In 2018, the Young Cities programme was launched to help young people and local governments address the challenges facing their communities.
The programme is the youth pillar of the The Strong Cities Network (SCN), building upon the insights and experience of SCN’s collaboration with municipalities around the world – connecting sub-national leaders and driving impactful, locally-led policy. Young Cities further builds upon seven successive and successful years of programming by its sister project, the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN), which pioneered the approach it takes to training young activists around the world. By combining SCN’s experience with supporting cities globally, and YouthCAN’s innovative methodology, Young Cities is fostering unique and collaborative solutions powered by young people and in tandem with local governments as they address the challenges of hate, polarisation and extremism.
All three projects are initiatives of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading organisation in understanding and innovating real-world responses to the rising tide of polarisation, hate and extremism. Young Cities draws upon ISD’s expertise to improve engagement with young people in tackling these issues.
With the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), we have supported young people in nine cities across Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal and North Macedonia. In 2021 we launched in Jordan, and in 2022 our programme expanded to Belgium and Pakistan.