South Asian Youth Conference at IIM Bangalore

1st South Asian Youth Conference

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

May 23-28, 2011

Bangalore– The Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore), recently played host to the first of a series of youth conferences working towards a more peaceful and productive South Asia. On Saturday, May 28th 2011, around a 100 young leaders from the South Asian Youth Conference, 2011 signed the Action Based Change Declaration (ABCD). The Declaration is one that envisions a more peaceful future and is a pact that binds the delegates to working towards this future through tangible action plans.


The theme of the Conference was Peace: Within, With Others and with the Environment. The ABCD has been structured with this in mind, whereby the section on Peace With the Environment will also double up as the Statement to be tabled at the Road to Rio Conferences organized by Peace Child International, on behalf of the youth of South Asia.


Over the course of 5 days and numerous plenaries, workshops, formal and informal debates, and Round Table discussions, participants came together and exchanged ideas, points of view, and their phone numbers, resulting in a strong network of aware youth who want to make a difference.


The hectic Program Design supplied the space for the incubation of views, and their clarification. All participants were divided into smaller groups or “Families” where debates were goaded and Action Plans decided on. As the numbers were more manageable, the debates were more fruitful. “Family Time” therefore was the field from where the Declaration was reaped.


Ranjan Mallik of Erehwon, played a massive role in the formulation of the Declaration through the introduction of creatively innovative ways of catching thoughts, and his own infectious manner.


The Conference rode on some stellar speakers ranging from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to Professor Sastry of IIM-B, and panelists like Syed Sultan, Chandrika Bahadur, and Abhishek Shah.


With Speed-Networking and VIBGYOR (the SAYC cultural fest) as the lighter side of the Conference, the participants altogether had an appetizing mix of the serious and the entertaining. Topped off with a short trip to the Electronic Campus, hosted by Infosys, the Conference retained the balance of enterprise within the social.

The biggest disappointment however is still with the difficulty in procuring Visas for some of the participants. Nonetheless, through the SAYC Forum and bits of the Conference that were aired live, it is hoped that the dissemination of information and discussion will be extensive.


The vision of the conference was to involve the most eminent social workers, thought leaders and government officials towards working with youth. In this respect, the Conference lived up to its vision.

The 100 odd participants with tremendous potential as future change-makers, and leaders of tomorrow have now formed a collective of inclusive, mutually respecting individuals.


Co-hosted by the Blue Ribbon Movement and Peace Child International, the Conference was held in the context of the UN’s International Year of Youth and the Global Mobilization of Youth for the 20th Anniversary Rio Earth Summit (Rio+20). Drawing potential change-makers from across the SAARC Region, the SAYC Conference was the main Asia regional meeting for youth in the preparatory process for Rio+20.


Apart from planning for the next SAYC, the hope is that India and Pakistan can host the next World Youth Congress, in 2014.


The Blue Ribbon Movement is a youth movement with “Together We Are Stronger” as the cornerstone of its philosophy. The goal of the Blue Ribbon Movement is to have the best brains engaged in solving society’s biggest problems.


Peace Child International is registered in the UK as an educational charity and organizes the World Youth Congress series. Peace Child’s mission is to empower young people to be the change they want to see in the world.



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Bhagirathi Raman




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