Our city, our world – this was the motto of this year’s Youth Forum. On Tuesday, 21 February, students, teachers and experts met at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk to discuss health, youth involvement and their impact on the surrounding reality. There were also topics from world politics.

After two years of virtual presence, the Youth Forum was organised in a stationary format. On 21 February, over 200 students from Pomeranian secondary schools, together with their teachers, came to the European Solidarity Centre (ESC).

The meeting was hosted by two high school graduates: Wiktoria Bojanowska (Secondary School No. 2 in Gdańsk) and Igor Dorawa (Secondary School No. 14 in Gdańsk). The guests were welcomed by Patrycja Medowska, deputy director of the ESC.

The inaugural session featured high school graduates, educationalists, architects and political scientists. The speakers talked, among other things, about youth activism and the recipe for… youth business. Piotr Harhaj, an educationalist and social worker from the Pomeranian Coalition for Mental Health, talked about what to do if someone in our surroundings is suffering from a mental health crisis.

What does a city have to be like to be called ‘sustainable’? Does this play have a chance to succeed, or is it too late? What should we know in order to foster the realisation of a sustainable city? These questions were answered by Barbara Kijewska, PhD, political scientist, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the Faculty of Social Sciences UG, and coordinator of the UG Centre for Sustainable Development internship programme.

“Without building strong relationships, a sense of trust and support in each other, we will be weak. We need to educate our minds to work out solutions together. You know more today than I knew when I was your age, just before I started my studies” said Barbara Kijewska, PhD.

In addition to the open lectures, participants also attended workshop sessions, after registering in advance, which corresponded to the topics of the speeches from the inaugural session. The workshop on sustainable cities, together with Barbara Kijewska, PhD, was led by Anna Golędzinowska, PhD, activist, architect and urban planner, councillor of the City of Gdańsk, Michał Jankowski, third grade student from the Gdańsk Autonomous High School, Youth Council of the City of Gdańsk, and Bartosz Rief, Civic Projects Department, Solidarity Daily space.

The Youth Forum was organised by the European Solidarity Centre and the Youth Council of the City of Gdansk.