The first phase of the project “Leaders of Change for Energy Transition and Digital Transformation”, co-organised by the EU-LAC Foundation and the Ibero-American Union of Municipalists (UIM), concluded on 21 September. A total of 420 young people participated in four working groups on two thematic areas: Sustainable Development and Energy Transition; and Smart Cities, Innovation and Digital Administration.
This initiative is the result of the 6th Annual Call for Co-Organised Events conducted by the EU-LAC Foundation for the collaboration in events on topics relevant to the bi-regional strategic partnership between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. The project developed together with the UIM seeks to promote spaces for dialogue and visibility around the energy transition and digital transformation, thematic areas that are important to the bi-regional partnership.
As a cross-cutting issue in the participation, youth has played a central role in the project, which has created a space for intergenerational dialogue in which young people from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean have assumed an active and empowered position as fundamental agents of change in society. Young people from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela participated in the working groups.
During the working sessions on energy transition, under the titles "Global citizen education, commitment and empowerment of the agents of change" and "Production and management of renewable sources, Economy and employment", issues such as the central role of youth in the face of climate change and the promotion of sustainability; communication as a key area in the fight against global warming; the relationship between renewable energies and employment; and economic resilience and formal employment were discussed.
The two roundtables on digital transformation, "Challenges and opportunities for young people in the face of the accelerated digitalization of society" and "Digitalization and sustainability: Strategy to reduce the digital divide for young people", placed at the centre of the debate issues such as the generation of digital talent; the challenges of governance and the digital ecosystem; the role of technology as a key factor for sustainability and social innovation; and the importance of cooperation in the field of digital transformation.
This first phase of the project made it possible to make visible and promote youth positioning around two topics of strategic value for the partnership between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean. During the second phase of the initiative, these issues will be taken up again at an International Congress to be held between 4 and 7 December in the Municipality of Valdivia, Los Ríos Region, Chile.