There is potential for youth influence on democratic decision-making. Many young people are engaged at community and grassroots levels and express strong civic ideals and commitment. A wide range of formal participation opportunities for youth exists but their impact is relatively weak. Consequently, alternative models for influencing decision-making are emerging, going beyond the system of representation while demanding participatory and deliberative approaches to democracy in order to give youth real decision-making power. New ways of socialising and organising are being forged and pioneered by the young via online media and social networks, from a perspective which may challenge established models of democratic governance.