The 2020 Rome MED Dialogues saw the second edition of the Youth Forum Contest in September 2020, which focused on ideas and projects that provided innovative and creative responses to the crises instigated by the Covid-19 pandemic within the Mediterranean region. This year, building on the lessons learned from past editions, the Youth Forum Contest will take on an entirely new format to provide the region’s youth with an opportunity to grow alongside the development of their ideas.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated and shed light on pre-existing inequalities, many of which primarily affect younger populations. The future of the region’s youth is certainly one that is green, sustainable, and inclusive. As such, starting this year, the Youth Forum Contest’s new format and scope will aim to follow in the footsteps of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all through the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This year’s edition will run from the end of March up to the Rome MED Dialogues in December. The call for projects will be open between March 30th and May 31st. The thematic focus for the contest will be “Green and sustainable solutions for the future”. Our planet is facing profound challenges that pose dire consequences to its population, especially to those already made vulnerable by our society’s structural inequalities. With the intention of exemplifying the objectives set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, submitted projects should fall under these three SDGs:
ISPI will make the initial cut of the top 15 projects by mid-June. Following the selection, the 15 candidates will undergo training and vocational guidance opportunities from mid-June to mid-October. From a course in Project Development provided by the ISPI School, to learning from the experience of professionals in the field through events, conferences, and workshops, this year’s contestants will be able to learn and grow as entrepreneurs together with their project ideas.
At the end of this period of coaching and constructive feedback, contestants will apply the lessons learned to their projects and re-submit them to the jury of experts by the end of October. The jury will then select the 8 most interesting projects proposals that will be presented during the Youth Forum at the 2021 Rome MED Dialogues, between December 2nd to the 4th. During the Forum, the contestants will be invited to present their final project proposals. The jury, as well as the audience will then be able to vote on their favourite project. The top two projects will receive cash-prizes to help finance the implementation and development of their projects. The winners will also be able to present the evolution of their projects for the following year through the Youth Forum’s website and social, as well as present their progress at the following year’s conference.
How to apply
Deadline for applications is May 31st, 2021.
Who can apply? Contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 35, must come from North Africa or the Middle East (those applying from European countries must be in a partnership with those from MENA countries), and must possess an excellent command of English (the conference’s working language will be English).
To apply to the initial selection, the contestants will be asked to provide the following:
1. A short letter of motivation (explaining why they wish to participate in the MED2021 Youth Forum Contest, no longer than 200 words, in pdf format)
2. A complete description of their project (using the attached PowerPoint format, saved in pdf).
3. An updated CV (in pdf format)
 Morocco; Algeria; Tunisia; Libya; Egypt.
 Turkey; Lebanon; Syria; Israel; Palestinian Territories; Jordan; Iraq; Kuwait; Saudi Arabia; Yemen; Oman; Bahrain; Qatar; UAE; Iran.
2021 Youth Forum Contest Timeline
March 30 to May 31
Training & Mentoring
June 15 to October 15
Revised Project Submission
Rome MED Conference
December 2 to 4