Vatican Youth Symposium 2018


Youth Leadership for Integral Human Development - Laudato Si’ and the Sustainable Development Goals

On October 31, 2018, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth, will host the Vatican Youth Symposium at the Casina Pio IV in Vatican City.

This conference brings together more than 50 young leaders, from over 30 countries and a variety of disciplines, to co-generate solutions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Youth leaders have an important role to play in instilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement, and Laudato Si’ among the new generation worldwide. The Vatican Youth Symposium is a forum to strengthen global youth movements for sustainable development. Attendees come together to learn from both experts and each other in sessions covering topics such as advocacy, leadership, entrepreneurship, and moral engagement to fortify global youth movements for sustainable development.

The Vatican Youth Symposium will be opened by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the SDGs and the Director of SDSN, and Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. His Holiness Pope Francis has also been invited to attend.

Young people are not only the future guardians of our planet but also talented, passionate agents for transformative change in our economies and communities, as well as the way we protect natural ecosystems. Sadly, many are unable to reach their full potential due to a lack of resources which especially hinders the ability of innovative young people to support the SDGs and their respective targets.

The 2018 Symposium addresses such challenges by training young leaders in global development, specifically, young innovators, entrepreneurs, and activists who will become champions for their causes and catalyze social movements around the biggest issues of our time. With the support of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and SDSN, leaders from civil society, faith communities, businesses, and academia, will facilitate sessions offering their guidance and partnership with the youth leaders. Representatives from organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, Omni Institute, Global Citizen, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, among others, will provide valuable dialogue and discussions with youth leaders on practices and lessons they can utilize to mobilize on SDG projects.

The Vatican Youth Symposium represents a powerful platform where young leaders, critical agents of change, will channel their capacities toward the creation of a better world. Throughout this event, young people will collaborate on concrete actions plans to implement solutions for the 2030 Agenda at both national and regional levels. Together, participants will build a wider understanding of the challenges various organizations and groups face and how youth can build on the lessons shared to continue to progressively mobilize on their own SDG projects and movements in their respective countries and networks.

SDG solutions discussed and generated at the Vatican Symposium will be wide-ranging and multifaceted given the interconnected nature of the 17 SDGs. The Symposium will have a special focus on raising global awareness for SDGs, education and expertise for SDGs, entrepreneurship and innovation for SDGs, and Philanthropy and Financing for SDGs. The Symposium will provide a space for young leaders to share experiences, success stories and best practices in order to empower participants to commit to concrete solutions and deliver meaningful change in their local communities.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was launched at UN Headquarters in September 2015 and adopted by 193 member countries of the UN. The SDGs, which are relevant to all countries, aim to achieve social inclusion, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

The Vatican Youth Symposium was made possible by the generosity and support of Dr Betsee Parker.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences Founded in Rome on 17 August 1603, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ mission is to honour pure science, ensure its freedom and encourage research. It is the only supranational academy of sciences in the world. Its headquarters are in the Casina Pio IV, within the Vatican Gardens. The aims and objectives of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences include: promoting the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences, as well as its epistemological studies; recognizing excellence in science; stimulating an interdisciplinary approach to scientific knowledge; encouraging international interaction; furthering participation in the benefits of science and technology by the greatest number of people and peoples; promoting education and the public’s understanding of science; ensuring that science works to advance of the human and moral dimension of man; achieving a role for science which involves the promotion of justice, development, solidarity, peace and fostering the interaction between faith and reason, encouraging the dialogue between science and spiritual, cultural, philosophical and religious values; providing authoritative advice on scientific and technological matters; cooperating with members of other Academies in a friendly spirit to promote such objectives.

SDSN Youth In 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. In 2015, the SDSN launched its official youth division (SDSN Youth) to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth aims to amplify the youth ́s unparalleled energy and capacities for generating a wide support in the implementations of the SDGs. The organization mobilizes the necessary resources and capacity building to empower youth ́s action.

Media enquiries: For accreditation please contact the Vatican Press Office at

All journalists and media organizations wishing to apply for accreditation may request TEMPORARY accreditation through the online form of the Media Operations Section of the Holy See Press Office website.

Journalists and media organizations regularly accredited at the Holy See Press Office may send their request through the usual channels. All requests must be sent no less than 48 hours before the event.