In 2014, the Norwegian government initiated a structural reform of the country’s municipalities and regions. A key element is to ensure that municipalities are sufficiently robust to face current and future challenges and provide adequate and efficient services. In 2016, the three neighbouring municipalities Asker, Røyken and Hurum (all located south of Oslo and part of the capital region), agreed to merge, and the new municipality will be operative from 2020. Hurum, Røyken and Asker early agreed to develop the new municipality not only according to the best practice available, but also the next practice. Integrating the SDGs as a framework for the new municipal master plan and planning processes is one of the innovations of the new municipality.
Objectives for The Asker Youth Conference, 2018: Localizing the SDGs
Overarching goal: How to succeed in implementing the SDGs locally, and how can Asker’s process be of inspiration for other municipalities and regions globally? By bringing Norwegian and international youth together to discuss and deliberate the localisation of the SDGs from the perspective of young men and women, a final summary and statement from the youth will be provided as an input to inform about the way forward on sustainable urbanization for youth in Asker as well as in global communities. We also hope this can be the start of our common plan for a potential side event: “Localising the SDGs through the youth” during the HLPF in New York in July 2019.
During the conference we will study and discuss areas and targets defined as the most crucial to be dealt with for the merged and new Asker municipality. Targets identified through the particular methodologies developed by new Asker and listed as most significant for the future of the municipality will also be discussed. This does not exclude discussing other targets. However, priority will be given to two sets of targets: those targets singled out as the most important ones to the citizens of new Asker, and those targets where new Asker has the highest potential to make a difference.
There are three stages to this year’s Asker Youth Conference, simply: Before, During and After. Every phase of the work has its own purpose and sub-targets:
Before: Meet, involve and include youth in developing the concept:
During: Several workshops will be organised focussing on the prioritised targets.
The project team will define one problem/question under each SDG, and the participants will be given information in advance about the specific SDG and which problem areas the assignment contains.
The key organisational structure of the workshop will be:
After: We plan to summarise the results of the workshops and deliver it to politicians in new Asker to support their efforts to have real participation of all stakeholders in planning the new municipality. We also plan to give the outcome-document to other important stakeholders nationally and internationally and inspire them to do likewise. The youth in the resource groups will also visit schools and present the outcomes from the conference, and as suggested earlier in this document we also hope to present the product of the conference during the HLPF in New York 2019.