Youth Fusion Elders

‘Elder –a person having authority because of age and experience’
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Youth Fusion highlights the importance of inter-generational dialogue, and of youth learning from the experience of those who have been long-time and effective leaders in the peace and disarmament fields. In this regard, we recognise and affirm Youth Fusion Elders, those we hold in high esteem, and whose leadership, accomplishments, ideas and wisdom we highlight online and through our activities. The Youth Fusion Elders initiative is inspired by a number of cultural traditions which affirm those community members who have considerable wisdom and experience, and also by The Elders initiative which was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 with a broader agenda covering most global issues.

This initial list of Youth Fusion Elders will grow. We welcome suggestions of people to invite to join.

Youth Fusion Elders

Bruce Kent

Bruce Kent is a lifelong peace campaigner and changemaker, always working at the intersections of his Catholic faith and multifaceted social and political activism. Youth Fusion Member Nico Edwards sat down with Mr Kent for a virtual interview about his drivers and motivations, lessons learnt and key advice for engaged youths. You can enjoy the interview either in the Youth Fusion Elders podcast episode or a short article version below. The podcast and article are available in the English language.

Everybody is capable of doing something, but not everybody is capable of doing everything! Do what you do with imagination and perseverance and courage: and get on with it. That will be your reward.

Uta Zapf

Ms. Zapf, a German parliamentarian, was interviewed by a Youth Fusion member Christoph Jaschek. To read their conversation about Zapf´s own motivation and experience serving 23 years as a member of the German Bundestag,  simply follow the link below. The article is available in the English language. 

Advice for my own 25-year-old self: speak up, have self-confidence, respect others.

Mogens Lykketoft

Mr. Lykketoft was the president of the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and is a leading figure of the Danish Social Democratic party. Enjoy Youth Fusion members Michaela Sorensen and Arthur Duforest´s comprehensive interview with Mr. Lykketoft, discussing his experiences as a public figure and change-maker within the UNGA, and exploring the relations between nuclear disarmament, climate protection and the Sustainable Development Goals. The podcast and article are available in the English language. 

Peace is a condition for eradicating extreme poverty.

Ana María Cetto

Prof. Ana María Cetto is a distinguished physicist, Pugwashite and long-time champion of women and Latin American voices in science and technology. Youth Fusion’s Michaela Sørensen got to pick Ms. Cetto’s brain on the motivations and drives animating her long and highly dynamic career, touching on the challenges facing women in science and the importance of fostering North-South learning, sharing and trust in academia and beyond. The podcast and article are available in the English language.

Cultural diversity, linguistic diversity, knowledge diversity and even gender diversity, in all areas of human activity, are as important as biological diversity. I think that all these aspects of diversity are essential for the survival of humankind.

Tolegen Mukhamejanov

Tolegen Mukhamejanov – a poet, author of symphonies, operas, chamber music, music for films, theatre productions, songs, romances, popular instrumental music. He actively participated in the “Nevada-Semipalatinsk” social movement. Author of the popular songs such as “Zaman-Ai”, a national anthem of the people’s anti-nuclear protest. President of International Association “Peace Through Culture”. Co-Chair of the World Forum of Spiritual Culture. Member of World Academy of Art and Sciences.

In this interview, Mr. Mukhamejanov speaks to Youth Fusion´s Marzhan Nurzhan about his personal story and experience of becoming an active member of the anti-nuclear movement. He highlights the role of arts, music, and culture, which served him as a bridge to nuclear disarmament. The article is available in the English language.

To change the world, you need to change the world in yourself. We are a single human civilization, creatures of the Creator, we are all together and there is no other way!

Andreas Nidecker

Prof. (em.) Andreas Nidecker MD is a prominent Swiss physician, nuclear disarmer and President of the Basel Peace Office, as well as an early member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

Youth Fusion Member Arthur Duforest had the pleasure to sit down with Dr Nidecker to hear about his lifelong efforts to create effective interdisciplinary nuclear disarmament initiatives and to engage youths in climate action, nuclear disarmament and the political process. The podcast and article are available in the English language.

Dialogue is the only solution to solve conflict.

Scilla Elworthy

Dr Scilla Elworthy has spent the last four decades building peace and preventing conflict by non-violent means. She is the founder of such flagship initiatives as Oxford Research Group, Peace Direct and Rising Women Rising World, and a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Enjoy Youth Fusion’s empowering and inspiring conversation with Scilla through our Elders’ podcast or article series, both available in English.

Students have far more rights now than they had thirty or forty years ago. Use those rights! Go to those meetings, put your hand up, ask the awkward question and hope that you get a stunned silence because that means you hit the mark.

Douglas Roche

Douglas Roche is a longstanding and outstanding voice on, actor in and advocator for human security, disarmament and peace. Mr Roche has a rather unique background as a former Canadian parliamentarian, diplomat and Ambassador for Disarmament, working with various UN-led disarmament processes and authoring several books such as ‘Recovery: Peace Prospects in the Biden era’ (2020) and ‘The Human Right to Peace’ (2003).

In this interview you will learn about Mr Roche’s multifaceted work on peace and human security, and his quest to bring forth useful concepts and ideas to transform the way we understand and practice international relations.

Reconciliation is something not only to aspire to, but to DO. To approach our problems from a view point of respect: by listening and not always just talking, let alone yelling at one another. To engage in a mode of mutual respect is a marvelous tool!