youth vote.
We believe our community deserves better.
Youth are a diverse group in the community with a stake in our community, our country, and our world. With such a wide range of different viewpoints, there are no true youth issues. Given that all important issues extrapolated to five or ten years into the future will affect the young people of today, they are all youth issues.
Stripping away partisan blinders and allowing the important considerations to guide the dialogue is the only way to identify the fundamental issues at the heart of each topic. Rather than rely on political experts and a driving goal towards the best course of action, the Youth Think Tank will strive for an iterative process that develops a dialogue framework over time.
Our first open forum took place on April 16, 2011. Find out more about it here.
Our first Youth Think Tank forum took place on April 16, 2011 at Vancouver Central Library.
The two hour event provided an opportunity for youth to raise their concerns and voice their opinions about the future of politics and how it might impact their lives. Led by youth leaders, the event brought together young people to share their ideas and thoughts on a diverse range of topics including our electoral system, crime, healthcare and housing.
Photos after the jump!
On May 6, 2007, CES organized a special panel discussion before its annual fundraising dinner. Called “THE NEXT CANADA”, this discussion invited representatives from the four major Canadian parties (Conservatives, Liberal, NDP, and Green) to share their vision about building a better Canada in the 21st century. Representatives from the community, including a youth representative, were also invited to share their views about the future of Canada. The panelists were there not to debate, but to dialogue and learn from one another about what’s possible and desirable for the next Canada.
The panelists talked about a caring Canada, a green Canada, a fair and just Canada, an open Canada, and a sustainable Canada. These are the “core” Canadian values that they want to take further into the 21st century, in the context of global climate change, international conflicts and peacekeeping, globalization and poverty, multiculturalism, and most of all human security.
The event was well attended by community leaders, government officials, and many interested citizens.
During the 2005 Provincial Election, a referendum was held for the voters to decide whether they wanted BC to use a new electoral system called BC-STV (Single Transferable Vote). CES organized a workshop and a debate to introduce BC-STV to the public. Thanks to the support from the media and other community partners, our effort generated much interest in the Chinese community and helped the Chinese voters understand the issue before they cast their ballots.
(Learn more about the referendum and BC-STV in our Resources section.)
Workshop (February 25, 2005)
This was the first workshop held in the Chinese community to introduce BC-STV to the public. Fred Shum, a former member of the BC Citiziens’ Assembly (a non-partisan body composed of randomly selected BC voters which recommended BC-STV), was invited as guest speaker. The workshop was well attended and some reputable community leaders and political commentators were also present.
Debate (April 16, 2005)
This was an open debate between the 2 camps: STV for BC (supporting STV) and Know STV (opposing STV). We were pleased to have Nick Loenen and Bill Tieleman with us. Both were experts in electoral systems and outspoken representatives from their own camps. The general public and members of the 2 camps were present. Several media were there to report on the event.