The world’s most violent conflicts are being fought within its most youthful populations. In the five countries that suffered nearly 80 percent of recent deaths from violent extremism, half of all people were younger than 22. The youth in these countries are also some of their communities’ most effective peacebuilders and best hopes for breaking cycles of violence. What does it take for these young leaders to overcome crisis, conflict, and displacement? Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on December 12 for a streamed forum with thought leader and youth leader participants from USIP’s Youth Leaders’ Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama as they share their expertise, discuss what it takes to build inner resilience and, crucially, examine how to strategically apply it to peacebuilding.

In the third year of the Exchange, USIP’s Generation Change program brought 27 youth leaders from 12 countries to Dharamsala, India, where they enhanced their peacebuilding skills through trainings in conflict management, leadership, and prejudice awareness and reduction. They engaged His Holiness the Dalai Lama on issues ranging from cultivating inner peace, building bridges across social divides, human rights and the refugee crisis, and youth leadership. By the end of the program, the participants had learned from and inspired each other, and returned home ready to redouble their efforts to reduce violence in their communities.

This panel discussion took place at the Radio Free Asia studio in Dharamsala with participation of a live studio audience of youth leaders from around the world. The USIP Youth Leaders’ Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama is made possible in part by support from GHR Foundation, which shares USIP’s belief in the critical importance of engaging youth as leaders. Please join us online for this conversation on leadership, resilience, and peacebuilding. Take part in the discussion on Twitter with #USIPYouthExchange.


Wadi Ben-Hirki
Founder, Wadi Ben-Hriki Foundation (Nigeria)

Jimmie Briggs
Executive Director, Leave Out Violence-U.S., (U.S.)

Meron Kocho
Member of Council, MESPO-Iraq (Iraq)

Maya Soetoro-Ng
Advisor, Obama Foundation (U.S.)

Gregg Zoroya
Editorial Writer, USA Today (U.S)

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