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  • INTO Youth (Weekly blog, 25 March 2018)

    Posted on March 25, 2018
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    Youth engagement

    This week, I had a great conversation with Anika Molesworth about ‘INTO Youth’.  Engaging more young people in INTO’s work was a suggestion from our last international conference.  So since Bali, we’ve been looking at different ways to achieve this.

    This weekend has shown us – if we needed showing – how well young people know themselves, what they want and how they intend to accomplish that.   They are smart, courageous, organised, eloquent and engaged.

    There are of course huge differences between heritage and environmental protection and gun control.  But whether they are calling out politicians in any of these spheres, it’s the refusal to stand for inaction that these young people share and which is so inspiring.

    We want to mobilise that spirit within our network and believe that ‘INTO Youth’ can be part of that.


    Anika and other delegates from Bali outlined different suggestions for ‘INTO Youth’ to the INTO Board.   The idea was to create something like a Regional Group, but for young people, that would:

    • increase the level of awareness of young people on what is heritage and issues of conservation
    • develop a network of highly motivated and engaged young people who value heritage
    • provide young people with professional and personal development experiences through hands-on practical work
    • communicate the risks and impacts on heritage (e.g. climate change, public disengagement, poor organisational planning, insufficient funding, threats from violent conflicts)
    • build and strengthen relationships with strategic partners (e.g. heritage organisations and Trusts, universities, schools)
    • influence private sector and government policy to increase investment in heritage conservation
    • provide a platform for young people to express what their concerns and interests are.

    The Board unsurprisingly thought that this was all excellent stuff.  However, they recommended incorporating these suggestions into our core activity rather than creating a satellite grouping.    They were also keen to build on our existing activities and thinking. Such as our Working Holidays Programme, now expanded to include camps in Italy specifically aimed at young people.   Or our Encourage African Youth project.   Hence my conversations with Anika.

    What next for INTO Youth?

    The plan now is to gauge levels of interest within our existing networks and to invite young people to contribute to a series of guest blogs.   (Rather like our International Women’s Day work.)  Here is the call Anika published in the INTO Farms newsletter following our meeting:

    Calling all young people in heritage!

    Are you a young person who gets excited when they hear the word “heritage”?   Are you an enthusiast for buildings with rich histories, beautiful natural landscapes or exotic cultures?

    We want to hear from you!!

    INTO is calling the youth of heritage to contribute to a series of blogs on why heritage is important to the younger generation, and for generations yet to come!

    We want to hear about the places that you love. The landscapes that you cherish. And the people with cultures and customs that fuel your passion to protect, enhance and promote heritage.

    Send articles and photos to and have your excitement for heritage shared with the world! And you might just inspire others to fall in love with heritage too.

    All very exciting and inspiring: Why not drop Anika a line if you’re under 35 and get involved?!  The team have lots of excellent ideas of how to move this forward and I look forward to working with them to achieve their goals.

    Thanks for reading!

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