Communities
GRF Young Global Program

GRF Young Global Program

The participants of the program are individuals who have successfully completed GRF’s Young Scholars and Young Scholars Abroad programs, and international participants from the leading universities of the world who were nominated by Young Scholars.

Launched in 2015, GRF’s Young Global Program is a unique thought exercise that engages young individuals of the world to reflect on the main constructs/concepts/institutions of human life, imagine their possible paths of evolution over the next two centuries, and identify core values and structures that we wish to preserve in the era of rapid transformation that lies ahead of us.

The participants of the program are individuals who have successfully completed GRF’s Young Scholars and Young Scholars Abroad programs, and international participants from the leading universities of the world who were nominated by Young Scholars.

The program was created with the belief that an important shortcoming of our interdependent world is an intellectual debate that could remedy the mismatch between the commonality of global problems, and the level of convergence across the world for addressing and overcoming them. Hence, as opposed to similar programs targeting youth, Young Global does not aim to offer formulated solutions for the immediate problems of humanity; instead, through a systematic discussion of the main constructs of humanity and which elements of these we deem important for individuals to live a secure, productive and fulfilling life, it targets the alignment of values for the solution of current as well as future problems of global scale.

In line with its objective, the Young Global program is designed in two stages. The first stage will focus on imagining and systematically thinking through various dimensions of fundamental change in the coming centuries. In this phase, three or four 2-day meetings will be held to think through and create a framework of understanding for the possible long-term evolution of key social structures and concepts like family, war, crime, art, money, city, privacy, education, property, law and so forth. Each meeting will address a different subset of these concepts, and the methodology will be for the participants to “unbundle” the constituent qualities or characteristics of these structures and concepts, and imagine how these can be lost or modified under the influence of foreseen or unforeseen changes.

The second stage of the program will be a discussion and formulation of norms, values and structures that will build on the imagined futures of the first phase. With this exercise, the program will take up on the challenge of policy thinking in the milieu of faced-paced change. At the end of this stage, which consists of a longer meeting with a larger number of participants, a concise text of norms, values and structures will be agreed on, published and disseminated. It is hoped for this document to preserve its relevance in the face of frequent shifts in the global context, thereby contributing to the establishment of a bundle of core values and structures with which to tackle the resilient problems of humanity.

The first “unbundling” meeting of the program was held on April 17-19, 2015 at MIT’s Endicott House in Massachusetts, USA, with a distinguished group of participants including several GRF Young Scholars Program graduates and other participants who are studying at/graduates of the leading universities of the world.

The meeting focused on four important institutions/social constructs of humanity to bring out the possibilities of change in a two hundred year perspective: war, city, money and crime. Throughout the meeting, the participants discussed these constructs in great detail through unbundling their constituents and imagining different future versions of these constructs as their components evolve or disappear.

After several “unbundling” meetings to be held in Turkey and Europe, the Young Global Program will be concluded with a “values and structures” meeting, where the document containing constructs that will potentially and hopefully endure 200 years of technological, social and cultural transformations will be drafted.

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