In elections held between 2015 and 2019 the lowest attendance rates could be observed for the youngest voters. At the same time, according to the ‘Youths in Central Europe 2020: Poland’ report, the attachment to democratic system has been declining among youths (by as much as 18 percentage points since 2018). On the other hand, in 2020 we noticed an increase in the level of involvement among young people – their turnover during elections was higher than among the eldest population, young people also participated in demonstrations not only in the largest cities but also in smaller locations. Nevertheless, according to the 2011 Centrum Badania Opinii Społecznej study, youths tend to radicalise – their opinions on the nation, community, religion or women’s rights are getting more polarised.
We would like to take advantage of the emerging activist potential among young people by supporting them in maintaining dialogue despite differences. We will establish a New Leadership Academy within which we will run a cycle of training sessions devoted to communication, dialogue methods, coping with hate speech and best leadership principles. 45 participants will then have an opportunity to utilise the acquired knowledge in practice by organising debates and dialogue sessions on topics they find most relevant. We will also organise a series of meetings for adults working with youths on how to support them and build intragenerational understanding. We will also set up a website featuring training materials, expert articles, and examples of meeting agendas.