“In our young people lie the seeds of creativity and the growth of unfettered ideas with the prospect of hope for a better tomorrow“. C. J. Alexander
It is a well known fact that education is the key to long term socio-economic development, geo-political stability and regional security. In the Balkans, the most reasonable prospect for (a) mitigating the consequences of regional conflicts, (b) encouraging inter-state cooperation; and (c) developing business models that reduce corruption and focus on globally competitive capital, business and labour markets, rests with motivating and educating young people who are best-positioned to guide the reforms that can lead to sustainable economic growth, regional cooperation and stability.
With this in mind, the Balkan Economic Forum is currently developing the framework for the Youth Programme in cooperation with Balkan institutions of higher learning. This programme is being designed to involve students and academicians in the fields of economics, business management, information technology, engineering, law and international affairs at leading Balkan universities.
In November 2015, the Balkan Economic Forum launched its Youth Programme as we hosted 22 meritorious students from 5 Balkan universities at our first annual conference that featured the following thematic sessions: Balkan energy strategies, private sector investment, economic development and the regional banking industry. By involving well prepared young individuals in fundamental economic development discussions and events, a sense of responsibility and awareness of developmental challenges become imbued in tomorrow’s policy makers.