4 November 2014 (10.30-12.30) - Room 2 – Palais de l’Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN


Building civic engagement and leadership among young people will provide them with the knowledge to participate in democracy as active citizens. But does it also have an impact on democratic structures and decision-making?

NSS-Community Connect Fellowship, Blue Ribbon Movement, India

The NSS CCF (NSS Community Connect Fellowships) is a year-long leadership development program for the brightest students of NSS (National Service Scheme), India’s youth volunteering program. It uses service learning to build civic engagement, leadership and professional skills among youth. It takes participants through leadership training and engages them in solving one big social issue in a constructive and democratic manner. In the year 2013-2014, 29 NSS CCF fellows volunteered for 9,139 hours and mobilized 338 students to reach out to 5000 people and file 2200 complaints to revive the Municipal Complaint Management System.


Ms Suruchi AULAKH, India, Senior Advisor of Blue Ribbon Movement

Suruchi Aulakh is a Senior Advisor of Blue Ribbon Movement. She facilitates workshops for the organisation using theatre-based techniques and is an accomplished artist and trainer with an experience of 2 decades in the area.

Mr Abhishek THAKORE, India, Founder of The Blue Ribbon Movement

Abhishek Thakore initiated Blue Ribbon in 2000 as an 18 year old with a vision to engage youth in community building. As a change artist, his journey spans several organizations across corporate and NGO sectors. He has presented at the UN (New York) and at several forums around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the South Asian Youth Conference to create a strong and peaceful South Asia. An author of 3 books, he is an experienced facilitator and has an MBA from IIM Bangalore. He draws inspiration from Gandhi. At BRM, he anchors strategy, partnerships and design.

Generation Citizen, USA

Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in our democracy as active citizens. Since its founding in 2008 on the Brown University campus of Providence, Rhode Island, GC has grown to serve middle and high school students in four cities, training over 1,200 college volunteers (Democracy Coaches) to empower over 20,000 young people in Providence, Boston, New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Website: http://generationcitizen.org/


Ms Noelle CORMIER, USA, Chapter Director at Generation Citizen

Noelle Cormier is a senior at Boston University, where she is studying to receive a dual license in Elementary and Special Education. In the fall, Noelle will complete her student teaching in London, England. She has been involved with Generation Citizen for four years. Inspired by the intersection of civic education and hands-on-learning, Noelle joined the organization as a mentor, worked her way up to Chapter Director, and currently interns at the Boston office, where she is working to develop supporting materials for Chapter Directors.

Mr Scott WARREN, USA, Co-founder and Executive Director of Generation Citizen

Scott Warren is the co-founder and Executive Director of Generation Citizen (GC). He is a Draper Richards Kaplan and former Echoing Green Fellow, and was named to Forbes’ 30 Social Entrepreneurs under 30. Scott studied International Relations at Brown University. After his father joined the State Department, Scott grew up throughout Latin America and Africa, serving as an observer in the first truly democratic elections in Kenya’s history, and recognized the transformative potential of democracy. During college he was Student Director of STAND, a national student anti-genocide coalition, and founded GC to encourage youth to participate in the democratic process.



Discussants are invited to make critical comments during the lab on the impact, transferrability, sustainability and risk of the initiative.

Mr Robert DOSSOU, Benin, Honorary President of the Association of Constitutional Courts that use the French language (ACCPUF)

Robert Dossou is the former President of the National Order of Lawyers of Benin and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin. He is now Honorary Dean of the Faculty of Law at the National University of Benin and Chairman of the National Commission that prepared the National Conference of Benin. He is also Honorary President of the Association of Constitutional Courts that use the French language (ACCPUF) and President of the Commission of Eminent African Jurists drafting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Robert Dossou was President of the Constitutional Court of Benin until 2013 and has been President of the Conference of African Constitutional Courts (CJCS).

Mr John LOUGHTON, United Kingdom, Founder and CEO of Dare2Lead

Loughton has been a global and local youth activist since age 11. Born in Scotland in a community of poverty with a single parent family, he grew up to found the first ever Community Youth Forum in his area. He was elected the youngest ever Chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament and having moved to London now advises many Governments on youth issues and regularly delivers high profile speeches. In 2013 Loughton was named Outstanding Youth of the World in Rio De Janeiro. He is founder CEO of leadership company Dare2Lead and has enabled over 10,000 youth to change their own lives. John has worked with figures including the Queen, Kofi Anan and over 50 Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world.


Ms Ivana SENDECKA, Slovakia, Innovator, Educator and Founder of NGLS (Next Generation Leaders of Slovakia)

Ivana founded NGLS,  a platform for connecting influential and driven young Slovaks in 2009. Her aim was to inspire self-transformation to develop leaders for a better Slovakia. NGLS touched some hundreds of Slovaks through weekend long conferences and informal meet ups. Prior to NGLS Ivana worked in banking and sales in Dubai. After her return to Slovakia she worked in consulting on projects within banks and for government. She holds a Master degree in Strategic Management from Comenius University in Bratislava.



Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, CEO of Novae Terrae Foundation

Luca Volontè is the CEO of the Novae Terrae Foundation and Chair of Dignitatis Humanae Institute. He is member of Board of Truestee of CitizenGo. He was member of the Italian Parliament from 1996 to 2013 and President of the European People's Party at the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. In February 2013, Cardinal Martino confirmed the appointment of Luca Volontè as Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), also known as the Institute for Human Dignity. Volontè has been a Member of several Commitees at PACE, including the Presidential Commitee, PACE Bureau. His efforts were particulary focused on Cosciencious Objection, Freedom of Religion, Youths and Family and Life issues, including anti euthanasia mesures.