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Consumers International launches Next Generation Leaders Network for International Youth Day 2020

12 August 2020

This International Youth Day, we are delighted to launch the Consumers International Next Generation Leaders Network to recognise, develop and support youth voices from across our global membership.

The network will give youth voices within the consumer movement a platform to share ideas, insight and inspiration. Not only will they build on their skills as part of their wider professional development, but they will connect with other future leaders from around the globe to help shape action on a range of consumer issues, from sustainable consumption and digital privacy to fairer food systems and product safety.

“Young leaders around the world go into consumer advocacy because they believe we must – and can – build a safe, fair and sustainable marketplace for everyone and honour consumer rights for a stronger economy. On International Youth Day, we are excited to welcome the first next generation cohort of leaders in consumer advocacy and provide a global network, international perspective and support to help each achieve their vision." 

Helena Leurent, Director General, Consumers International

This Year’s Theme – “Youth Engagement for Global Action”

The UN theme for International Youth Day 2020 is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, seeking to encourage the participation of youth in national and multilateral institutions and processes by highlighting the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels has had meaningful and impactful change on pressing global issues.

How you can get involved: Support the #InternationalYouthDay campaign on social media and use the hashtags #YouthDay, #Youth4GlobalAction, and #SDG16 to help spread the word and strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action.


Consumer advocacy can help get the world on track with and for the next generation

By Amber Marshall, Consumers International Project Lead for the Next Generation Leaders Network


Today, there are 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. This brings great potential for economic and social progress, yet less than half of the world’s youth are participating in the labour force and 142 million youth of upper secondary age are out of school. Their engagement in solutions to combat challenges to sustainable development, including increasing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, unemployment, migration and climate change is crucial.

Young people need to feel enabled and empowered to become the future innovators, thinkers and problem-solvers of tomorrow. Consumer advocacy can help equip them with the skills and knowledge to achieve this. Consumers have enormous power through their individual actions and by influencing their peers – individuals who are aware of their consumer rights can seek redress for their grievances and raise awareness on a local, national and global level, resulting in long-lasting change.

“A consumer who knows their consumer rights is an asset to the economy. Youths are a vibrant and dynamic consumer group who have major influence in the marketplace. They are also a dominant population group in many countries – their consumption habits and ability to influence larger household decisions make them a key target for marketing strategies. Youths play a crucial role by being vigilant in the marketplace and spreading consumer awareness. This will create a marketplace which is informed, safe and fair.”

Pranil Narain, Consumer Council of Fiji

Young people have proved that they are the campaigners of the future and over the last few years have demonstrated that when they come together to make a change, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with. As the world undergoes an evolution [transformation to digital and increasing globalisation], and as debates about who the ‘modern consumer’ is inevitably develop, it is vital that young people are engaged and feel able to shape the consumer experience of their future.”

Genevieve Lloyd, Which? (UK)

Meet the Network:

Our new network brings together 25 young and innovative consumer advocates between the ages of 18 and 30, representing 25 of our members across 21 countries globally. We are proud that nearly 2/3 are women, many of whom are leading the way in the consumer movement. These future leaders bring together a diversity of skills, from a broad range of professional and educational backgrounds including law, public policy, agriculture and medical biology. They also have diverse consumer advocacy interests, from sustainable consumption and access to food and healthcare, to financial services, consumer law and product safety. They will benefit greatly from sharing their unique ideas and insight about the experiences and challenges of consumers within both their own sector and community, learning from and inspiring one another and providing an opportunity for collaborative solutions to global consumer issues.