2012 - First Y4C International Forum

May 31st, 2012 - Paris (Sciences Po)

Y4CN’s First International Forum: Which Sustainable Initiatives for the Integration of Youth in danger?

On May 31, 2012, Youth 4 Change Network (Y4CN) hosted its first international forum on “Which Sustainable Initiatives for the Integration of Youth in danger?” in Paris, France. In the light of various issues on an abject poverty and youth exclusion in many countries especially developing countries, this event was set to explore alternative solutions and actions towards a better integration for young people who are continuously exposed to poverty and exclusion. The Forum was officially inaugurated by Frédéric Van Heems (Vice-President of Life Project 4 Youth - LP4Y France), followed with a showcase of the 2012 Y4CN report entitled "Entrepreneurship: a winning solution to youth exclusion?”. Consisting of three consecutive panels and a roundtable, the Forum successfully brought together research agencies, academia, private sectors, non-profit organizations, and civil society to map out key successes and best practices in different areas to address ongoing challenges of youth exclusion around the world, especially developing countries.

In the first panel entitled “Youth and School Exclusion”, there were several representative of numerous youth associations such as Sport dans La Ville, Soieries du Mékong, Unis-Cité, GRET, Apprentis d'Auteuil, Intercordia, ADIE and several students who attended the workshop. Panelists agreed that there was a different relation between young people in France and in developing countries. A comparative example was provided between Mauritania and France. In Mauritania, youth were highly interested in prospective integration actions that were developed by such youth associations, while in France it was crucial for the youth to see real recognitions of their contributions to the society. Recognizing these different scenarios, the debate thus highlighted four strategies to successfully integrate the youth such as: empowerment, joint action with companies to set up vocational trainings for youth, enhancement of professional networks, and monitoring mechanism.

Moderated by Estelle Klumper, Founder of the Hear Us program, the panel on “Youth and disability” was specifically concentrated on integration of youth with disabilities. The discussion expressed that there was an urgent need for mutual adaptation and a change of public perception towards disabled people. Panelists also expressed a concern on parental education, highlighting that parents must be sensitive to their child’s disabilities in order to promote them towards empowerment as well as independent way of living. Recognizing the importance for people with disabilities to be confronted with the world of business, panelists came to an agreement that it was crucial to provide an enabling environment for the people with disabilities entering professional world.

The third panel on “Marginalized Youth in Conflict with the Law”, moderated by François de Malartic, member of Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y), discussed an introductory case from a project that was set up by the local missions of Rennes and Brest. The project was aimed to accompany juveniles around the age of 16 and 25, who have been out of school or university system, to help them to integrate and/or to reintegrate into professional and social life after their release. In the panel, Alexis Duvivier, Project Manager and Project Manager and Counselor for Social and Professional Integration, affirmed that one of the key factor for success was specific and regular accompany that would involve individual coaching. In the debate, panelists suggested the need to bridge and to coordinate with different stakeholders including within entrepreneurial sectors to best achieve the realization of youth integration.

To support the making of action plans in light of knowledge exchange shared in the three panels, the Forum was followed with a roundtable session on “Which Sustainable Initiatives for the Integration of Youth in danger?" to wrap up a review and summary of the previous panels. This included the importance to acquire a set of networks to promote empowerment and confidence of young people by putting them at the center, thereby recognizing that they are the key players. Panelists also stressed the importance of building partnerships with external actors and formulating monitoring schemes. The discussion also considered transforming general public view on young people with disabilities as crucial as it would enable a stimulating environment for mutual adaptation.

Subsequent to the concluding points of the three different panels at the round table, a direct discussion with different stakeholders such as European Institute for Cooperation and Development, Planet Finance France, among others was held to support real implementation of practices on the ground. The discussion encompassed three principal strategies that needed to be as well incorporated such as: forming a greater dialogue between companies and training to harmonize the standard of vocational trainings, affiliating the concept of mutual respect for all parties included, two-ways learning and support for all the parties including the youth.

The last session of the Forum on “Which Sustainable Initiatives for the Integration of Youth in danger?" concentrated on main takeaways of the event and the way forward for each stakeholder to jointly address the issues of youth exclusion. The Forum was completed with a Manifesto Signature of all stakeholders involved. Panelists saw an agreement that it was indispensable to trust young people and to give them opportunities to realize themselves as an individual. Thus, all actors were called on to continue to provide continuous and extensive support to not only integrate young people into a community or professional world but to provide an enabling environment for a brighter future of the world. “Young people are the future of the world, at Y4CN, we want them to be our present”. We Can’t, Together We Can!


14h : Opening (Amphithéâtre Caquot) by Frédéric Van Heems (former LP4Y France President)

14h15 : Presentation of the Y4C 2012 report by Merryl Parisse (Y4C/Sciences Po)

14h30 – 16h : Workshops

Youth and school exclusion:

Which alternative solutions to classic scholar systems to prevent Youth exclusion and/or help Youth inclusion?”

Youth and disability:

“Which are the inclusion solutions in the professional and academic world in France and the rest of the world for the disabled Youth ? “

Marginalized Youth in conflict with the law:

Which are the inclusion solutions in the professional and academic world in France and the rest of the world for the disabled Youth ? “

16h15 – 17h30 : Review & summary of the workshops + table round

“Which sustainable initiatives for the integration of Youth in danger?”

Main themes :

  • "Entrepreneurship can be a sustainable and alternative solution to classical actions towards excluded Youth”

  • “Youth inclusion organizations must work more together and interact”

  • “Encourage bridges between the social sector and the entrepreneurial sector”

Roundtable speakers :

Gonzague de Borde, Soieries du Mékong

Joël Pain, Planet Finance

Ericka Cogne, Accenture

Alexis Béguin, IECD

Teddy, Unis cité

18h – 19h30 : Debate with guests speakers :

“Give a chance to excluded Youth to become entrepreneurs of their lives”


Jean-Paul Delevoye, Economic, Social and Environmental Council (ESEC) director

Marie-Caroline Leroux, Europe Director of the World Youth Alliance

François Content, Director of Apprentis d’Auteuil

Gilles Vermot-Desroches, Director sustainable development of Schneider Electric

Animated by Emmanuelle Dancourt, Journalist & TV presenter

19h30: Manifesto signature

20h – 21h30 : Cocktail

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