Young people around the world have been disproportionately impacted by the economic, political, and social crises that have resulted from the pandemic. Encouraging youth to participate in local democracies and economies — by providing venues for them to voice their perspectives and educating them about state and local institutions — not only better prepares young people to become future leaders, but also ensures that countries are innovative, resilient, and deliver for all citizens. Governments, businesses organizations, and other stakeholders should prioritize the integration of young people into the public life and the labor market in order to generate sustainable economies and societies. CIPE recognizes youth as change-agents and the role they can play in fostering democratic and economic development by providing new perspectives, innovation, and dedication to a more inclusive and resilient society. As such, CIPE has been active in youth initiatives through four primary areas of engagement: entrepreneurship training and education programs, capacity building for youth organizations to grow their businesses and networks, nurturing young policy leaders, and developing resources and guides to provide practical tools for engaging youth and demonstrate the value of youth participation in democracy. Through mentorship and learning engagements, CIPE supports young democratic reformers to help generate solutions to their country’s problems and facilitate dialogue between youth, private enterprises, and governments.

In 2021 and 2022, CIPE launched its Youth Leadership Program, a non-residential program that aims to both increase the visibility of economic issues affecting youth and create a platform for young people to amplify their voices. CIPE selected 5 youth leaders each year to conduct either an advocacy or research project around the themes of “Youth and Private Enterprise” or “Youth and Democracy.”  CIPE also hosts an annual Global Youth Leadership Conference to bring together CIPE staff, youth activists, and local organizations from around the world to demonstrate private sector-led solutions to current youth issues and showcase the research and advocacy projects of the Youth Leaders selected as part of CIPE’s Youth Leadership Program. The conference provides a platform for dialogue with global partners and stakeholders on youth issues. It includes opening remarks and keynotes from experts and key stakeholders.

For more information on CIPE’s Youth Leaders and the Youth Leadership Conference, visit: