Pieter Ploeg (23) is organizing an international initiative conference in South Africa as a part of his YIP year. He is a participant at YIP 2009-2010.

My name is Pieter Ploeg, 23 years old. I am taking part in the International Youth Initiative Program 2009/2010. For me this year is a joint search with pioneers of social change. It is a year of making sense, where an international team of future change-makers comes together to explore human creativity in social development and to gain entrepreneurial skills to take action on a global scale.

When I look at my generation, we born in the previous millennium but will spend most of our time living on this planet now, in the third millennium. We are faced with the challenges put to us by the previous generations, and it is up to us to lead the next generation into the challenges we will be putting on them.

We are the first generation that is born in a completely globalized world, where information is being shared at an ever accelerating speed, and where many young people struggle with the ability to respond to the world and it?s challenges. At the same time we are born in a time of strong individualism, where it is up to us to Þnally get rid of the “we and them” mentality.

People from all backgrounds, cultures, nations and societies join forces to rework this world into a future of more equality, equity, sustainability and radical optimism. I feel part of a movement, that some call the movement of movements, the earth’s immune system, or the civic sector. A global network of individuals, working together as people, living and striving for social change on all levels of society. In this working together I and my personal ambition: Connectivity.

Strengthening the togetherness and collaboration of all people. Finding inspiration in the leading pioneers of change, seeking empowering connections for grass-root initiatives and connecting engaged world-citizens with real work for a better world. Facilitating a network of real people working from a radical optimism, ready to face the most difficult challenges, with endless courage to bridge gaps in all layers of society.

Connectivity takes shape in many different ways, most concretely through a conference, happening in 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference is really the celebration of the network, the “council meeting” of the civic sector, the international gathering of the movement. A week of connecting, empowering, strengthening and inspiring.

During this year of making sense I strive to facilitate the preparation of that celebration, and to breath connectivity in all of my actions. The Youth Initiative Program in Sweden enables me to work and live with engaged young people, to gain the practical skills for social entrepreneurship, and to work full-time for social betterment.

More information on the Connectivity Conference can be found at:

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