Young people from across Europe mentoring decision-makers this spring

22.3.2022 11.12Updated: 22.3.2022 13.10

As part of the Eurocities Annual Conference in June, Espoo is coordinating the Future Mentors programme, which aims to raise the voice of young people in the debate on the sustainable future of cities.

The City of Espoo is coordinating the Future Mentors programme for young people aged 18–25 and city decision-makers, where young people get to mentor their own city leaders in small groups. The programme will also be part of the European year of Youth.

The programme involves young people mentoring leaders and decision-makers of various large and medium-sized European cities. During the spring, the young mentors will meet with the leaders of their cities and also gain peer support from one another. The aim of the Future Mentors programme is to raise the voice of young people in issues related to sustainable development.

“Through this reversed mentoring process, we wanted to give young people the opportunity to share their dreams, hopes and fears about the future of their city. The decisions that are currently being made will have a far-reaching impact on the future, and these young people will be the ones to live it. We hope that with this programme, the decision-makers will have the courage to fully engage in a dialogue and make room for new ways of thinking,” says Marianne Julkunen, Partnership Coordinator.

The Future Mentors programme was launched on 25 January, and it will culminate in the Eurocities Annual Conference to be held in June in Espoo, which the young mentors have the chance to attend together with the delegation from their city.

“We hope that the Future Mentors programme will promote the involvement of young people in the decision-making of cities and at European level. It is also our hope that the involvement of young people will become a part of the Eurocities city network operations,” says Milla Ovaska, Head of International Affairs.

The annual conference in June will discuss the future of cities

During the Eurocities Annual Conference, to be held 8–10 June 2022 in Dipoli, Otaniemi, hundreds of decision-makers from 200 large and medium-sized European member cities will be representing their cities in Espoo, together with a significant number of EU decision-makers and officials.

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘An era of new beginnings’, is further divided into three categories, ‘Dream’, ‘Act’ and ‘Lead’, each of which will help highlight the involvement of young people, co-creation and urban leadership in the fight against climate change.

“This year, we are also celebrating Espoo’s 50th anniversary as a city, and together with our key partners, we will be showing our guests the best that Espoo has to offer. Hosting the annual conference also brings a boost to Espoo’s business life,” says Mervi Heinaro, Vitality Director.

For Espoo, Eurocities is the most important European city network. Eurocities supervises EU’s interests, produces information on EU funding applications and legislation and acts as a peer learning platform for its member cities.

  • Espoo50
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