Global Youth Rising (GYR)

Global Youth Rising (GYR) is an International Youth Forum bringing together young activists and peacebuilders from around the world to learn, share and co-create exciting new projects through workshops, discussions and open spaces. The first GYR was held in 2016 in a stunning location in the Romanian countryside and brought almost 70 young change-makers from around the globe and was a join project in conjunction with several partners.


The aims of Global Youth Rising 2016 were:
  • To increase youth activists and peacebuilders’ knowledge, skills and empowerment in the fields of conflict transformation, peacebuilding, activism and social justice, which will ultimately benefit individuals and their organizations and communities
  • To create a powerful and inspiring forum where youth activists, organisations and movements from a variety of backgrounds can share and exchange ideas and experiences linked to their work in the field, including specific examples from their organisations
  • To enable individuals from organisations with similar goals (peace, social justice, environmental protection) to collaborate and create partnerships in order to strengthen their causes and the work on their organisations with the wider vision of creating a global peace movement
  • To support the development of a global movement of citizens and a united campaign to bring about an end to the wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen
  • To create a forum for sharing, cooperation and exchange between participants from different backgrounds and to create collaborative movements between organizations worldwide
  • The development of a strong social, organizational and field-based platform to continue the sharing and development of ideas and relationships beyond the physical gathering.

Participants & Target group

GYR 2017 was aimed at youth around the world: actively involved in organisations, social movements, civic initiatives and activities for peacebuilding, social justice, human rights and working to address conflict issues and dynamics in our communities, countries and internationally; working to address and overcome violent extremism both in communities and from states and governments; who want to deepen real, practical skills in peacebuilding and working with conflict; working to transform and overcome militarism and war or violent conflict in our communities and internationally.


Global Youth Rising consisted of several workshops, both core and optional. Workshops were delivered by PATRIR and external trainers from partner organisations, and covered topics such as Designing Peacebuilding Programs, creating activist videos and campaigns, peace journalism, peace education, countering violent extremism, and inner peace and resilience.

Evening activities included “TED” style talks from participants, where they shared information about their work; an evening of “Sharing our Stories”, where Jo Berry, Bjorn Ihler and Asma Khalifa shared their experiences; film nights with screenings of The Trials of Spring and In Pursuit of Peace; music and cultural sharing evenings; a Living Library; and an Open Mic night where participants were able to showcase their talents.

In addition to workshops, the first day consisted of introductions, setting intentions and goals, and the creation of reflection groups. Reflection groups met every other day to discuss topics covered, feelings, questions etc. In addition, morning briefings were introduced upon request for participants to air their concerns and feelings. During the latter part of the Forum, space was created for participants to create action groups, designing plans to work toward goals related to their areas of concern – e.g. peace education, peace journalism. Meditation and yoga were also offered in the mornings and evenings and there was a day trip offered to nearby attractions.

Results & Outputs

During the last two days of the forum, Open Spaces were created for participants to propose projects and work on them together with others who were interested. Several ideas were generated from this and working groups were set up online so that participants could continue to work on them after the Forum.

During GYR, a number of participants learnt and filmed choreography for Break the Chain, the dance for One Billion Rising. Additionally, participants took part in a solidarity video for Black Lives Matter.

A newsletter team was set up, and monthly newsletters are now being sent to GYR alumni and other interested parties detailing what participants are now doing. The first newsletter was released in August, with the intention being to release them monthly.

The Global Youth Rising Team

Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen
DPO Director and Trainer

Andra Tanase
Research and Senior Trainer

Gwyneth Hamann
Lead Coordinator

Sabin Mureșan
Associated Trainer

Benedikt Hielscher
Project Coordinator

Ilona Traista
Project Coordinator

Claudia Ilinca Toderean
Project Coordinator

Sonia Dragos
Project Coordinator

Bianca Ionel
Project Assistant

If you want to know more, please write an email to: [email protected].