Young Bled Strategic Forum

Young Bled Strategic Forum 2019

31 August – 3 September 2019, Ljubljana/Bled, Slovenia

The Young Bled Strategic Forum (Young BSF) is an annual conference bringing together young leaders to engage in lively discussion and develop out-of-the-box solutions to some of the most pressing world issues. The Young BSF model has been growing and changing and has become a unique meeting place for a diverse array of young leaders, entrepreneurs, influencers, thinkers and social activists and thus, offering them a platform to share their visions, exchange ideas and connect with one-another. The Young BSF 2019 will host young leaders under the title “Youth as a (Future) (Re)source”.

Young BSF 2019 will reflect the topics of the BSF and focus on sources and resources of (in)stability and look up at young people as a (re)source for the future. The young people that will attend this year’s edition of Young BSF will prove youth is a valuable resource in several ways. Young people are not solely valued as potential contributors to society, in their status as adults-to-be, but also in their present status as youth, whereby they contribute to society for the very reason that they are young, full of innovative ideas and able of thinking out of the box.

Special emphasis at the Young Bled Strategic Forum will be given to the cross-regional cooperation. A new generation of leaders will demonstrate that such cooperation is not only necessary, but rather inevitable for positive next steps in democratization, advancement of human rights, sustainable development, women empowerment, counter-terrorism and climate change. To do this, young leaders have to learn from their peers from different regions, share their knowledge, ideas and know-how. Sustainable regional cooperation programs are the key towards a comprehensive, inclusive, and innovative approach that engages youth and prepares agents for change.

Strong, committed and inclusive democratic youth leadership will be of crucial importance for the process of democratization, conscientious European integration and future EU expansion in general. In our efforts to build a structured regional cooperation we must therefore bring young leaders on board in order to build tighter ties among civil societies, offer room for youth-to-youth exchanges, and enable a continuous flow of information and knowledge among the EU member states and non-EU states.

Youth, being the essential cornerstone of dynamic civil societies, should be given an opportunity to:

  • Contribute to the regional integration,
  • Be the herald of European values and democratic leadership with dedication and perseverance,
  • Identify topics of common interest and tackle issues of shared concern for communities in the region.

Young leaders will also be selected to participate as speakers at the main event. This practice has proven its worth in past editions and to the benefit of BSF, as it brought innovative solutions and shed a light on youth perspectives. Youth will through active participation at BSF have an opportunity to meet the leaders from the governmental, business and nongovernmental sectors and join them in discussions addressing salient issues.

Young Bled Strategic Forum is committed to ensuring equal opportunities to attend the YBSF are available to young leaders, regardless of their ability to pay. We work closely with our partners to provide all of our participants with accommodation, while a number of travel grants for candidates of various backgrounds and nationalities will be ensured. Travel grants may be awarded to selected participants on an individual basis and only up to the amount decided by the organizers, while we will ensure regional and expertise representation.

For any additional inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us at


Conflict and Cooperation in the Mediterranean: Mare Nostrum or Global Space?
In partnership with Istituto Affari Internazionali.
Globalising trends in a number of sectors, including migration, environment, maritime activities, trade and investment, and security have radically transformed the Mediterranean region. Its characterisation as “Mare Nostrum” or “European lake” appears more misleading today than ever. Political and economic links of South-Mediterranean with neighbouring areas such as the Gulf and the Sahel have strengthened. The region continues to be of crucial strategic importance for Europe and the West, but other external powers, most notably Russia and China, have considerably expanded their influence. Non-state actors, including civil society organizations and militant groups capable of operating across the region are playing an increasingly prominent role.

At the same time, the southern rim of the Mediterranean remains highly fragmented due to the ongoing wars in Syria and Libya, heightening tensions in interstate relations and persistent internal conflict dynamics, often fuelled by the same popular claims that sparked off the Arab uprising in 2011. South-European states, in turn, are still coping with the long-term effects of the economic crisis limiting their regional economic projection and political engagement.

Is a renewed effort to promote regional cooperation a realistic proposition in this context? What are the shortcomings and potentials of the ongoing regional cooperation initiatives led by the EU, the UN, NATO and the OSCE? Is a convergence of efforts among all key players envisageable? What are the most promising policy fields for developing new forms of regional cooperation?

Young BSF Sponsors

Danube Transnational Programme
SOE – Dialog Sudosteuropa

Young BSF Partners

Ambassciata d’Italia
Državni zbor
Aktivno drzavljanstvo
Femmes sans frontieres
IAI Istituto Affari Internazionali
Ministero degli Affari Esteri
Mladinski svet Slovenije
NewMed – research network
The Boston Consulting Group
Western Balkan Youth Cooperation Platform
Zavod Ypsilon


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