Future Forum is the EU’s annual multi-stakeholder, interactive consultation on diaspora engagement for development.
The second edition of the event, set to advance diaspora-development collaboration globally will take place from 11-12 May 2022. This year’s Future Forum will focus on the theme of ‘human capital’; and explore how global multi-stakeholders can invest, celebrate, and transfer diaspora skills and expertise for national development, with a special focus on youth and employment.
The theme is inspired by the European Year of Youth which strives to “shine a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital.”
The importance of human capital is enshrined in the New European Consensus for Development, European Green Deal, the New EU Digital Strategy, as well as the EU Skills Agenda.
Focus on human capital as the guiding topic for Future Forum 2022 is to build on the thematic discussions of last year’s edition which included dialogue on the need to involve young people in decision-making processes. This directly links to a series of six regional thematic meetings held by EUDiF during the last 12 months. Human capital also connects the topics of youth, labour migration, entrepreneurship and mentoring, skills transfer and digitalisation, and many other sustainable development and diaspora-engagement approaches.
Last year, the future-facing virtual event saw a gathering of global multi-stakeholders, comprising speakers and audience sharing ideas and best practices while looking ahead by finding ways to maximise the potential of diaspora engagement for development.
Speakers at Future Forum 2022 will be from the European Commission, EU Member States, partner countries, diaspora organisations, academia, international organisations and the private sector. Over the two-day period, they will explore the potential of human capital programmes to create employment opportunities for young people in their countries of heritage.
Riding on the success of the 2021 conference which saw over 500 participants involved, this years’ will focus on diaspora engagement in its different forms, by considering how it can be built, transferred, celebrated and mapped.
Organised by the European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF), the two-day online conference which is designed specifically for interaction between diaspora organisations in Europe, the EU and authorities from its partner regions (Asia, Africa, EECA, LAC, Middle East, Pacific), will also welcome international organisations, academia and others active in the migration-development nexus.
After successfully spearheading last year’s event, Senior Project Manager of EUDiF, Aurélie Sgro has this to say about Future Forum 2022: “Skills, knowledge and authentic passion are the best foundations of lasting prosperity. I look forward to engaging with our worldwide partners at the Future Forum to collectively trailblaze new paths that harness diaspora human capital for development.”
Statistics reveal that a sixth of the population within the European Union are young; hence declaring 2022 the European Year of Youth: to engage, empower, and connect young people across Europe to be active citizens and actors of change.
The way ahead must focus on investing in the ‘young people of Europe’, which the Future Forum seeks to do with youth skills and employment addressed as important sub-themes. EUDiF sees the huge added value which young diasporans bring when they have a seat at the table for policy making, project design and implementation. This is why its Diaspora Youth Internship was created, and has so far benefitted from the contributions of its eight interns who have enriched the project enormously.
This year’s conference will therefore see current and former interns with roots in Africa, Asia, and Latin America comprise of six youth rapporteurs who will take the virtual stage. After their introduction at the opening session, they will act as ‘active listeners’ for opportunities, challenges and key points for young people both in the diaspora and in their regions of heritage throughout the event.
Speaking in this regard, Director of ICMPD Brussels Mission, Ralph Genetzke said: “ICMPD is proud to have a long history of working on diaspora engagement. The EUDiF Future Forum is a fantastic opportunity to dissect existing practices and explore potential collaborations. I am particularly looking forward to hearing the perspective of the Diaspora Youth Rapporteurs as they truly are the future.”
The rapporteurs will share reflections on the different sessions and wrap up the conference with a presentation to the European Commission.
A unique feature at Future Forum 2022 is the introduction of a new format of Practical workshops – which will host three sessions on communication, skills auditing and partnerships in the MSME ecosystem; respectively for government partners, diaspora organisations and a mixed group on the second day of the conference. This is in response to the high demand for technical support via the Capacity Development Lab and Diaspora Professionals 4 Development mechanism, in addition to recurrent themes raised during EUDiF’s diaspora consultations and regional thematic meetings.
Future Forum 2022 presents a unique opportunity for discussion and exchange that crosses borders, organisation type, generation and topic, with audience participation and interaction opportunities at the heart of each session’s design.
It is a must-attend for the whole diaspora engagement ecosystem.
See the complete agenda for Future Forum 2022 in English and French HERE.
Register HERE to be part of this futuristic event with diaspora human capital as its guiding topic.
To know more about Future Forum and the EUDiF project, kindly visit their WEBSITE.
Written by: Theresa R. Fianko
Content provided by: European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF)
Image Attribution: European Union Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF)