Stand al Festival 2.JPGA few days have passed since the Youth Festival 2017 in Gaeta ended. The numbers of success are crystal clear: 4 days, 16,000 people, 189 events and 120 high schools from all parts of Italy participating, with an increase of 60% compared to the past edition.

The Millennials left their mark again. From the “feelings’ laboratory” to the ones about innovation, from debates about orientation to university to those – incredibly crowded – about legality, hazing, the labour market and the role of social networks. Many themes and reflections livened up the show, many ideas circulated and saw as main actors boys and girls between 16 and 19 with a lot to say and dream of.

In the 189 events that characterised the initiative, youngsters had their say, giving a solid contribution to a generation that wants to reply to the “future” emergency with ideas and energy. Many guests from the education and research sectors confronted with the Millennials: the Rector of LUISS Paola Severino, the scientist Ilaria Capua, the Director of the Centre for Studies on Terrorism of LUISS Alessandro Orsini. Many topics were touched, from immigration to politics, to innovation, to research, to gender parity, to Europe, to sustainable economy, to work in the times of social networks.

It was a “Festival of listening”, as defined by the inventor and responsible of the festival Fulvia Guazzone, CEO and Founder of Strategica Community, the author society of the main communication formats for youth.

A festival in which the simple future (orientation, the choice of a life path, a journey towards a job and the creation of the job itself) met the remote future, that is, the world ahead, the society we will be able to create with our small individual and collective actions. These young people live with a glance at both these futures and need the possibilities to build them.

Nowadays, everybody speaks of youth and to youth, but who listens to them really? The first edition of the Festival laid on this ground and had a great success. The target for this year was to “leave a mark”, to let a generation speak about themselves. This generation does not recognise in the common definitions of a society that is often too far, that wants to share thoughts and proposals, expressing their talent freely. The Youth Festival is a date to become tradition. Youngsters today want a place in which to understand and be understood, focusing not just their interests and passions, but also their hidden potential, to build their own future, being aware that polluting with ideas, thoughts and projects is always a mean for being personally enriched.

We are called to listen to these ideas and projects, to indulge on the directions that these young people want to walk in to find their right place in the world.

This is a challenge for them, but even more for us, who are the adults that seldom want to listen to their cry for possibilities, opportunities and leverages to jump courageously into their future.