The Global Opportunity Youth Network

The Reality We Face

Challenge #1

"Peak Youth" Increasing Pressures

  • 1.8 billion strong global youth population
  • 90% live in developing economies – concentrated in South Asia & Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Climate change, conflict and increasing urbanization

Challenge #2

Globally, 350 million youth are not connected to education, training or formal jobs

  • 70 Million youth are unemployed
  • 3 out of 4 unemployed youth are female
  • ~70% of earning youth are in the informal sector

Challenge #3

Exacerbated by the Covid-19 global economic crisis

  • 1.6B informal jobs at risk
  • +430M businesses facing serious disruptions
  • Wholesale & retail, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism hardest hit - industries typically employing youth

The Challenge and Our Response

There is a lot of activity underway but it’s not addressing the key issues at hand:

  • Existing programs and solutions reach only a fraction of the total need
  • Young people are not involved in solution design
  • Responses do not address the systemic barriers and underlying drivers of youth unemployment
  • The business case for corporate engagement is not well defined

Our Response
To drive impact at scale for young people, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in society, we need to take the lead in doing things differently.

Our vision is to drive systems change through:

  • Greater collaboration through locally-led coordinating infrastructure
  • Data driven strategies to support long term youth success
  • Increased youth involvement using leading practice design approaches
  • Funding directed to address the most important gaps & scale what works
  • Changing the narrative & perceptions of opportunity youth through data and storytelling
  • Advocacy – public policy engagement, influencing employer practices and priorities

Over the next ten years, GOYN aims to:

  • Transform outcomes for at least 350,000 young people and improve the lives of millions
  • Create a vibrant global network of communities collaborating to create systems-level change
  • Amplify the voices of opportunity youth and reshape the narrative around their innate assets and potential
  • Generate USD 25M in philanthropic funds to accelerate place-based systems change interventions
For a long time, I sat alone at home thinking ‘why does nobody think about us?’ Now I realize my story is powerful; I read the newspaper, I am networking, I talk to leaders and other young women about how to start a business, I want to be an example to others.

Fatma Mubarak

GOYN Mombasa Youth Advisory Board Member

Global Network Map

In 2018, GOYN conducted a comparative study of 30 global communities to determine those most suitable and ready to implement a place-based systemic change approach. The first nine communities and Anchor Partners are:

GOYN Anchor Partners

GOYN Anchor Partners play a key role to facilitate effective cross-sector collaboration and drive partner commitment, action, and learning.

Bogotà, Colombia

eThekwini, South Africa

Mombasa, Kenya

Pune, India

Ramgarh, India

São Paulo, Brazil

Mexico City, Mexico

Thiès, Senegal

Barwani, India 

The Global Opportunity Youth Network believes in the power of young people to shape their own future. At its heart, GOYN is inspired and informed by opportunity youth leaders who are at the heart of our global network. We partner with local and global youth allies to create equitable access to economic opportunity and address the deep-rooted structural barriers that prevent many young people from realizing their potential.

Jamie McAuliffe

Founding Director, GOYN


Building a Youth Employment Collaborative

GOYN collaboratives are led by local Anchor Partner institutions who convene and organize community leaders committed to expanding youth economic opportunity. Collaboratives conduct in-depth research and data-gathering to examine the causes and drivers of youth employment and identify a suite of priority youth employment pathways and policy advocacy activities to be accelerated.

Each collaborative features:

  • Dedicated staff to support coordination, data analysis, convenings
  • Youth Advisory: Youth leaders that are former or current opportunity youth who inform strategy, design and implementation and build capacity of youth
  • Working Groups to develop, accelerate and fund locally relevant youth employment pathways and policy advocacy activities
  • Multistakeholder Advisory: including private and public sector leaders
  • Broad, ongoing community consultation and dialogue

GOYN Learning Lab

GOYN knows that data and knowledge sharing is a driving force in creating effective youth employment programs and identifying appropriate, sustainable training and income earning pathways for opportunity youth. In this resource library you’ll find: research and reports generated by GOYN Collaboratives, Implementation Guides, Case Studies from our global partner network and Opinion pieces from community leaders and youth.

GOYN Mombasa Newsletter – May 2021


Nosso Manifesto: Somos Jovens-Potência!


GOYN Bogotá Interviews. Accenture Colombia


Global Opportunity Youth in the Travel & Tourism Sector (Executive Summary)


COVID-19 Learning Brief – South Africa & Kenya (2020)


GOYN Bogotà 2020 Opportunity Youth Landscape Report (2020)

Latin America

GOYN eThekwini Market Intelligence Report (2020)


GOYN São Paulo Opportunity Youth Manifesto (2020)

Latin America

Youth Health Pathways Report, GOYN eThekwini (2020)


“We're learning the importance of diverse cross-sector participation through bottom-up discovery, planning and co-design. GOYN Bogotá has started building a shared understanding of the causes and drivers of youth unemployment as a community, and future interventions will be selected based on the collective experience and knowledge of more than 170 participating organizations."

Daniel Uribe Para

Executive Director, Fundación Corona

GOYN Partners

The Global Opportunity Youth Network is housed at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and is co-led by partners Prudential Financial Inc., Global Development Incubator, YouthBuild International, Accenture, and Catholic Relief Services. The organizations bring complementary strengths and expertise to the challenge of global youth unemployment and, collectively, share a deep commitment to supporting pathways for youth opportunity. In addition to these core partners, we are thrilled to recognize our partners that continue to support our mission and commitment to Opportunity Youth – the Vitol Foundation, the Western Union Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Botnar Foundation.

Furthermore, in addition to being informed by the experience of these partners, our approach draws on insights gathered from dozens of expert interviews and thought partners whose collective input was captured in our flagship report: A Global Opportunity: Get Youth Working (2018)