The UNICEF Youth Foresight Fellowship
Empowering tomorrow's leaders to forge a better future for every child
At UNICEF, we place immense value on the transformative power of young minds, recognizing their unique ability to shape the future through their innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. It is with that in mind that we launched the UNICEF Youth Foresight Fellowship (UYFF), an intensive, year-long program designed to foster and harness the talents of young visionaries aged 15-25 from around the world.
This year’s fellows hail from Algeria, the Comoros, Egypt, Ghana, Maldives, Mali, Myanmar, Türkiye, Pakistan, the UK and the USA.
An immersive learning experience
Over the course of 12 months, fellows will hone their foresight skills and have the opportunity to contribute to pioneering research and advocacy projects. The Fellowship program provides the necessary resources, training and support for these young individuals to make a significant impact on UNICEF’s work.
UYFF embraces a meaningful youth engagement approach, meeting young people where they are and giving youth both the support and the space to steer the programme. This is a chance for young people to collaborate with UNICEF, as well as global peers and stakeholders, advocating for issues that are close to their hearts while enhancing their anticipatory capacity, leadership and communication capabilities within a diverse and dynamic network.
Shaping tomorrow, today
UNICEF holds a firm belief in the power and potential of young people. UYFF embodies this conviction, enabling young people to contribute to the anticipation of and response to future challenges. Meaningfully engaging youth in foresight research can help UNICEF access fresh perspectives and insights, becoming more responsive and adaptive to changes in the external environment that could greatly impact present and future generations, and making significant strides towards enhancing anticipatory governance, as well as achieving a more equitable future for children and youth worldwide.
Building on strong foundations
In 2022, with funding from the Government of Finland through UN Global Pulse, UNICEF Innocenti launched a six-month fellowship program that enabled nine young foresight practitioners to contribute to global UNICEF research. The fellows organized a two-day virtual workshop, engaging 70 young people around the world, UNICEF staff and partners to capture insights using foresight methods and tools that informed the Global Outlook: Prospects for Children and Youth in the Polycrisis report. The fellows then created and launched their own product and campaign titled Our Future Pledge: An Agenda for Futures by Youth that summarized key lessons, shared their lived experience as foresight practitioners, and provided a toolkit for any young person to practice foresight and an advocacy agenda to promote youth foresight globally.
These are just some of the fellows’ many accomplishments while working closely with UNICEF for 26 weeks. Read about their experience in Ricardo Pineda’s blog.
Deepening our engagement
In 2023, our new wave of fellows will benefit from the mentorship of three Senior Fellows – successful participants from the inaugural cohort. These experienced young foresight practitioners will offer valuable insight and guidance to both fellows and UNICEF throughout the year-long Fellowship, supporting programme design, fellow recruitment, training design and facilitation, and advocacy efforts. This is part of our commitment to sustaining and deepening our engagement with young people we work with.
We are thrilled to welcome this new wave of young leaders who will play a part in shaping the future with UNICEF. UYFF is more than a program – it's a catalyst for change, transforming foresight into action for children and youth around the world.
This is a community effort, and we are humbled and inspired by the energy, creativity, and commitment of our incredible youth network. Let's continue to harness this power, fostering a network that is truly global and inclusive, always growing and innovating. Together, we will create a brighter future for all children and young people.
If you want to learn more about this work and opportunities to engage with UNICEF’s Youth Engagement and Strategy work in Research, Foresight and Convening, sign up to the Innocenti Youth Network.