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Chatham House Common Future Conversation: How Can We Increase Youth Representation in Government?

By Elena Cossu

On the 20th of May 2020 I participated in my first Chatham House Common Future Conversation Initiative. The initiative was an online brainstorm called “How Can We Increase Youth Representation in Government?”. After a short introduction by one of the researchers of the organization, the more than fifty participants got randomly allocated into a small group of four persons each.

Each group was encouraged to actively discuss different solutions to increase youth participation. Despite coming from different backgrounds and places, my group ended up agreeing on the idea affirmative action laws for youth as a possible solution. It was especially interesting to brainstorm on how the general population would react to such laws and whether they would be feasible in the first place.

After fifteen minutes we all got reunited, and one representative for each group exposed the main ideas and conclusions reached by each group. The idea that in many countries there are parties that do not represent the youth (or in general the interests of some segments of the population) was an idea that could easily be related to populism as well.