Youth Futures

This programme aims to examine the contributions of young people to the UN’s 2030 Agenda, bringing a youth lens to the global sustainable development challenges.
Start date
21 months
Programme status

Funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (through the Global Challenges Research Fund).

Around half of all young people in the world are unemployed or underemployed, and this situation is likely to get worse. The World Bank estimates that one billion young people will enter the labour market in the next 10 years, with only 400 million of them likely to find jobs in the formal economy. The potential demographic dividend of boosted economic growth from the growing youth population remains high, yet the way to achieve it is unclear because of contextual specificities, young people’s own desires and policy deficits. Nine tenths of today’s 1.8 billion young people live in developing countries, experiencing precarious forms of livelihood associated with low pay and few worker rights, especially among women and those with low educational attainment. This reality of getting by through various ways of working, involving self-initiative and paid work, requires better understanding in order to formulate policy directions beyond the traditional binaries of supply and demand, formal and informal, self-employment, employment and unemployment, and paid and unpaid work.

The projects funded under this programme support research which brings a much-needed youth-led perspective on the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. They involve genuine interdisciplinarity, collaborative work that extends beyond the standard research model, and policy thinking based on close understanding of, and working with, young people at various stages of ‘getting by’.

For more details about the programme and the eligibility requirements, please see the scheme notes.

Contact details

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 020 7969 5220


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