Youth Working for Young Solutions
“Enhancing Youth Socio-Economic Inclusion through Sustainable Development Goals”
Who We Are
Youthink is a non-partisan, non-profit, policy-oriented international youth network that aims to render the contemporary world youth-led and socially inclusive. Our objective is to create safe spaces in order to enable fact-based discussions and come up with rights-based policy recommendations for youth problems.
Youthink believes that the youth agenda should not be led and imposed by the particular pressure groups and that the conversations around possibly disruptive issues should be democratized. Hence, the network aims to foster collaboration among youth NGOs, think-tanks, universities, and the private sector both in Turkey and globally, in order to empower youth communities and raise young people’s voice in the debates about the implications of various present-day developments. To that end, Youthink aims to facilitate youth empowerment and to enhance youth socio-economic inclusion through the Sustainable Development Goals.
The network is also a partner of the World Bank and UNDP Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Since January 2015, Youthink has organized more than 30 events including annual youth summits, expert roundtable meetings, workshop programs, capacity development trainings both in Turkey and abroad. The Permanent Secretariat of the Youthink Network is based in Istanbul, Turkey
What We Do
This year, Youthink is planning a project around the theme of youth empowerment within the
framework of UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals). As part of the
project, the team will organize roundtables, workshops, social responsibility projects, and
summits, in Turkey and abroad, in which Global Goals will be assessed in relation to youth in
collaboration with other youth NGOs, young leaders, and academicians.
— Context and Rationale
The point of departure for the Youthink team is the concern for the underrepresentation of the
youth in decision-making and implementation processes of particular subjects including but not
limited to smart city solutions, climate change, industry, blockchain applications or data security.
Given that these subheadings are of immense importance, especially for the citizens of
tomorrow, we, as the Youthink team, insist on the need for democratization. The youth must be
able to speak and act on these issues, and ultimately they must be involved in all aspects of these
topics that can generally be categorized as Sustainable Development Goals. Accordingly, our
project is shaped by these concerns.
The main objective of the project is to provide a venue for awareness, deliberation, search for
solutions and cooperation among the young people of the world. Given that the Global Goals
address a wide range of issues related to basic human needs, environment, inequalities and
industry, one primary objective of the project is to raise awareness about these disruptive issues.
With this project, Youthink equally aims to create international bridges between young people
from all over the world, while creating safe spaces and appropriate platforms for deliberation.
Youthink will, therefore, fulfill its mission of association, the role of bringing relevant people
together. The network of interested young people will help them find effective solutions to
problems that differ from one region to another. For instance, participants from Turkey can
consult those from Brussels on how to tackle gender inequalities or those from Rome can
cooperate with those from Toronto on smart cities.
The Global Goals will be grouped according to common themes by the executive team. Each
group will be addressed in respective activities during the year in roundtables, workshops or
summits. These meetings will first provide safe spaces to facilitate thinking. At the end of each
activity, the Youthink Academic Team will publish detailed reports regarding the discussions on
the subject in question. Throughout the year, the Academic Team will also publish academic
publications addressing the Global Goals from a youth perspective.
Our academy team works meticulously before, during and after the course of the project. After
reporting every opinion, idea or solution suggested by the participants, Youthink will share it
with an international network of more than 3000 people via our newsletter. Moreover, the
memorandums as the outcome of our project will be sent to national and transnational concerned
institutions, afterwards they will be asked kindly to take action on the mentioned issue.
Additionally, the events will definitely foster collaboration among the participants who will be
elected by the team according to their capabilities and interests. Hence, mobilisation and
awareness among youth will be increased
— Gender Mainstreaming
Youthink team is diverse and inclusive. The principle of gender equality has been taken into
consideration in the formation of our executive team. In order to further ensure that our project
activities also remain as such, we will carry on a meticulous selection and invitation process
based on gender equality for our participants. Summit and workshop participants, speakers at our
events and our committee will be balanced in terms of gender. Evaluation of applicants will be
carried out by a prespecified score chart and managed by a committee of four people by
concealing the applicants’ names and the photographs. Moreover, Youthink is very strict about
not permitting discriminatory speech and acts, ensuring that individuals of all genders and sexual
orientations feel safe and welcome in all our project activities.
Batuhan Özbelli graduated from Üsküdar Ahmet Keleşoğlu High School in 2016. He was the founder-chairman of History Club in highschool. He is currently studying History as Bachelor's Degree at Boğaziçi University. He was on the leading board of Young Social Scientist Platform between 2015-2019. Batuhan speaks English, French and he is sufficient at Ottoman Turkish.
Bahadır Bozdoğan graduated from Bilfen College in 2018. He is currently studying as a first year student on Political Science and International Relations as Bachelor's Degree at Boğaziçi University. He speaks English fluently and he is also learning Russian. Specificly, he had some vacations to Russia and he is interested in the culture, he is planning to make extensive researches about Russian-Turkish relations in the future , relatively. He used to hold events in different concepts during high school and he is precisely into organization stuff.
Bekir Uğur Yıldırım
Bekir Uğur Yıldırım graduated from a Gymnasium named Istanbul Erkek High School. He was the chairperson of International Golden Bull Short Film Festival and worked a year as peer at ProBro. He completed a short-term internship at Fenerbahçe SK in the summer 2019 and right now, member of Student Council’s supreme board at Bogazici University. He also participated in various civil society initiatives like free tutoring for children in need and book donation campaign for a school located in a rural region of Turkey. He is currently studying Political Science and International Relations as Bachelor’s Degree at Bogazici University. He speaks Turkish, English and German.
Burak Kayarlar is currently studying Computer Engineering in Beykoz University as a first year student. He studied Game Design for one year. He was the club president of E-Sports Club for two years. He's done volunteer work in many public conventions. He's fluent in English.
Can Baran Beder graduated from İTÜ GVO High School in 2014 and started pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Istanbul University Faculty of Law. His works regarding youth started in high school with Model United Nations conferences. After receiving various awards such as best delegate and best advocate, he started serving as a member of academic team in numerous different conferences as well as serving as the Secretary-General of Istanbul University MUN 2016. Spending two months in Santa Catarina Brazil with AIESEC, he volunteered in community development programs. He also spent a year as a member of the International Law Students’ Association Istanbul, serving as the Head of European Union Commission. Can started as an associate in Co-Opinion in 2015. He was a part of different departments until this day. He speaks English and Portuguese.
Dilara Ağalday is currently studying Political Science and International Relations as Bachelor’s Degree at Boğaziçi University which she started in 2016. She is interested in population studies and sustainable development. She speaks English (advanced) and learning Spanish.
Elif Kurt graduated from Balıkesir Sırrı Yırcalı Anatolian High School in 2016. She is currently studying her bachelor’s degree in Economics at Boğaziçi University. She took active roles in her high school’s physics, photographing and cinema clubs, and is a member of her university’s sailing club. She worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in Boğaziçi University Computer Engineering department and continues to learn programming languages. She speaks English and she is learning French and German.
Elif Taşyumruk graduated from Saint Benoit French High School in 2019. She is currently studying Economics as a Bachelor’s Degree at Koç University. She is doing work&study at the department for student affairs and social activities. When she was in high school, she has been a part of a non-governmental organization called “YGA” for 1.5 years. She was also the head of the European Youth Club in Saint Benoit. She participated in numerous Model United Nations conferences. She has been volunteering for AIESEC during the past 6 months as a team member at the Incoming Global Volunteer Department. She speaks English, French and she is learning Spanish.
Kübra Ergün completed her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations Department at Boğaziçi University in 2019. She is currently a master’s student in International Relations at Koç University where she also works as teaching and research assistant. She is planning to study her MA thesis on international migration next year. She speaks English (advanced) and French (intermediate).
Mehmet Hakkı Uysal
Mehmet Hakkı Uysal graduated from Çanakkale Fen Lisesi in 2014. He is currently pursuing his bachelor degree in Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. He worked as a project assistant with Professor Tan in his study on foreign aid. He is an organizational team member of the Alumni Association of his high school.In this semester, he is studying in Sciences Po Bordeaux,France with the Erasmus program. He speaks English and French fluently.
Şamil Barışık graduated from Atatürk High School of Science in 2018. He is currently studying Political Science and International Relations as Bachelor's Degree at Boğaziçi University. He took active roles in his high school's social aid programs and sport organizations. He speaks English and he is learning Russian.
Şehnaz Turan is a bachelor's student at depatmant of economics in İstanbul University. She is also a member of İK(Business Club) in İstanbul University. She does voluntary works in foundations. She attended the international conference on global competition and innovation management. She is going to be a exchange student in Tübingen University in next year. She speaks English and she is learning german.
Sena Akkoç is currently studying Sociology and History at Boğaziçi University. She spent one year at Center for European Studies Student Forum as an editor and she was an active member in Management and Economics Club at Boğaziçi University. She volunteers at several NGOs for improving child health and climate action. She speaks English, Spanish and she is learning Arabic and French.
Sueah Sohn is currently majoring in Political Science and International Relations and minoring in Management in Boğaziçi University. She has taken part in quantitative and qualitative research programs in Boğaziçi on countries such as India and the region of Asia. She is fluent in Turkish, Korean, and English.
Tuğberk Aybars Berber
Tuğberk Aybars Berber is a junior Political Science and International Relations student at Boğaziçi University. He was the editor of a website called Wsagt. He speaks English, French and Russian.