Youtopic: A space to take a fresh look at the present and redesign the future

by Ricardo Flores Chong

Youtopic is the international festival on conflict, a space that explores the theme of conflict in every aspect of life, according to the official definition, yet Youtopic is something bigger, it represented a space of coincidence between young people from countries in conflict, especially those in which Rondine has a direct impact and Italy, it was a space of joy and, most important, of hope, a space of dialogue and friendship.

Youtopic took place from the 8th of June to the 11th of June of 2023 in Rondine Citadella della Pace, in this participated different profiles from different places and roles, from the experience of well-established professionals to the presentation of the ideas of the students of Rondine to give solutions to different problematics such as the reintegration of ex-convicts in the society with a special focus on the youngest ones, campaigns to promote the reuse of clothes and generation of markets that would put closer the clothes as commodities to those who need them and that would impact in the process of fast fashion and the impact on climate change, the presentation of programs of usage of public spaces as spaces of generational cohesion and the usage of spaces and programs to help the youth of the cities and towns in Italy. Let us remember that these were projects presented by students with ages of 17-20 years, giving solutions, and some of the best possible approaches, to some of the most complex’s problems of our societies and having at the core the care of the human life, the development of processes of peace and the caring of the nature and the resources.

Youtopic is also a place of return for those past generations who studied there, I was able to share with alumni from Palestine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gala Ivkovic (from Bosnia) who oversees the program of ITACA, an incubator of ideas and designs to respond to the needs of various Italian territories and is part of the Economy of Francesco, in the Business and Peace Village in which she is also a coordinator.

During the agenda of Youtopic there was a space for The Economy of Francesco on the 10th of June, in this Valentina Blandi and Salvatore Pirri presented the book “Economy of Francesco, a glossary to repair the language of Economics”, it was a surprise to have found many young people interested in the necessities of re-elaborating on what economy is and how do we need to change its approaches, some of them didn´t know but with the projects presented they were already building alternative models to the present economic system with markets of values of usage, instead of values in money, for example.

Rondine prepares, implements, and does Youtopic, yet the main actors are the participants, the youth and their wisdom, their openness, their ideas, and their capacity for dialogue. In a few words, Youtopic is a space of hope, a place to dream and to work towards those dreams. It feels like a space in which the youth is allowed to be, in which the youth seem to have overcome prejudices and understand themselves as Humans, as friends, and as partners. This can be seen and gets even more sustained with the alumni and everything that they are doing in their own conjunctures to contribute to better realities.

The Economy of Francesco might be considered a mission, a movement, and tangibly the sum of the efforts made by each of the participants. Participants found in Rondine, in Youtopic, are multipliers of good and that have a good focus. It is said that you can never measure how much good you as a person, as a professor, or as a multiplier can do given the impact generated in those who you touch, yet, in Rondine, in Youtopic you can feel and know that a lot is being done.