Call for Participation: UNDP Youth Futures Fellowship

Are you ready to take a leap into the unknown?

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is inviting youth from the Arab States region on a journey into the future. How might the world look in 2030? How will young people be participating and engaging with their communities? How will communities be reacting to and taking action on the climate crisis?

The journey consists of two parts: 

1) Share with us your creative submissions on the future of climate change and/or civic engagement. You can show us your perspective through poetry, an article, a story, a monologue, a piece of art, videos, objects from the future (that exist in 2030), dance, music, or any medium of your choosing. 

2) If you want to continue the conversation, you can apply to participate in our Youth Futures Fellowship, which is a five-week-long opportunity to acquire futures thinking skills and learn  alongside regional and global experts and other young leaders from across the region. Find out more about the fellowship below – up to 30 young people will be selected to take part. 

As an essential mindset and practice that helps us to explore possibilities for what might lie ahead, futures thinking helps us understand and challenge our assumptions; analyze “imaginings of the future” that shape our sense of things to come; and engage creatively with complexity. Perhaps most importantly, futures thinking reminds us that “the future” can be shaped in different directions.

It’s time for a new conversation about the future!

Who is eligible?

You must:

  • be 19-29 years old
  • have any educational or vocational background as long as you have a general knowledge of the themes (climate change and civic engagement) and you are eager to learn and contribute in teams
  • originate from Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, & Yemen AND currently reside in one of these countries. 

How to participate

>>> Read the Design Brief for guidance on how to prepare your creative work and have it included in our online gallery.

>>> Fill the submission form by 25th October

>>> If you wish to apply for the fellowship opportunity, you should also complete the second part of the application form, which contains the following additional questions related to your motivation and interests:

  • What do you hope to gain from the UNDP Youth Futures Fellowship? (minimum 100-250 words)
  • When you think about your community in 2030, what is your greatest hope and biggest fear? (minimum 100-250 words)

You can fill in the form once you are ready to submit, as you will not be able to save your progress on the form.

More on the Youth Futures Fellowship

Designed as a collaborative learning journey to develop and enhance the futures thinking skills of youth across the region, the UNDP Youth Futures Fellowship will not only focus on tools and methods but also how to use and apply these approaches within your own community and toward challenges and opportunities that are important to you. Amplifying youth voices and aspirations, we will explore different futures and look at cases and examples from the region and around the world.In the process, you will engage directly with a global group of experts.  

Through the fellowship, you will:

  • Obtain tools for navigating uncertainty in a complex world
  • Learn about systems-thinking and futures thinking
  • Develop leadership skills and abilities to build participatory processes
  • Become part of the UNDP Youth Futures Fellows community
  • Engage and connect with the global futures community

In order to participate fully in this learning journey, you should be:

  • Open to new ways of thinking
  • Willing to take a creative leap
  • Able to collaborate with people from different backgrounds
  • Interested in enhancing your leadership skills
  • Driven to take initiative within your community
  • Expert knowledge of thematic areas is not a requirement

You will find a tentative programme for the fellowship here   

FAQ

How can I find out more?

Register here for a live information session on Monday October 19th. The session will be held in English, with Arabic and French interpretation, and will also be livestreamed on Facebook. A recording of the session will be published on YLP Facebook page following the session.You may also contact youth.rbas@undp.org with any questions.

What is futures thinking?

Futures thinking is a mindset, tool, and practice. As a mindset, futures thinking helps us understand and challenge our assumptions about today and what might lie ahead. As a tool, futures thinking can be used to analyze “imaginings of the future” that shape our sense of things to come and explore “alternative futures.” As a practice, futures thinking helps us to engage creatively with complexity and uncertainty and, most importantly, reminds us that “the future” can be shaped in different directions. Covid-19 has certainly created many challenges, but it has also opened up a space to think differently and imagine alternative possibilities for the future. It is a good exercise to think about a post-Covid-19 society as this challenges us to make our assumptions clear, express what is important to us, and consider what can, and perhaps must, change

When are submissions (including Fellowship applications) due?

On Sunday 25th October

Who is eligible to submit?

You must be 19-29 years old and both originate from and be resident in one of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, & Yemen.

What should my creative submission be like?

There are no limitations on the medium of the submission (it can be poetry, dance, music, an essay.. the choice is yours!) as long as it addresses the futures of climate action and/or civic engagement. You are welcome to reflect on the future from the perspective of your community, country, the Arab region, or even the world. There are also no limitations on the length of the submission, but keep in mind that very long submissions may be difficult for judges to view/evaluate. The work should be your own and should follow the guidance of the Design Brief (available in English and Arabic). You can submit in English, Arabic, or French.

Do I need to have a project or solution in mind when I submit?

No, this is not necessary. Your creative submission can raise questions and/or explore challenges (especially those related to each or both of the themes – climate action and civic engagement). Remember, we are not seeking “solutions” but rather creative reflections based on the Design Brief. During the Fellowship learning journey, we will explore a range of critical challenges, potential solutions, and project cases.  

Can I submit as part of a team with others?

You must apply individually, but you may submit the same creative submission as somebody else (if the creative work was a collaborative effort). In this case please make sure to acknowledge the contributions of others in your submission.

Are you only looking for positive imaginings of the future?

Please refer to the four “imaginings of the future” in the Design Brief that we have prepared for you (in English and Arabic): Growth, Disciplined, New Beginnings, and Transform. None of the four are “preferred” futures, which is to say that each has both positive and negative aspects and dimensions. You might find aspects of one or more of these four futures more or less preferable, and this is why we are asking you to explain your choice when you apply for the fellowship. Whichever future you choose, try to imagine: Who benefits in this future? Who might struggle in this future? How does your perspective on this future shape your creative submission?  

How many fellows will be selected to participate?

Up to 30

When will the Fellowship begin and end?

The fellowship will start in early November and finish in mid-December

How will the Fellowship be structured?

Online sessions will last 2-2.5 hours with another 30-60 minutes of (individual or group) work per week. An overview of the learning journey is available here.  

What platforms will be used for the Fellowship?

Zoom and Miro will be used for all online sessions, and all participants will need to set up a free account for both platforms.

How will participants be selected for the fellowship?

Your submission will be assessed based on its creativity and its potential to be further developed with the support of the futures thinking tools that will be made available during the fellowship. In designing and delivering the fellowship, our team is committed to a range of principles from the selection process to the learning journey. They are:

  •  Inclusivity – processes and practices that meet the needs of all
  •  Diversity – not just the “unusual suspects” from familiar places
  •  Ethical Imagination – ideas that inspire ethical and sustainable change
  •  Aware – a clear and conscious understanding of privilege and power
  •   Participatory – attention to engaging different groups in creative ways

Will funding be made available to participants?

No funding is foreseen as part of the fellowship opportunity. Through the fellowship, you will:

  • Obtain tools for navigating uncertainty in a complex world
  • Learn about systems-thinking and futures thinking
  • Develop leadership skills and abilities to build participatory processes
  • Become part of the UNDP Youth Futures Fellows community
  • Engage and connect with the global futures community

For more information please open this link

https://www.arabstates.undp.org/content/rbas/en/home/presscenter/events/2020/call-for-participation–undp-youth-futures-fellowship-.html