The Young Open Society: unconventional, creative and active

Strengthening right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, populism and the attacks on our liberal democracy are putting increasing pressure on our open society. But democracy and freedom only exist when enough people are willing to stand up for them. The Open Society is a non-partisan and independent initiative that promotes political community. The initiative, co-founded by adelphi Managing Director Alexander Carius in December 2015, brings democratic forces together in a powerful civil society movement.

It is about a change from being against something, to being for something. However, young people often miss out on opportunities for social and political engagement and participation. This is the starting point for the Young Open Society. The action-based strategy of the Open Society initiative is consistently focused on the target group of young people through preventive pedagogical and participatory work. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth under the “Demokratie leben!” programme.

The Young Open Society is a platform by and for young people. Nationwide events are intended to give young people the opportunity to discuss their ideas of an open society – to discuss its conditions, advantages and opportunities. Young people, even those beyond the already-engaged groups, are reached by innovative and experimental offers and integrated into the broad social policy dialogue. In addition to the economic, cultural, media and science forums, which are to be held from summer onwards, participatory youth dialogues with sports clubs, shooting clubs, youth associations and the youth organisations of the welfare and umbrella organisations are planned.

Through young regional ambassadors who represent the open society via actions and debates in their regions and social environments, an intelligently linked, strong counterbalance to anti-plural currents is to be created. The aim of the project is to activate young people with little or no current political engagement, to promote democratic forces, especially in rural areas, and to defend and strengthen the open society.

adelphi is one of the initiators and promoters of the Open Society initiative and supports it through conceptual advising, accompanying media and public relations work, and campaigning.