Y20 – The coolest G20 engagement group

By Shaima Hamidaddin

In my previous blog I discussed global citizenship – what it means to be a global citizen and what it means for us at Misk to encourage people to embrace that identity. In this blog, I’m going to look at one of our major projects for 2020, one that is a real opportunity for you to put into practice the ideals of global citizenship: The Y20.


First of all, let’s get the obvious out the way. What is the Y20? As the Y20 leader from Misk’s side, Othman Almoamar, put it when we launched here last Sunday, it’s “the coolest G20 engagement group,” but it’s also the “only officially recognised platform for young people to engage with the wider G20.” What that means is, if you’ve got something you want to say to the leaders of the G20 nations, engaging with us on the Y20 is the way to do it. It’s a real, impactful way to influence global policy making – to have your voice heard at the very top table of international decision making. And it’s all starting this month.


But, why should you engage? It all seems so distant, elite, and disconnected, right? Even more so for non-G20 country members! In reality, the G20 leaders and indeed world leaders in general aren’t that distant and we’re not that disconnected. What happens in a G20 country, effects other G20 countries, effects non-G20 countries, effects individuals wherever they are. The issues the G20 is wrestling with this year, and the issues we’re focusing on in the Y20 I noted above, affect countries and people all over the world. If we can develop solutions within the G20 framework, they can benefit any country, community, or person anywhere. With the Y20 we’re giving you a real way to get involved in that process.


So, if that’s given you cause, how do you get involved? We’re creating a thousands-strong community of young people across the world and – in keeping with the defining technology of our time – we’re starting online, but (Coronavirus permitting) planning some face-to-face meetings later in the year. Joining this community will be your way to discuss the points and ideas you want put before the G20 leaders at their summit November this year. And this isn’t just some one-and-done, send in an idea and forget about it/be forgotten deal. We’re going to have weekly webinars with Y20 members and monthly online meetups – both completely open to the general public; G20 countries and beyond. More details will be announced soon on our social media, so keep an eye out.  


But, it’s not just discussions to inform this year’s recommendations (as important as those will be). We’re also going to offer the chance for you to compete to influence next year’s Y20 too (to be hosted by Italy). We’ll announce more information on this competition soon, but I’ll spoil it for you a little – you’ll be asked to make a video about the issues that are really on your mind and some suggestions for the global community on how to solve them. An international jury and this year’s Y20 delegates will select the best and invite their makers to the summit in October… the outcomes will then be shared with the Italian delegation for 2021.


In fact, that we’re thinking of not just the Y20 for 2020 but Y20’s beyond is another key part of what we’re trying to achieve. The issues we’re addressing aren’t going to be solved this year, or even next year. We need something that’s long-running to address long-standing issues. So, for the Y20’s tenth birthday, let’s make this a Y20 with a legacy. We’re telling world leaders to listen, so it’s up to you to speak-up. Misk is ready to amplify your voice. Join us, join your global Y20 community for this year, next year and beyond.


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