Economy and urban development are two inseparable aspects. Yet, security is another important aspect. Extremism has affected cities in majority. New York, Paris, Jakarta, Islamabad, Istanbul, New Delhi, Karachi, Istanbul, and the list of cities with extremist history still goes on. Extremism infiltrated cities, attacking humanities. Government and stockholder, especially youth with youth distinctive approach, must join forces to settle problems that drive extremist acts in cities.
One of the most urgent questions for cities and youth may be the issue of increasing threat of extremism in urban settings. The (perceived) rise of extremism puts safety, prosperity, and multiculturalism in the city under peril. Cities are not only the place that drives national economic growth. They are also homes and communities, and safe havens for diverse people and groups. Many older cities have been that way historically. Yet rapid urbanization (youth migration) and urban life in general also mean that young women and men face poverty and poor job prospects, high cost of living, consumerism and changing values, lack of social protection, lack of political participation opportunities, etc. in the city.
As urban youth, what do we know – and what can we do about extremism in the city?
So, this session seeks to better understand the steps – or workings – of extremism from youth perspectives, and, more importantly, invites youth participants to share experiences and think about “what will I do?” in terms of realistic situations. A panel will introduce a few key approaches such as volunteerism and peacebuilding, enhancing civic space and safety, and creating dialogue between different communities in the city. Engaging youth in responses to violence and conflict at the global level is also important. Young people represent a dynamic population group in rapidly urbanizing countries; they are capable to be active partners in peacebuilding processes, too. Their role was finally recognized when the UN Security Council adopted the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (RES 2250) on 9 December 2015.
The second half of the session will be focus group discussion that should create action plans of what the youth participants can or will do in specific areas of action. For example, the areas could potentially be:
- Urban planning and space in the city,
- The city’s culture and heritage,
- Volunteerism and social entrepreneurship,
- Actions on social media; and / or
- The Indonesian concept of Bhinekka Tunggal Ika (unity in diversity).
Venue: University of 17 Agustus (UNTAG) & Microsoft Offices
Method: Focus group discussion