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Young people have more faith in algorithms than politicians

Geneva – Young people hold more faith in governance by robots than humans and view corruption, climate change and stale political leadership as the most urgent risks.

More than two million young people participated in a virtual event aimed at recovering better, coming out of the covid pandemic. They shared their views on what will become the next normal for society, government and business.

They called for a global wealth tax to protect social safety nets and ambitious plans to digitally connect the world by 2025.

To mark International Youth Day, the World Economic Forum’s online event launched the world’s most geographically diverse post-covid youth-driven recovery plan.

The plan calls for stricter environmental policies, financial safeguards, increased access to technology and investment in programmes to support more young people getting into politics.

Young people ran surveys and workshops in 150 cities and over 180 countries. They engaged more than two million people and generated 40 policy recommendations to end intergenerational inequity.

The idea that the world needs to rebuild differently after the global health crisis was widely shared.

They want a society, economy and international community designed to care for all people, especially youth, who are the most important and most affected part of the global future.

Young people want to see a halt on all new coal, oil and gas exploration and development to limit global warming to the 1.5°C limit set out in the Paris Agreement.

They called on financial institutions to avoid bankrolling or underwriting companies that seek to start new fossil-fuel exploration and development, and on firms to actively replace corporate board directors who are unwilling to wind down fossil fuels or transition to green energy sources.

They are extremely worried about their financial future. They want to see a global wealth tax on assets worth more than $50 million to safeguard social safety nets and avoid austerity measures that disproportionately burden youth and the working poor.

Almost half of the young people surveyed said they feel inadequately skilled and close to a quarter said they would risk falling into debt if faced with an unexpected medical expense.

Young people champion an open internet but are concerned about misuse. Half of the world’s population still lacks access to the web and many contend with internet blackouts.

A $US2 trillion digital access plan is recommended to close the gap, especially in a socially distancing world that increasingly relies on virtual interactions.

Young people believe we have a serious crisis in politics. They believe that the fractures that have come to bear in society are manifestations of an underlying political problem.

Concerns about corruption and stale political leadership have become urgent priorities for young people if they are to keep faith in the political system. The survey found that young people would be more likely to trust a system run by artificial intelligence than humans.

To fix the problem, they are calling for greater investment in programmes that help young progressive voices join government and become influential policy-makers.

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