Global Opportunity Youth

Tackling the Global Crisis of Youth Unemployment

The Forum for Community Solutions, with support from Prudential Financial, and in partnership with YouthBuild International and Global Development Incubator, is responding to the global crisis of youth unemployment with a galvanizing call-to-action in partnership with communities across the globe to accelerate economic prospects for opportunity youth.

In addition to the design partners, the initiative has been informed by dozens of expert interviews and thought partners whose collective input was captured in the report “A Global Opportunity: Get Youth Working.” Read the report here.

Information about the inaugural Global Opportunity Youth convening that was held from December 3-8 in Philadelphia can be found here.

Read another blog about the initiative that appeared on the Grads of Life, Forbes site.

The Global Opportunity Youth Initiative (GOYI) has three pillars:  

Mobilizing place-based collaboratives – Upon identifying emerging market communities with the greatest potential and need, GOYI brings together that community’s key decision-makers and youth leaders to form the collaborative that will develop a shared blueprint of interventions, incentives, policies, approaches, and partners to reach specific youth employment targets.

Accelerating funding through targeted grants – GOYI raises philanthropic funds at the global level and directs those funds to local communities that are driving their own vibrant and lasting solutions to youth unemployment. Communities leverage funding from GOYI to “crowd in” local private and government resources.

Amplifying youth voice at the center of change – Throughout every step of the process, GOYI ensures youth have a seat at the table in driving solutions in their communities.

“There is now an opportunity for the sector to evolve from a perennial focus on finding the next ‘silver bullet’ single model, innovation, or organization. Instead, community leaders will work collaboratively to identify systemic approaches that draw on the best elements of different youth interventions most relevant to their local economy.” - Jamie McAuliffe, Senior Fellow, Aspen Forum for Community Solutions

The Global Opportunity Youth Initiative (GOYI) was formally announced on September 26, 2018. Read the blog about the announcement here.

GOYI aims to launch coalitions in five communities located in regions around the world with particularly high youth unemployment. Currently, GOYI is exploring the opportunity in communities in Kenya, South Africa, Colombia, and India through workshops and site visits. Once sites are selected, community-based coalitions of government, business, education, nonprofit, and youth community leaders will identify system-change strategies that can dramatically increase jobs and livelihoods for youth in that locale. Selected communities will leverage funding from GOYI to attract local, private, and government resources. In parallel, the initiative will spearhead a global campaign to raise awareness of effective models to spur youth economic opportunity, support a youth-led agenda through a global campaign, and galvanize new commitments from corporate and government partners. Selection criteria are being developed and communities will be confirmed during the first year of the initiative.

Depending on the highest priority needs and opportunities, local strategies could address skill gaps that are limiting business growth, identify additional ways to stimulate entrepreneurial activity for youth livelihoods, or focus on a more integrated approach that addresses gaps in the education to employment pipeline while also growing demand for jobs through enterprise investment in labor-intensive sectors.


To learn more, please contact Jamie McAuliffe, Senior Fellow at Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions via email at: or phone: 917-282-9353.