By Anna Kensicki, M.P.A.
Senior Researcher at Knovva Academy
PhD Candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
This week, Knovva Academy received an unprecedented invitation. The 2020 Y7, alongside the global G7 Summit, will host its thirteenth Summit—and we are invited to attend.
As a leader in G20 and experiential learning programs, this opportunity has called for many at Knovva to revisit the origins and goals of the G7 and explore the work of the Y7 as we make room for Knovva students’ voices and viewpoints at this momentous event.
What is the Y7 and what does it mean to Knovva students?
The Y7 is the official youth engagement group of the G7, or Group of Seven, which is comprised of the seven largest industrialized nations. The Y7 represents the youth voices to the G7 and ensures its unique issues and perspectives are incorporated into its annual policy proposals, or communique.
Created more than 40 years ago, the G7 is a gathering of political leaders which convene annually to discuss and exchange ideas about a number of issues relating to the world economy. Its members include France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Upon founding, the G7 declared the need to broaden the dialogue on key economic and financial issues and promote cooperation and sustainable economic growth that benefits all. Following a global economic crisis in the 1990s, it did just that. The G20 was founded, expanding this mission even further, and calling on policy makers and world leaders to recognize and incorporate the voices of leaders from all parts of the world. The G20 represents those voices.
Knovva Academy’s Model G20 Summit, mG20 in Action, and online learning alumni represent the youth voices and champions of this mission, which emphasizes inclusivity, cooperation and public diplomacy. This year, they have been given a seat at the table.
The Y7 is important to Knovva students because it presents an opportunity to do for the Y7 what the G20 did for the G7.
An unprecedented opportunity
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Y7 Summit will take on a new format this year that will provide even more opportunities for youth to participate. Held on the platform, WebX, Knovva’s students will participate virtually while also engaging in discussion-based activities and guided learning alongside the event. Perhaps most importantly, students will have an opportunity to engage directly with Y7 delegates in formal, moderated Q&A sessions, as well as informal online networking events and apply this knowledge for a much higher purpose.
Therefore the 2020 Y7 is unique from past summits, in that it presents Knovva Academy with an unprecedented opportunity to play a critical role at the Y7. Like the G20 to the G7, Knovva Academy will bring youth voices from outside of this esteemed group and help to challenge and refine its policy proposals.
Knovva Academy represents a diverse cross-section of international youth leaders from around the world. Our students are younger than the average Y7 delegate, but no less accomplished. And they will bring with them a unique viewpoint that will surely enrich the policy discussions. These discussions will follow four primary tracks and additionally, six thematic tracks on COVID-19, Climate, Diversity and Inclusion, Technology and Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Space.