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2023 Global YEO Summit

The year 2023 will mark 4 years of a global pandemic that has accelerated existing inequalities and deepened many of our world’s development challenges, slowing progress toward meeting the SDGs by 2030. Unemployment and underemployment, the climate crisis, and challenges to our democratic systems disproportionately affect young people’s social and economic mobility and well-being. Meaningful youth participation in the economy is increasingly challenging due to a myriad of factors that include the lack of education, training, and entrepreneurial skills required to thrive in today’s job market. Despite these challenges, young people continue to demonstrate their resilience, determination, and innovation in creating economic opportunities to realize their livelihood needs. Youth leaders, youth economic opportunity practitioners, and funders are adapting their priorities to this changing landscape and considering how to build resilient systems to better address youth economic participation challenges.

Recognizing this reality, in 2023, the Global Youth Economic Opportunities (YEO) Summit's theme is YEO Reimagined: Powering Youth-Led Action Towards 2030. This theme is focused on how the global YEO 2030 community can reimagine and build sustainable youth economic opportunities, with and for young people in the decade of action. Our learning agenda for the Summit will delve deeper into critical emerging topics, including the growing demand for green skills, digital skills and intergenerational programming; mental health; resilience; inclusion; mentorship for entrepreneurs; and private sector engagement, among others.

With the YEO 2030 initiative anchored in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, this year’s agenda will explore how our collaborative efforts with and for young people can contribute to accelerating the achievement of SDG 8 by 2030.

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Summit's Learning Agenda and Technical Tracks

The 2023 Global YEO Summit theme is supported by a strategic learning agenda and three interconnected technical tracks designed to advance learning and collaboration, elevate youth leadership and voice, and create impact for stakeholders in the youth economic opportunities sector. The Summit will also include cross-cutting topics on climate/green economy, mental health, digital economy, resilience, and youth inclusion.

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1. Ready for the Global Workforce: How do we prepare youth for transition to the workforce and for the demands of today’s rapidly transforming global economy?

In a rapidly changing global economy, the Ready for the Global Workforce track is focused on how we can adequately equip young people with the skills, resources, and tools to transition to the workforce and realize decent employment. This track will emphasize three inter-related areas that are critical to advancing youth economic opportunities in a changing world of work (1) green jobs, (2) career development, and (3) inclusive workplaces. It will also include a focus on critical cross-cutting themes, such as digital economy, mental health, and youth inclusion.

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2. Livelihoods through Self Employment: What kinds of skills, programs and policies can prepare and support young people for self-employment, or entrepreneurship, in the growing gig, informal, and creative economies? 

With the growth of the gig, informal, and creative economies, global trends indicate that more young people rely on self-employment for their livelihoods. This reality has enhanced the need for access to mentors, skills development, and youth-friendly financial products and services for young entrepreneurs to realize decent self-employment.

In 2023, we will examine the skills, programs, and policies that can prepare and support young people for self-employment or entrepreneurship in the growing gig, informal, and creative economies. The Summit track will explore this topic by delving into two broad areas: financial inclusion and entrepreneurship. The track will also discuss cross-cutting topics such as mental health, climate change/green economy, digital economy, and resilience.

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3. Global Context Matters: How will the future of youth economic opportunities be informed and shaped by systemic factors such as climate change, mental health, resilience, youth inclusion, ecosystem collaboration and policy environment?

Youth continue to be vulnerable to social, economic, health, and environmental shocks. The trends associated with a rapidly changing global economy—for example, reduction in formal wage employment—point to the inequalities in the economic opportunities space. A pertinent question is how we can support young people’s economic and social inclusion through youth programs and policies. This challenge is more acute when we consider the significant impact of cross-cutting issues such as climate change, conflict, and mental health on economic opportunity.

In 2023, the Global Context Matters track will continue to explore how youth economic opportunities will be informed and shaped by systemic factors, such as climate change, mental health, resilience, youth inclusion, ecosystem collaboration, and the policy environment. This track will place a particular focus on two topics: (1) youth affected by conflict and violence, and (2) localization. This track will also incorporate critical cross-cutting topics such as youth inclusion and mental health.


The complete 2023 Global YEO Summit Learning Agenda is now available for download!



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