Leiden students visit the Youth Forum 2015
Four (former) students from the Leiden Leadership Programme represented Leiden University during the G200 Youth Forum 2015. András Pleszel, master’s student in the International Relations programme told us about his experiences.
‘As something very positive. It was a very special experience to meet with students, professors, young experts and journalists from all over the world and to engage into discussions with them and share ideas. I experienced first-hand that major problems in society are interpreted very differently in different countries, which results in very different solutions as well. For example, a Chinese girl told me that she couldn’t understand why German railway workers would go on strike, as strikes almost never happen in her country.’
‘Students from all over the world participate in the annual Youth Forum, which consists of a conference and a diplomatic gathering known as the G20 Youth Summit. During the Summit, students meet to discuss and develop recommendations for various issues. The results of the summit are subsequently sent to a number of institutions, including the real G20 and the World Bank. Leiden University was represented by András, Lieke Staal, Anna Nijmeijer and Skander Mabrouk.'
‘I discussed various social problems with people from all over the world. To go to the Forum, you first had to apply for one of the available positions and during the ‘job interview’ we already discussed the number of roles participants would take on. During the Summit, the most important platform at the Youth Forum, I acted as the ‘Sherpa’ of the EU delegation. The Sherpa assists the Head of State and ensures that everything goes smoothly during the meetings. I mainly concerned myself with the labour market, as I was also placed in the ‘Labour Market Obstacles’ committee. There, we discussed issues such as youth unemployment.’
‘To me, the Youth Forum was a unique opportunity to meet other professionals from all corners of the globe and exchange ideas. I must admit that I was also particularly keen to travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where the forum was held. It’s a gorgeous little town in the middle of the Alps. I’m very grateful to the Honours Academy, which organises the Leiden Leadership Programme. I wouldn’t have been able to participate without them.’
(12 May 2015)