Young Peacebuilders Forum 2018

 Shaping the Narrative

18-22 September | The Hague

The Young Peacebuilders Forum is a unique event which connects 55 young peacebuilders from all around the world that work on peace issues locally. The objective of the forum is to create a dynamic environment for these young peacebuilders to interact with each other and undertake informal learning that has a direct impact on their work on the ground. Coinciding with the Just Peace festival in The Hague, our fourth edition of the Forum will focus on ‘Shaping the Narrative’ to address issues of polarisation, contemporary to all societies globally, and to foster constructive public debate.

The forum is organised by the International Secretariat of UNOY Peacebuilders, based in The Hague, and will involve participants from youth-led organisations from the UNOY network. Young peacebuilders outside the network, NGOs, Dutch policymakers and other relevant stakeholders in the field of youth and peacebuilding will also be engaged in the project.


A political rhetoric of “us versus them” is surging across the world, polarising communities, replacing critical thinking with a culture of fear, inducing hate speech towards immigrants and religious minorities, and putting many societies at a risk of violence. Deconstructing this rhetoric is crucial to fostering positive peace within and in between societies, and involves a shift of discourse towards positive and inclusive social narratives. With the chilling rise of populism and polarisation globally, which dwell on divisive narratives, the theme of Shaping the Narrative for the Young Peacebuilders Forum 2018 is highly relevant.


The Young Peacebuilders Forum 2018 will bring together 60 young peace activists to:

CONNECT with each other across the globe
SHARE experiences and knowledge
LEARN about positive narrative formation in peacebuilding
ACT together to foster inclusive dialogue and peaceful co-existence

The Forum will enable participants to explore how positive social narratives play an instrumental role in reconciliation and peacebuilding, while simultaneously serving as an invaluable occasion for young peacebuilders to strengthen partnerships and expand their network.


The Forum will employ interactive and non-formal education methods to demand  increasingly active participation throughout the day, including:

  • Networking activities – Sessions focused on building ties between participants, getting to know each other’s cultures, backgrounds, fields of work and interests.
  • Thematic discussions –  Sessions that will take a closer look at issues of hate speech, inclusion of refugees and migrants,  and inter-religious dialogue.
  • Innovation lab –  Engaging participants in a short-term innovation experiment which will serve as inspiration for future collaboration.
  • Methods market – The participants will get a chance to share and learn from each other’s working methods.


This project was  supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.  Our project is also supported by the Carnegie Foundation, Museon, and the Institute of Social Studies. The Young Peacebuilders Forum 2018 would not be possible without the generous support of our donor and partners.